Another year has come to a close and I won’t be heading out again into the cold air to run again until tomorrow when the calendar will tell me it is officially 2017.

The dream of hitting the 3000K mark for 2016 turned out to be a little too out of reach in the end. Looking back over my training log I saw weeks where I didn’t run at all out of injury and, yes, at least one week out of just not prioritizing the running. I ended up getting close but fell short by less than a hundred kilometers. Still, even the realization that I would miss out on this goal didn’t mean that I couldn’t end off the year with a bang.

While I wouldn’t be able to hit the enormous week that would see me take down the 3000K target, I could still ay down the biggest running week I’ve ever run with a little application of time and effort. My personal best to this point was about the same time last year where, with a 50K training run on the Sunday, I managed to knock over 126.4 kilometers.

previous-best-week

There was nothing too special about the running that week, it was just consistent daily running over seven days with one big run thrown in to round out the week.

This week I started with a rest day of all things and then followed it up with consistent running:

  • Monday: Rest
  • Tuesday: 42.3km
  • Wednesday: 33.9km
  • Thursday: 21.3km
  • Friday: 23.2km

Today, then, and with a rest day already ‘cutting’ my week from 7 running days to 6 running days, I was only 6 kilometers short of my previous biggest week. I should be able to get close to 150 or 160 kilometers banked by the end of the week tomorrow.

Yet other improvements year-on-year are even more impressive, I think.

Consider my year-on-year distance. In 2014 when I first started getting into running I managed 583km total. In 2015 when I started to take things more seriously I logged 1842km. Now, as 2016 draws to a close, I have logged over 2900km – and I’m planning on doing more in 2017, too.

Or consider the longest runs I managed to lay down. In 2014 I managed to run more than 20km only five times, and never anything longer than 25km. In 2015 I managed a 20km run 19 times, with three runs over the marathon distance including my first ultra in Ploeren. Now in 2016 I have run 20km more than 40 times, ran longer than a marathon 9 times, and longer than 60km 5 times. Every year I am pushing further than before and the bigger distances are coming easier than they did before.

Those 5 runs from the whole of 2014 when I topped 20km? I knocked over 5 runs longer than 20km this week and, while I am a little tired in my legs, I don’t feel really all the worse for wear.

The goal of today’s run was just to spend another 20K on my feet and then get home, showered, cleaned up, and ready to see in the new year with Cécile.

I headed off up the river on the left bank of the Saone, passing the Isle Barbe and then turning across the bridge to reach Collonges. Here I was trying to decide whether to turn back to Lyon and make an extra loop around Confluence to bring up the distance I was looking for, or to head up the hill a little and loop back to the Isle Barbe via St Cyr. I went with the latter option for, despite some aching quads, there’s nothing like hills to make a run a little more interesting.

The route up the hill was easy enough to follow. One foot in front of the other, stick to the main path, and then at about the 10K mark it flattened off and I turned left to head in the direction of Lyon again. I descended gradually from St Cyr and preferred the false flats to the steeper descents to save hurting my quads unnecessarily. Still, there were a couple of short, steep downhill sections but I think I ran them pretty well. Indeed, my downhills are something that have benefited from spending time on in training and I hope they’ll be even better by the time the Ultra Boucle de la Sarra rolls around in May.

Back at the Isle Barbe I stopped to shoot a photo and send a text to Cécile, then did a loop around the trail and headed for home. I had The Hood Internet on and so I was feeling no pain and I managed to hold a fairly steady pace all the way along the path back to Jacobins.

Another 20K run was in the books and the weekly mileage record was broken, too. Check it out:

run-log-big-week-so-far

141K in the bank and another whole day to go? I think that 100 mile/161 kilometer week is looking very doable, indeed.

Distance: 20.1km

Elevation: 126m

Time: 1:47:29

Strava

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