Despite most races being canceled, I had a decent running life in 2020. In fact, I've logged 2,855 miles this year, which is 160 more than last year, making it my highest mileage year ever. And there are still four more days left to add some mileage! Below is a graph of my mileage starting in 2012. I'm not sure if I will ever have a year of higher mileage than this year, so this could be a lifetime PR. Part of the reason I was able to log all of these miles was lack of recovery from live marathons, lack of illness, and lack of injury.
Longest run streak
Along with my highest mileage year ever came my longest streak ever: 181 days. From January 14 to July 12 I ran every day, totaling 1,461 miles! The streak started after taking time off from Posterior Tibialis
If you decide to start a streak, the most important thing to remember is that you control when the streak ends and not vice versa. In other words, the streak will have to end at some point and you want to have it end because you choose to end it, and not because you are forced to end it due to injury or illness.
I had another long streak between July 17 and November 6: 112 days. This streak ended when I took a rest day two days prior to the Harrisburg marathon. The combination of these two streaks (181 days and 112 days) helped me reach that high yearly mileage total.
Highest mileage week
My coach challenged me to run a 90-mile week in April. This included the virtual Boston Marathon on April 20, which I ran at my easy pace. I was able to log 7 miles the next day and continue on with about 10 miles a day for the rest of it, including a 19-miler.
Because I have been working from home since March, I have had more time to devote to running and recovering from my runs. Not having a commute and not having to do my makeup has been a big time saver. I'll admit that I am now spoiled and once I return to the office, it will take me a while to get back into that rigid schedule.
I'm not a huge fan of virtual races, but when real races simply don't exist, virtual races are better than nothing. I also thought it was important to support our local running store by registering for a few of these.
- Cherry Blossom 10-Miler: 1:09:46. Since the race was canceled and I was already trained, I figured I would get credit for it and appear in the results by running a virtual race with Greg.
- Boston Marathon: 3:40:02. I ran this race on April 20, which was the originally scheduled date of the Boston Marathon. Their official virtual race took place in September, but they allowed me to use
my April race. I was thankful to receive the medal and the shirt!
Virtual Boston Marathon
- Mother's Day 4-Miler: 26:27. Greg and I raced this one for the primary purpose of supporting Potomac River Running, our local running store. Plus, when races started getting canceled in March, we all thought that by May things would be back to normal! So in my mind I had planned on running this race as a real race.
- Indianapolis Monumental Mile: 5:58. I ran this one on a track. I had actually run a faster mile in 5:52 two weeks before, but on the morning of the virtual race I felt a little stale and the weather was warmer (it was late June)
- Firecracker 5K: 20:19. No race report for this one. This is the fastest 5K I've ever run in the summer so I was thrilled with that. We lucked out with lower-than-normal humidity for July 4th and because it was a virtual race, we were able to start it an hour earlier than the live race would have started. It wouldn't have felt like July 4th without a race, so we did it!
Do you count a virtual PR as a PR? I think so! After all, the "P" stands for personal. Also, if the answer to that question is "no," then what motivation do you have when running a virtual race? If you don't consider the result to be legit, it will be hard to motivate yourself to push hard. Repeating "it matters, it matters, it matters" over and over again helped me get through all of my virtual races. That said, I make a mental note of whether or not my PR was run in a live race or a virtual race. In my Race History, I have all the virtual races in italics.
- 1-Mile PR of 5:52 (time trial) and 5:57 (live race)
- 4-Mile PR of 26:27 at the Virtual Mother's Day 4-miler
- 10K PR of 41:33 at the live Christmas Caper 10K
- 10 Mile PR of 1:09:46 at the Virtual Cherry Blossom (although I have run faster 10-milers in live half marathons, so this one is tricky).
|Loudon Street Mile in July|
I did manage to run two live half marathons this year and a live full marathon. The first live half marathon was before all of this started, the first weekend of March. The other was in October in Hanover, PA. That one didn't go so well because of the hill profile, but it was still nice to be in a live race setting.
Of course we all expected things would be back to normal in 2021, right? Not happening. There's no clearly defined goal post for a "return to normalcy" as we know it, which to me means that things will not return to normal within the next year, two years, three years, or maybe ever. I know that sounds pessimistic, but once you set a precedent of closing businesses, canceling events, closing schools for the sake of public safety, then it suddenly becomes acceptable to close/cancel them again.
- Flattening the curve (March-April)
- Slowing the spread (May-June)
- Vaccines become available (July-October)
- Everyone is vaccinated (November - ?)
- Everyone is vaccinated from all mutations and new strains (future)
This year has been stressful for all of us, but I was fortunate to have a stable job that allowed me to work from home, and so was Greg. I didn't get sick at all this year -- no mono -- which is always a win for me. Thankfully I don't have children to worry about and never have we been more confident in our decision to not have children. Running has helped me keep my sanity and if it weren't for my running I don't think I would be in as good of a spot mentally. It has provided me structure, routine, purpose, and excitement.