Monday, January 18, 2021

Real Riddle Run 2021

Me after finishing 28 miles in 2015.
It's almost time for that annual event that we all look forward to: Riddle Run 28-Mile fun run at Lake of the Woods trails. This will be the 22nd year of this fine event. Tom Rice and I have done all previous 21 fun runs and we both plan on being back for the 22nd edition. The founder of Riddle Run, Jeff, has started a parallel event in Townsend, TN in the Great Smoky Mountains. Good for him! But, we all know the "real" Riddle Run happens at Lake of the Woods. So this year RR has become RRR ("Real Riddle Run") to distinguish it from that new, and somewhat fake, version in Tennessee. Gotta go with the OG! 

  • What: Real Riddle Run 22
  • When: Saturday, January 30 at 8:01 am
  • Where: Lake of the Woods original trails
  • Distance: 28 miles (7 x 4-mile loop)
  • Cost: Free
  • Aid: None
No fees, no aid, no goodies, no awards (except for the male and female champions). Just old-fashioned running at its best. It's just running. Run one loop or seven. Past winners can be found on this Google document. Course records: 3:39 (male) and 4:18 (female). 

Tom and I will not set any speed records in 2021, but we will continue our streak of consecutive (real) Riddle Run appearances. Looking forward to #22.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Running Goals for 2021

I don't know if we'll be back to regular races in 2021, but I'm setting some process goals and performance goals for 2021. If no races, then I'll do comparable solo time trials. For each goal, I am setting an A (ideal) and B (good) standard. I think the combination of process and performance goals will give me a good blend of improvement and accountability. 

Here we go: 

Four process-focused goals 
1. Run at least 1700 miles. Preferably hit 2000 miles! 
2. Longest non-running streak of 3 days. Preferably only 2 days. 
3. Run at least one marathon. Preferably an ultramarathon. 
4. Break 65,000 ft of elevation gain. Preferably 75,000 ft. 

Four performance-focused goals 
1. Run a 5:50 mile (minimum 5:55) 
2. Run a 19:49 5K (minimum 19:59) 
3. Run a 1:34:59 half-marathon (minimum 1:35:59) 
4. Finish Howl at the Moon 8-hour with 40+ miles (minimum of 31 miles)

Looking forward to reviewing my 2021 goals on January 1, 2022.

Sunday, January 3, 2021

My 2020 Running Stats

Well, 2020 is finally over. I've posted my "did I achieve my goals" and also "highs and lows" for the year. Now it's a mundane summary of my basic running statistics from 2020. With a comparison to 2019. As stated before, 2020 was a good running year for me. Actually, an excellent one!





278 runs

317 runs


1,420 mi

1716 mi

Max Distance:

26.25 mi

16.2 mi


Avg Distance:

5.11 mi

5.41 mi


224:41 h:m

264:58 h:m

Avg Speed:

9:13 min/mi

9:16 min/mi


Avg HR:

132 bpm

129 bpm

Elevation Gain:

43,597 ft

61,056 ft

Avg Cadence

163 spm

163 spm


Longest Streak:

23 days

34 days

Longest Break:

3 days

2 days

I'm happy with, and proud of, all of these stats, with the exception of the longest run category. Only 16 miles? Really? That will change in 2021. Slightly slower pace seems odd, with shorter runs and some fast time trials, I thought it would be faster than last year. But, with more overall miles (mostly on trails), it does make sense that those would be run slower (lower average HR confirms that trend). My biggest surprise when looking at these stats is the higher elevation gain (61K vs 43K). I ran less "exotic" trails (like Clinton Lake, Forest Glen, and Allerton), but a ton more at Lake of the Woods rather than treadmill. While LOW park trails are not extremely hilly, they do have more elevation change than a treadmill. I guess quitting the gym has its benefits! 

I plan to track these same stats in 2021, and hopefully review them more frequently (once/month? once/quarter?). No surprises come December 31, 2021. Time to think about 2021 running goals and races. That blog post is coming soon.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Did I Meet My 2020 Running Goals?

Back on January 4, I set my 2020 running goals. So, did I achieve them? 

Goal #1: Qualify for Boston Marathon. Nope! Failed. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were no official marathon races this year (at least around me). Not really a failure if I never had the opportunity. Could have run a virtual marathon, but that would not count as a BQ time. In all honesty, I was not ready to toss down a fast marathon time. Probably would have failed anyway, but I am embracing the pandemic excuse. Silver linings! 

Goal #2: Run at least one ultramarathon race. Failed. Again, there were no races in 2020, so I couldn't really achieve this goal. Not my fault, right? Actually, I take "credit" for this failure. I could easily have run a virtual ultra. Unlike the BQ time goal above, anything over 26.2 miles would count as an ultra done. My bad. In fact, my longest run on 2020 was only 16 miles. Sad. I'll do better next year.

Goal #3: Run at least 1700 miles. Success! I ran 1716 miles in 2020. Most ever for me. That averages to 33/week. Impressive for this low-mileage runner. Feel good that I was consistent the whole year. It would have been easy to give up when we had "stay at home" orders. No major injuries, no health issues, and no long breaks from running. My longest non-running streak was 2 days! Proud of that achievement. 

So, in 2020 I succeeded on one goal, failed at another, and called it a draw on a third. That's not too bad for this crazy year! Hoping for a better 2021.