2014 Running and Blogging Highlights

So 2014 is my best year running ever – I have broken a half marathon PR that has stood since 2002 and a full marathon PR from 2005.

I also ran my first ever ultra marathon – the 12 hour Lemming Loop in October (scroll down for link and more info) where I completed 49.2785 miles (so close and yet so far from 50 miles – but considering I trained for 50K I am not complaining).

In the end I did 4 half marathons, 2 full marathons and the 12 hour ultra for races.

I had 3 months where I broke the 200 mile barrier – March, July and November – each was successively my highest mileage month ever.

I ended the year at 1971.009 miles – my highest mileage year ever. I didn’t quite hit my goals but I still hung on and finished strong even though I was burning out near the end of the year. I did 900 miles in the first 6 months of the year and 1071 in the second 6.

My weight is odd this year – massive mileage but I am actually ending the year at 222 pounds – up 1 pound from what I started the year at. Obviously I was fueling to do those miles but I will have to look at how to get the weight down some in the new year. I did get down to 214 at one point during the year but I have been balancing right near 220 for most of 2014.


January 2014: 21 runs for 132.68 miles // longest run 26.2 (4:39:47) // fastest run 8.64 mph average for 6.2 miles

Goofy Challenge 2014 collection. Good races – my 4th Goofy Challenge and my best one yet – half at 3:08:25 (walked with my wife Heather) and full at 4:39:47. The full was slower than I wanted but I had some tummy troubles and my legs were not cooperating right from the start.

There was a day it was -51C / -59.8F with the windchill – ran that day on the treadmill

Updated training plan to take me to June and the Manitoba Marathon (includes WPS Half Marathon in May)

Started the month at 221 and ended at 217.5 pounds with a low of 215.



February 2014: 17 runs for 104.91 miles // longest run = 18 miles (2:33:38 – treadmill) // fastest run averaged 8.38 mph for 9 miles

Family trip to Disney World – I managed to do some running around Disney’s Beach Club Resort and the Boardwalk area(family vacation running recap)

Mid February I was pretty excited to get a chance to run outside in Winnipeg…

Weight started at 217.5 and ended at 221 with a low of 216.5.



At this point I will stop indicating my weight – I have been stuck in the same 5 pound window since January. I will figure out how to break through and once I do I will start talking about progress there again. Still – that means I am ranging from 35-40 pounds down from the start of this journey and I have kept the weight steady for many months now.


March 2014: 23 runs for 200.32 miles // longest run = 20.1 miles (3:25:30 outside) // fastest run was 8.42 mph average for 4.21 miles

First time ever over 200 miles in a month!

I was trying to watch different shows while on the treadmill and discovered that The Walking Dead maybe wasn’t the best choice.

There were a couple days in March where I had to split up my long runs into a morning run and an evening run. That worked not bad – it was certainly easier to motivate to run knowing that was what I was doing.

I broke the treadmill again in March and let out a pretty good smoke cloud. Belt was worn out and caused the electronics to overheat (similar to what happened to it the last time). Seems to be an issue with the belts.

The treadmill was still on warranty for parts and I got them ordered but there were some delays and I had to call back a few times to see what the hold up was.

In the meantime the outside weather in Manitoba was atrocious – wind chills near -50 and near 0 visibility snow storms made running outside a bugger. You can see from the numbers above I still hit 200 miles for the month – that happened because I couldn’t wait for the parts to come for the treadmill so I found a very limited time offer on a Livestrong LS13.0T at a local store and picked it up in March.

It has been working very well since – although when I set it up I forgot to level the treadmill back to front – I did side to side but forgot back to front. Running on it seemed like a lot more work than it should have been and I realized I had about a 3/4 inch incline (with the front higher than the back – was like running a 2.5 to 3 incline). Leveled that out and everything worked well.



April 2014: 24 runs for 175 miles // longest run = 19.5 miles (3:05:40 outside) // fastest run was 8.62 mph average for 5 miles

Turned 43 this month…when did I get this old?

My wife got cabin fever and decided to clean the snow up from around the hot tub and backyard pool…

Signed up for Dopey Challenge 2015 – I had some trouble deciding if I should do Goofy or Dopey but in the end my brother convinced me to do the Dopey. Especially since it is likely to be my last one for a few years. Go out big.

Parts for the old treadmill finally arrived – got those installed with a minor blood sacrifice…now we essentially have 2 nearly new treadmills…at least there should always be one functional if the other breaks.

I did a 4 day back to back set of runs to make up for some missed runs and to test my ability to recover – 4.4 miles, 8.75 miles the next day,a 13.1 and then a 4.4. Not a Dopey Challenge by any stretch but it showed I was capable of doing what I had signed up to do in January 2015. I had some thoughts on how to make sure I get to where I needed to be.



