Sunday, January 1, 2012


I think most ultra runners are obsessive-compulsive. Or at least that is what I tell myself to make it feel like my own OCD is totally in line with my cohorts. So imagine my horror when I discovered my yearly mileage total was 2959!

Now in my training circles we would strongly frown upon ending a run with 19.85 miles or some other "partial mileage" distance. Yes, we are those anal retentive weirdos who run around the block one more time after getting back to our car just because we need our GPS to end in a whole number. I was totally against this practice when we started. I mean, come on, why should we let a piece of electronic equipment dictate the end of our run? But now it is such part of our thinking that I, too, am a slave to my Garmin.

So you can see my distress in missing the 3,000 mile mark by a mere 41 miles! Alas, I was not OCD enough to check the total until the waning days of 2011, when it was too late to rectify this tragedy! Still, this works out to an average of 57 miles per week. That is not exactly high mileage (and I don't claim to be a high mileage kind of gal, as ultrarunning goes) but given the amount of racing I did (with tapers and recovery) my actual training weeks registered a lot higher than the average. And the total is 500 miles higher than 2009, my first full year of ultrarunning. But next year, I'll be checking my totals on December 1st and so I can plan accordingly to get above 3,000 miles!

So who else wants to fess up to being a mileage slave? Did anybody cram in the miles last week to hit some arbitrary yearly total? How OCD are distance runners really???


SteveQ said...

In mid-December, I checked and found I was closing in on 2000 for the year (not a good number for me; I've been over 4000), so I started planning runs to ensure I'd get there and then hit 2050 knowing I couldn't do 2100 without death-marching an ultra, and settled for 2055. Then I found I added wrong and it was 2063. I guess that counts as OCD.

Chris said...

I am a firm believer in rounding up. 19.51 is 20 miles etc. Much easier to hit mileage targets that way. But have several friends that finish a run around the parking to get that extra .2 of a mile just so they can hit their target.

Pam said...

Chris - I like your thinking!
Steve - I'd say that counts as OC behavior!