Thursday, January 12, 2012

a year running

A Documentation of Running in 2011
Proof of A Less Than Mild Case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Last November, I tweaked my knee. I'm not even sure how it happened; I woke up one morning for work, and it was mildly swollen. Flexing it to walk up stairs or elevators was almost impossible until the joint was warmed-up & stretched-out, around noon. I attribute it to walking through some urban fields on the way to return some books at the Irvington library branch. I stepped in a divot, or slid momentarily through a congealed pile of dog mess, twisting slightly some tendons or ligaments.

View NIFS Indoor Track in a larger map
NIFS Indoor Track. 97 runs; 417 miles.

After that, I was mostly laid up for nearly a month, beyond some stationary biking as December 2010 progressed. I joined NIFS, a fantastic gym at IUPUI, and began doing some bike/jog workouts the last week of December, before Amelia, Wes, and I drove 12-hours to spend a week with my family at a beach house in the Florida panhandle. A stovepipe of a building, 6 flights of steep stairs were required to get to the top floor, a small, lofted room, on the floor of which Amelia & I were sleeping on a mattress (well, mattress in name only). Climbing up & down those stairs for the week really strained my knee at first, but by the last couple days, I was feeling noticeably stronger. The stairs had healed my knee! Either that, or a week's worth of Yuengling Black & Tan had lubricated my body's joints so they felt no pain.

View Neighborhood Running Route in a larger map
Neighborhood running route. 54 runs; 257.4 miles.

On returning to Indianapolis, I made a goal to work-out/run 150 times in the year. I'd never paid for a gym membership before, and I'm a particularly cheap bastard, so I wanted to make it worthwhile. What began as a 3-times-a-week chore, morphed into 4 or 5 days a week, plus stationary bike riding...and eventually, into long runs once a week to train up for the Carmel (Half) Marathon (follow the link for my entry on the race itself).

View Canal Route 1 in a larger map
Canal running route. 25 runs; 130.5 miles.

July came, and running became a sort of morning obsession. In the height of Hoosier heat, I ran 20 times, each one reducing me to a pile of sweat on the front stoop, dripping random droplet constellations onto the dry concrete while stretching. The runs had become less training, and more therapeutic---necessary in their exertion-level; I needed it to clear my mind, to feel alright inside my world. I didn't see that coming.

View Bellingham Neighborhood Route in a larger map
Bellingham neighborhood running route. 3 runs; 12 miles.

Took some days off while on vacation, but I still took my shoes & ran neighborhood routes, not to mention did a lot of walking & biking around the beautiful Pacific Northwest. When I returned, I switched back to afternoon running, much to the pleasure of my digestive system, which has never become completely assimilated to morning runs (well; it responds in kind, if you get my drift). Internally, running was now something I felt weird if I didn't do. Even on days off (which I do need; 3 or 4 days in a row will render me stiff as a board until mid-morning, at least); I don't feel quite as lucid as on running days.

View Trail Route in Land o' Lakes in a larger map
Land o' Lakes nature trail. 1 run; 5 miles.

I began the year with the goal of 150 runs, though by late Fall I was chalking up a good four every week, which continued through the early winter months with the help of an indoor track. I pushed through the holiday season on the same schedule, hitting 182 official run/work-outs by the end of 2011, while at the same time getting back to my high school playing weight of 145. What can I say, I have the arms of an early middle-schooler.

View Carmel 2011 Half-Marathon in a larger map
Carmel Half-Marathon. 1 run; 13.1 miles.

My total for the year? As best as I can figure, 841 miles in 182 runs. On just two pairs of shoes, which have served me pretty well. Guess I'm about due for another pair; my goal for 2012 is 200 runs.

View Monon Trail in a larger map
Monon Trail. 1 run; 6 miles.


  1. that's amazing Drew! congratulations on (over)achieving that goal.

  2. thanks! i think being OCD actually paid off. :)