May 2014: 21 runs for 144.27 miles // longest run = 18.1 miles (2:48:32 outside) // fastest run was 8.75 mph for 5 miles

Did the Run at the Ridge 2k family fun run again – ran with the boy again and my wife ran with our daughter. Lots of fun but cold.

NEW Half PR at the WPS Half Marathon– 1:46:00 (old one set in 2002) – with such bad outdoor weather in March and April I didn’t know what to expect here and decided I wasn’t going to shoot for a new PR but try to do a solid steady run to see where I stood. I realized in the last mile or so I still had a shot and pushed hard and broke my old PR by 11 seconds. Did this at 221.5 pounds and after going out to a late party the night before.

Broke Mother’s Day scheduled long run into 2 parts to make sure I could spend as much daylight with the wife and kids.

Knee started hurting and I started to compensate…then pulled my hamstrings in my right leg. That was mostly cleaned up by the end of the month but was still occasionally having knee problems. In fact they seem to come and go now, mostly when my form is bad on the treadmill. The knee and hamstrings did have me worried about the Manitoba Marathon on Fathers’ Day in June.

At least the backyard pool was finally open and I could start more cross training to maintain while the leg was hurting. I tried some deep water running and found it to be pretty good. I have a floater vest from Aquajogger that seems to work well.



June 2014: 21 runs for 142.82 miles // longest run = 26.2 miles (4:09:44) // fastest run was 8.8 mph for 5 miles

Hit 900 miles for 2014 at the end of June – pretty solid half way through the year point.

Had a real bad run outside – I obviously wasn’t very focused as I tripped and fell twice on a 16.5 mile run. Brutal.

New marathon PR – 4:09:44 – knee trouble and rain slowed down what should have been a sub 4 marathon – but still new PR with old one set in 2005! Manitoba Marathon 2014 Race Report.

Updated my training plan for a maintenance period for the summer and then an 18 week push for the Dopey Challenge in January – includes scheduling for 2 half marathons in the fall.



July 2014: 26 runs for 201.02 miles // longest run = 13.65 miles (2:06:59 outside) // fastest run was 8.85 mph average for 5 miles

This month I could tell that my longer runs doing laps around the neighborhood really weren’t working the way they should – I was not motivated to do them, I was getting bored and I then wasn’t pushing the way I should have. So I started trying to branch out to new running routes to increase motivation which really seemed to help.

I managed to top my highest ever monthly mileage number this month – up to 201.02 miles for the month. Awesome!

Longest run for the month was 13.65 miles but it took me down Thundering Bison Trail…hmm 6’2″ 220 pounds…yeah bison isn’t too far off.

Also testing out some new shoes – I tend to run in Nike Pegasus but with the advent of version 31 they have changed enough that I wanted to test other options out as well. I have started trying some Nike Structure 17s as well as a Pegasus 31 set.

Did back to back half marathon distance training runs on July 12th and 13th – felt good even though it was pretty hot out there.



August 2014: 21 runs for 186.97 miles // longest run = 23.1 miles in 4 hours // fastest run was 9 mph average for 5 miles

This month I did some testing of longer outdoor runs aided by changing up my running routes a bit for added motivation. I learned somethings about how I need to fuel. I also was pushing hard for speed on the treadmill – and probably pushed too hard.

I came to realize that my Saturday morning runs are the only ones I don’t put pressure on – they are my “me” runs.

First Sunday of the month I did a solid 18.25 mile run in 2:44:19 and then the next Sunday I decided that I would give myself 4 hours – take lots of walking breaks, bring lots of fuel (solid and liquid) and just see where I got. I didn’t get very far – 11.42 miles in 2:02 and had to call for a ride home – my system was off and it took about 3 days to get back to normal after that. It was either something I ate or a stomach bug of some kind.

To make up for the disastrous run the weekend before I headed out to give the long slow run with walk breaks concept another go. Worked really well this time – 23.1 miles in 4 hours and probably could have kept going but I had given myself a time frame and stuck to it. This was after doing a solid 13.1 the day before.

Caught myself trying to run dirty on the treadmill – kept grabbing the side rails. And I think that bad form hurt my hamstrings as I have been fighting with them since.

I had some good solid runs and then one night I was running up and down the front street playing with the kids and aggravated my hamstrings pretty bad. In the end that cost 12.5 miles in missed miles and runs.

And then on the 31st I woke up to do an 18 miler and decided to run on the treadmill instead of outside due to some rain and possible lightning. My knee went off and had to fight to get 10 miles in. Another 8 miles missed this month.

So in the end I lost 20.5 miles and ended up only 10.57 behind schedule for the month. I was shooting for over 207 but that may have been too high a goal. Then again I think I can trace the issue back to bad form on the treadmill on a speed work day (grabbing the rails) – 2 major things I need to do to fix this – watch what I am doing on the treadmill better and strengthen my legs and knees.



