Saturday, December 10, 2011

5,000,000 meters: done!

Two things to make up for the lack of posting last weekend. 1. The passage of another milestone and first for me with 5,000 kilometers logged year to date and 2. an tribute to the trees bordering my neighborhood running loop.

1. 5,000,000-meter milestone

3 years ago, I put my name in one of the challenges posted in the UltraFondus forum. UltraFondus (which can be translated literally with "fans of ultra" in a sense of being mad or crazy about our sport) is both a super sleek and professional magazine about ultra and a community, mostly French-speaking and France-based. Several unofficial challenges are proposed such as 5 million meters of running in one year, 100 thousand meters of cumulative elevation in one year, or 1 hour/day of running. In 2008, I reached a peak in my running log with 4,560 km that year (2,834 miles). This year, I noticed that, by the end of June, I was averaging 63 miles per week which was right on target for 5 million meters for the year and decided to keep monitoring this KPI (Key Performance Indicator, something we use in business to mean a specific metric or number related to performance). The more we were progressing through Summer, and with the preparation for my yearly 100-miler in particular, the crisper the achievement of the goal became. However, I must admit that, certain weeks, keeping the 62-mile/week average was too much of a constraint and pressure, so much that I told Agnès I promised myself not to pout this goal on my list in 2012.

Anyway, last Sunday, I did pass the 3,100-mile mark and I'm actually at 5,087 km this Saturday, enough to take a few weeks off before my 12-hour race on December 31! From noon to midnight at the Crissy Field in San Francisco (Coastal Trail Runs' New Year's One Day)! Yes, while almost everybody else speaks about the end of the 2011 season, I still plan on adding a 18th race to my log on the very last day of the year, and at least 100 kilometers to reach 5,200 km in 2011, that is the symbolic weekly mileage of 100 km or 62 mile/week.

I've never ran that much in a single year and that probably explains why I also became stronger as I also managed to increase my mileage while increasing the average speed at the same (all these miles at an average of 8:01 minute/mile) as you can see on the following chart (kilometers on the left scale, min/mile on the right one):
Again, what a year 2011 has been so far and, with this late race on December 31, my yearly assessment will have to wait for January...

2. Fall in Cupertino: a tribute to our local trees

All these years, I thought that we really didn't have much of a Fall in the Bay Area, that this was a big differentiator with the East Coast and New England in particular. However, and it was time as we are really getting close to the Winter now, I was amazed to see such a variety of colors in the many trees planted on my neighborhood 3.1-mile loop. Tall, mid-size or small trees, conifers or leafy, lemon, orange, apple, apricot, plum, cherry trees, straight or convoluted trunks, decorative or even decorated trees, light and dark green, brown, yellow or red foliage, local or foreign species, oak, maple, birch, cypress, pine, several types of palm trees and cactus, too many species to identify and name them all! A picture is word a thousand words so here is a collage to provide you with an overview of this variety, in one shot. And you can see more in my Picasa album (76 pictures!).
So, too many species to name one by one, yet a special mention to the ginkgo, my favorite one for several reasons. First because that's the favorite tree of my parents and my Mom in particular. With my 5 siblings, we offered one to them when we moved to a new house near Tours in France in 1976 but it never grew as well as the many ginkgo trees we have in Cupertino. The shape of the leaves, their softness and tenderness, the nice green of the foliage in the Spring and the way it turns to a flamboyant yellow in the Fall, here are some of the characteristics which make this specie so special to us. And I could mention the therapeutic properties that our local Asian population must sink from this tree too.
Here you are with some musings about our rural neighborhood which has so many trees. I would not be surprised if we had one tree per inhabitant in Cupertino, another blessing of our area.

With that I'm ready to take 3 weeks off as my traditional yearly break and resume with a very long run on the 31st. To the risk of overwhelming you with numbers and statistics again, that's post number 51 this year, so I shall do one more to meet my other goal of blogging once a week! Stay tuned then, and very happy holidays to you all, whatever you are still logging miles or having a healthy rest too! So, the Brooks way, it time to say... Run (or Rest) Happy!!! ;-)


Anonymous said...

Jean, congratulations on passing this milestone. You are inspiring me to do some more running in 2012!

Runstephane - Ufo said...

Yeah! Good job Jean.
J'en suis à 4/5... et j'ai pensé cette année que le 10 km/j (en moyenne mensuelle seulement, même pas hebdomadaire) était déjà un full-time job !
Vivement le 52e post et même le 1er de 2012 pour un compte-rendu de ce 12 h à venir :o)