2015: The Year of Work. 2016: The Year of More Work

On December 21, 2015, the website I reference guitar tabs from and gain wee bits of music news from, Ultimate Guitar, posted an article referencing the rock musicians we lost in 2015 including, but not limited to, Twisted Sister’s AJ Pero, B.B. King, Christopher Lee, Motorhead’s Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, and the late Stone Temple Pilots frontman, Scott Weiland. A nice, however somber, collection of musical greats we lost in the year 2015. One problem stood out, though: Being posted on December 21 meant that the death of God, himself, Lemmy Kilmister on December 28 to a vicious form of cancer he was made aware of merely 2 days prior, didn’t make the list (the site has since been updated due to uproar). I’m certainly not expecting UG to guess at who else may bite it before year’s end, especially since Lemmy, deity that he was, was expected to outlive everyone (save for maybe Keith Richards), but I’m sure UG now understands that “Year End” lists created any time before the year’s actual end is a bad idea.

I’m not saying that’s the reason I’ve chosen to do my “End of 2015” blog post on January 3, 2016, but let’s just say that I’ve accidentally played it safe. R.I.P. Lemmy – Killed by Death, indeed…Or should I say death was killed by Lemmy? Did he suffer for the sins of rock & roll so that we may have eternal rock & roll life? Either way, Worthy is the Lamb.

I’ll now knock off this heresy and return to our regularly scheduled run talk.

December was not my friend. A few weeks ago I posted about hitting the 9 mile mark while training for my first half-marathon coming up in April and sort-of hurting my right foot. Well, it took me pretty much the rest of the month to recover from whatever injury that was and feel strong enough to actually run again. My goal for 2015 was to track 350 miles ran and was on track to do it (however tightly) but that setback did me in. 3 weeks of no mileage means I fell short of the 350 mark by 34.33 miles, total 2015 mileage coming in at 315.67 miles. And that hurts.

What doesn’t hurt is that 2015 wasn’t a bust and I’m going to call it a victory for team Skinny JTF. This year, I ran six 5K races, including The Calhoun’s New Years Day 5K in January, The Zen Evo Chocolate Lover’s 5K in February, The Barley’s St. Patrick’s Day 5K in March, The Covenant Health 5K in late March, The Pilot Fireball Moonlite Classic 5K in June, and The Dollywood Light the Way 5K in November with a 5K PR of 31:53:00. I also started and finished training for my first 10K, The Man Run, which I ran in August with a time of 01:12:43:00.

Other pretty big milestones for me in 2015 included checking out well at my physical in June, celebrating my first year as a runner, deciding to run my first half marathon, becoming a trainer at Title Boxing Club, and exercising on the beach for the first time during our Thanksgiving in Florida.

I’m sitting here tonight in my jams writing this out in draft form after building my class workouts for Title this week and it’s really struck me what all I’ve been able to accomplish. How strange – I never thought I’d be this guy. If you’ve been reading my blog, have made comments on it, or on Facebook, or Twitter, or otherwise cheered me on in some way, I thank you. Like it or not, getting your health in order is usually a solo mission but you guys have helped make it a little less painful!

On a positive note, I was able to end 2015 with one more run. On December 30 I lead the 5:45 am class at Title and then after everyone left I finished up my daily push-ups for the #1000PressUpChallenge (complete 1000 push-ups between Christmas Eve and New Years Day) and then laced up my running shoes for a quick out and back mile before showering. The run felt great for several reasons: first, it was nice to be running again without any foot pain. Next, I felt getting one last mile in on 2015 was a great way to drive the final nail in the year’s coffin. Last: I ran my mile in 9:30! I don’t know who I am anymore. Not too shabby, considering I hadn’t ran in weeks. Maybe that’s the key?

I’ll continue on to how we’ve started 2016 as well as some goals for the year, but first, here’s the final report on 2015:

2015 Running
Time Period Total Distance
Runtastic Runs (1/1-4/15) 56.51 Miles
5k-to-10k (4/15-6/21) 87.52 Miles
Runtastic Runs (6/23-12/31) 171.64 Miles
Total Yearly Miles: 315.67

Miles Short of 2015 Goal (350 Miles): 34.33

2015 Race Times

Race Time
Calhoun’s New Year’s Day 5k 2015 No official time
Zen Evo Chocolate Lover’s Valentine’s 5K 2015 33:10
Barley’s St. Patrick’s Day 5k 2015 34:34
Covenant Health 5k 2015 33:39
Pilot Fireball Moonlite Classic 5k 33:05
The Man Run 10K 01:12:43
Light the Way 5K 31:53

2016 started with me heading to the (closed) gym for a run-through of a extra boxing program I’ve built for myself that started out with the name “6+6+6” but is now “6+6+6+6”. The routine begins with 2 minutes of jumping rope, followed immediately by 2 minutes of speed work on the speed bag, followed then by 2 minutes of footwork and coordination on the double-ended bag, and then finally, 2 minutes of jab technique on the heavy bag. Take a short rest, then you do it again, this time subbing a cross for the jab in technique. Round 3 is a lead hook, round 4 is a back hook, round 5 is a lead upper, round 6 is the back upper. All totaling 12 minutes jumping rope, 12 minutes of speed bag, 12 minutes of double ended bag, 12 minutes of heavy bag. Since January 1 was the last day of the #1000PressUpChallenge, I finished each round with 13 push-ups since I only lacked 78 push-ups to complete the challenge. THAT’S a great way to start the year!

Feeling like I was ready to pound the pavement some more, I went out on Saturday morning for a very slow and simple 2 mile (3.22 km) jog averaging 11:52/mile (7:23/km). It definitely felt nice to be running again, despite the pace, but it did not feel good to be running in the cold. I swear, my body just can’t handle the cold like it used to, and it doesn’t help that we had a nearly 80-degree Christmas followed by a “normal” January 1 in the 30s! I didn’t hurt afterward and I now have my first miles of 2016 in the books, 2 miles in the tank on my way to my goal (again) of 350 miles.

2016 doesn’t look a lot different for me than the last year, only my main goal is to just maintain my fitness and not get fat again. I’m looking to drop down to less than 15% body fat (I’m currently somewhere between 17% and 19%), I’m looking to continue improving as a trainer at Title, I’m looking to run my first sub-30 minute 5K, and most of all – I’m looking forward to finishing my first half-marathon on April 3!

After the half, I don’t know where I’m going. There’s a part of me that wants to reduce my mileage so I can follow a more boxer-like routine focusing on 2-3 mile roadwork that utilizes sprints and speed over long-distances but I also know how easily I was swayed to try a 10K after several 5Ks were complete, and then how easily I was persuaded to register for 13.1 after completing the 6.2!

Whatever I decide to do, I’m sure you’ll hear about it.

Happy 2016, everyone! Cook only real food, drink only good things, and for the love of the gods, just run, motherfucker!

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