There is both art and science to reviewing and critiquing your work. Without question, I must (and you should, too) start with the measurable parts. These numbers come from trainingpeaks. If I did a some exercise and didn’t log it in trainingpeaks, it doesn’t count.
Running : 790 miles, covered in ~124 hours. There are some 5 minute miles in there, and some 20 minute miles. Should finish at 850 miles, as I have one more 50K Ultra to run.
Cycling: 3050 miles, covered in 166 hours. There are some 3 mph moments in there, as well as some 50+ mph moments. Should finish at 3200.
Pilates and Strength Training: 49 hours, 45 minutes worth of equipment and Pilates matt classes. This will finish at 54 hours (+/-)
Hiking with scout troop: 120 miles. That will get another 6 to 8 miles added this weekend. This hikes are pure fun, and I don’t include these efforts in my total time spent performance
Total investment: ~360 hours, not counting travel time, recovery or rest.
2017, by the Body. I get body fat analyzed most months. Between January and August, I watched my weight go from 173 to 176. However, my body fat started at 11% and ended at 8%. Even though I got bigger, I had less fat. I started with 19 lbs. of fat and ended with 14 lbs. of fat.
By the Events:
Duathlons: 4 (1 local, 2 nationals, 1 world). I love these events, but conflicts with other areas of my life prevented me from average more than one a quarter. I am an athlete, but I am also a scoutmaster, parent, husband, church leader and president of a company. Those all have a place, and, in general, duathlon took a back seat when compared to previous years.
Runs: 7 (4 Ultra Marathons, 2 half marathons, 1 10 miler). At the start of the year, the idea of 4 Ultras seemed crazy and painful. In retrospect, I learned more from doing these events than any other event this year. They challenged me and help me understand parts of me that I used to be far from my definition of self. OK, they can be painful….sometimes. My greatest achievements and fulfillment came from completing Ultras this year: Badwater and Annapurna. Uniquely difficult (running in the sand for 34 hours vs. running in the Himalaya for a day)
Cycling Events: 8. North Carolina is a great state to participate in organized cycling events. We have mountain rides that challenge your climbing and descending skills, and there is very little traffic where I live, making the idea of getting on your bike and heading out for a day of riding simple and comparatively safe to my peers in Europe or other parts of the US. Every time I get in the mountains and ride in the crisp cool air, I get a sense of gratitude that I pray I never loose. My backyard rides to Morrow Mountain and Albemarle are as good as any that I have done in the Pyrenees…even if not as long.
By the checkbook:
Total cost: $5114. After sponsorship, final out of pocket was $461. I include in my numbers gasoline, hotels, food and nutrition, cycling components, running shoes, bike shipping costs, parking, rental cars and any food I buy at the race venues. I use my credit card perks from frequent business spending to purchase airline tickets, so my airfare costs to travel to Bend, OR and Penticton, CA, were less than parking fees at the airport.
Many peers my age have, as their greatest non-work/family/community investment time spent watching TV. For comparison’s sake, my DirecTV bill for the year was $1300, about triple my fitness bill.
Let me share one sentence to ground it all.
I invested, on average, less than an hour a day in my fitness.
Sure, there were several 4+ hour days, and even one that exceeded to 12 hours. But the average investment was less than 60 minutes.
The return on investment: I am fit. I get all the benefits of being fit and having a broad combination of strength, power, and endurance. I get credibility when I speak about health and fitness, as I demonstrate and practice what I preach. I CAN act youthful, if not a bit silly, since my body let’s me. I stay healthy. I avoid injury that plague many my age. I don’t have to talk about doctor visits and prescriptions when I gather with friends. The high point of my day isn’t what I am eating for dinner. When I get together with family and friends, I don’t have downgrade the experience to playing board games and eating together. I can go outside and play/work/bask in God’s creation. I can touch my toes (sort of) and can let off steam by putting on a pair of running shoes and just going. I can eat a lot of calories without concern.
And, I have a resting heart rate of 32. It is worth an hour a day to get all this reward.
Next Year’s plan, as it sits today, is for 5 runs (a 3 day Ultra experience and 4 others), 8 duathlons and 6 mountain rides (that cost money). There will be some last minute additions. The current budget for this is $7300, as it includes taking my son to Denmark, as he gets to participate in his first world championship. I would like to see sponsorship make that go to $0.
And, I will continue to invest an hour a day and build my tall tales, places seen and races conquered, at age 52. I hope to have another 40 years of this in me, so I can be like Sister Madonna, and just keep going.