2022 Running Year in Review

2022 Running Year in Review

It’s time to wrap up another year of this crazy running journey that I have been on.  34 years and counting!  And what a year it was.  I decided to stick with ultra running as my focus and for the first time in the last several years the word “triathlon” does not appear in the title of this blog post.  I did very little biking this year, and any swimming I did was from a post-run, cool-down standpoint.  I miss cycling a little bit, but I had my hands full with training for another attempt at a 100-mile finish.  I came up a little short, but I’m getting closer!  Is next year the year I finish?  Hopefully, I will conquer that distance before age makes it too difficult.

The spring started off with a fun trail race called “Paleozoic Trail Runs – Carboniferous Spring II 25K” which was a very fun mud-fest.  First time racing a trail race, and I think I did pretty well with my 12th place overall and 2nd place age group finish.  Race report:  Paleozoic Trail Runs – Carboniferous Spring II – 25K Race Report

Got a little dirty running this very muddy trail run.  It was surprisingly fun.

The Big Hill Bonk became a favorite race for me after getting my first 50K distance run there in 2021, so naturally, I made a return to it in 2022.  It was moved from August to April this year, which meant less heat to deal with but now we dealt with some snow and cold.  In the end, it turned out to be a pretty good day.  I ended up running 10 yards, 41.6 miles, a new distance record for me.  Race report:  Big Hill Bonk 2022 – Wisconsin’s Backyard Ultra Race Report

At the top of the stairs and making my way down.

In the early part of May, I decided to try another backyard ultra in Wausau, Wisconsin called the “WausaUltra Backyard Ultra.”  I did this race without my race crew (my wife Kari) and when I fell on the fifth lap and banged up my arm and leg, I decided that I better call it a day.  This course was really technical and challenging, and that made for a fun time.  It kept me engaged, that is for sure.  I’d like to do this one again in 2023 if the calendar allows it.  Race report:  WausaUltra Backyard Ultra Race Report

Me and my one-man tent near the start/finish area.

At the end of May, I joined the local running club and did a marathon relay race called “Attack The Track.”  It was my first time doing an event like this for me and I really enjoyed it.  I ran the anchor leg, so my “mile” leg of it had an extra lap, but I huffed and puffed my way through it.  I wasn’t quite prepared to run a fast mile, but I had fun.  Race report:  Attack The Track! Race Report

Bringing up the rear of a 26.2-mile relay.

July and August were race free, but after a family wedding, and a vacation I was ready to race again in September.  I needed to do a 50-mile training run, and I found the perfect opportunity in Iowa at the “Broken Anvil Backyard Ultra.”  This backyard race was nowhere near as technical as Big Hill Bonk and WausaUltra, but challenging nonetheless.  The main issue here was thunderstorms and rain, but I was dialed in with help from Kari.  I managed 54.1 miles and could have run more if it wasn’t for the chafing I was experiencing.  I’ll be back at this one next year.  Race report:  Broken Anvil Backyard Ultra Race Report

Ringing the bell – making it official that I was done after 54.1 miles.

I was registered for and planned to run the Chicago Marathon, but I came home from my anniversary trip to Italy (Hiking in Cinque Terre Italy) with Covid-19.  That is not what I was hoping for, but I had a mild case thanks to being healthy and vaccinated.  Since being sick with Covid took away the Chicago Marathon for me, I decided to run a marathon on my own, seeing that my training plan for the hundred miler called for 24 miles anyway.  I took it very slow and got the miles in.  (My Covid Marathon)

November brought my “A” race:  Tunnel Hill 100.  This was my second attempt at the 100-mile distance, and I trained accordingly and gave it my best shot.  I really thought I had it in the bag after heading out for the second 50, but things turned on me coming in at 76 miles, and I just didn’t feel comfortable continuing on.  In retrospect, I wish I had but that is hindsight for you.  I’m still pretty proud of what I accomplished at Tunnel Hill, but I’m not going to quit on this yet.  That 100-mile finish will happen.  Race report:  2022 Tunnel Hill Race Report

What’s on tap for 2023?  I was planning to return to Ironman and do IM Couer d’Alene in Idaho, but that was assuming that I’d have finished the goal of running a 100-mile ultra.  So I think I will continue to focus on the 100-mile goal and maybe return to Ironman in 2024 unless my Gunner teammates do something to change my mind.  

I’ve already signed up for Broken Anvil and it will be my “A” race, with a goal of running 100 miles there.  I think there’s a good chance to accomplish that at a backyard ultra event.  I added the 25K trail race to the calendar again, as that was a lot of fun.  I just learned that the Big Hill Bonk has been canceled, which I had also signed up for, so that is a little disappointing.  WausaUltra is a big maybe because we’ll be spectating Ben & Emily at the Boston Marathon the Monday before, so we’ll see.  I don’t want to make my crew chief angry with me!  She’s a big part of my success!

Me and my crew chief.

The running stats below were a little surprising to me this year, as I somewhat had it in my mind that I would be closer to 2000 miles for the year.  In 2015, I ran a total of 2112 miles and I would have thought that I had easily done that much this year.  

1600+ miles is nothing to scoff at, though.  I’m pretty proud of that total.  The amazing part of training for ultras for me is that it is far less abusive to my muscles.  Other than the three times I fell down this year (I Be Trippin’), I didn’t have many (if any) running-related overuse injuries.  Running slow, and adding walking to the pace plan sure has made a difference in how I feel.  I might have discovered a secret to running in my old age.  

And although I may have been surprised at the yearly mile total being lower than expected, the lifetime miles run total was a nice surprise – I have officially gone over 30,000-lifetime miles!  I’m on my second virtual trip around the world!  

So, I tip my hat to another great year of running, being thankful for the great experiences it has given my life, and look forward to another year of my running journey.  

RUNNING STATS

  • JANUARY – 18 Runs / 79 Miles / 20 Miles per week
  • FEBRUARY – 17 Runs / 86 Miles / 22 Miles per week
  • MARCH – 17 Runs / 147 Miles / 37 Miles per week
  • APRIL – 13 Runs / 152 Miles / 38 Miles per week
  • MAY – 16 Runs / 90 Miles / 22 Miles per week
  • JUNE – 20 Runs / 149 Miles / 37 Miles per week
  • JULY – 18 Runs / 182 Miles / 45 Miles per week
  • AUGUST – 19 Runs / 206 Miles / 52 Miles per week
  • SEPTEMBER – 13 Runs / 170 Miles / 42 Miles per week
  • OCTOBER – 14 Runs / 137 Miles / 34 Miles per week
  • NOVEMBER – 16 Runs / 155 Miles / 39 Miles per week
  • DECEMBER –  16 Runs /  88 Miles /  22 Miles per week
  • 2022 TOTALS –  197 Runs /  1640 Miles /  32 Miles per week

 

LIFETIME RUNNING TOTAL

  • 30689 Total Lifetime Miles / 5387 Total Lifetime Runs / 34th Year of Running

BIKING STATS

  • 30 Total Rides / 493 Total Miles

SWIMMING STATS

  • 1 Total Swim / 1410 Total Yards 

Author: Ironman Chris

Family, running, triathlon and drumming are my things.

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