September 2014: 21 runs for 153.49 miles // longest run = 18.2 miles in 2:54:50 // fastest run was 8.83 mph average for 5 miles – was 9.7 miles short of my schedule this month (had an extra unplanned taper for a 12 hour race I signed up for last minute in early October)

September marks 2 years into my journey to get back in shape – when I did my recap I had done 3172.86 miles those 2 years. 4 marathons and 7 halves including 2 Goofy Challenges. I did a more thorough overview of the past 2 years here.

First official Dopey Challenge training run ended up 10 miles in the treadmill – strong push even though I was exhausted from an early morning kazoo player wake up call.

Ran the Fort Garry Rotary Half Marathon for my 13th half marathon race – done in 1:47:41 – off pace from my 1:46 PR and had some tummy troubles but not too bad a race. My wife Heather did great!

I signed up near the last minute for a 12 hour trail loop race – the Lemming Looppicked up and tested some Hoka Cliftons to help on that race.



October 2014: 20 runs for 160.5785 miles // longest run = 49.2785 miles in 12 hours // fastest run was 8.47 mph average for 5 miles — was off scheduled miles by 8.6215 miles – took way longer to recover fully from the 12 hour race and missed some runs because of that.

So this month was really about 2 races – The 12 hour Lemming Loop and the WFPS Half marathon. Any other run was just about getting mileage in for the month. This kind of made October a bit unfocused unfortunately. Have definitely been feeling a bit tired and burnt out – work was hectic this month as well so there never seemed to be any downtime. November is going to be about settling back into proper training for the Dopey Challenge.

The real highlight of this month was my first ever ultra marathon – a 12 hour loop race called the Lemming Loop. Came in at 49.2785 miles in 12 hours…and was able to do stairs after!! This race is going to be a running brag for a long time. Basically I did more than the upcoming Dopey Challenge in 12 hours. I am ready for Dopey Challenge but the trick is going to be not letting training slide for the next few months!

I also did my 14th half marathon this month – the WFPS Half Marathon – it was done in 1:47:51 – slower than a month before at the Fort Garry Rotary Half – a race I had problems on? I ran that race pretty clean but it was slower than I hoped. I attribute it to 2 things – first was a reduction in speed work over the past 2 months as I tried to get more longer runs in outside in preparation of possibly doing the 12 hour Lemming Loop and second was my legs were probably still tired from doing the 12 hour Lemming Loop.

Going through the month I ended up breaking another treadmill as well. It is still under warranty and we will be getting a new deck and belt (and a few other parts) essentially making it new again in a couple weeks. Luckily we still have the old one functional (that my wife uses) so I can still do some of my runs indoors but I’m still hoping it doesn’t take too long to get the new one fixed.

I am of 2 minds about October – on one hand I am kind of disappointed in how lethargic I have been feeling most of the month once the races were done  and on the other hand I am ecstatic that I completed a 12 hour trail race and got almost 50 miles done in the allotted time.

But I do need to get refocused on Dopey Challenge training now that work has calmed down a bit and I have gotten some rest. I am hoping I can get my crap together and push out a fantastic November!



November 2014: 25 runs for 201.8 miles // longest run =  2 x 18.1 miles in 2:46:20 and 2:52:23 // fastest run was 7.98 mph average for 5.25 miles — was my highest mileage month ever at 201.8 but was still 12.3 miles short of schedule.

Started the month off strong with a 10.1 mile run on the 1st and a 18.1 on the 2nd – was probably the most best weather of the month.

Felt good about running but after a hard summer and early fall of running we took a couple days off and did a road trip to try to recharge! Was definitely starting to burn out.

I had treadmill issues with our main treadmill and had to back off speed work for most of the month because parts were on back order.

Fought weather most of the month with cold temperatures or ice and wind – definitely made the outdoor runs a lot slower than I would have liked. But I got them done!

Most of the site posts this month included comments about the busted treadmill or the cold weather – it was definitely the theme for the month!



December 2014: 23 runs for 167.15 miles // longest run =  19.25 miles in 3:15:21 (cold and slippery) // fastest run was 7.83 mph average for 5 miles — 6.05 miles short of schedule for the month

Most of the month of December followed the theme of November – either was upset that I couldn’t do speed work because the treadmill was down or the weather was awful outside.

Did have some nice temperatures outside in December but they ended up being accompanied by slush and ice and runs were slow or cut short.

I did get 2 very long runs in of 18.15 and 19.25 miles despite of the weather giving me 2 Dopey Challenge dry runs completed this month. Going into 2015 quite ready and anxious to get moving on the Dopey Challenge!


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