Category Archives: Monthly Running Stats

This is not going as planned

When August turned to September, I was all set to increase my mileage. November Half Marathon! 40 and 50 mile weeks! OMG!

That hasn’t happened.

I seem to be stuck at 20-something miles a week. Sure, there are reasons: busy weekends, a streak of poor sleep, those pesky “funjuries.”  But at the end of the day, if I wanted to run more, I would have. Because even with those minor setbacks, I certainly could have.

Here was two weeks ago (which I never posted because look how much it, with the exception of that track workout, sucks):

Partying it up at a music festival was more fun than going running.

Last week:

After five days off, my shins were feeling better (no more pain walking around) so I tried an easy run. That went well, so I jumped into a 10-miler with my running group on Saturday. Although it was sucky to get out of bed in the dark (and I almost bailed), I was so glad I went.

Looking back, it wasn’t like it was a horrible week of working out. It’s not like I spent the week on the couch or something. I just have a hard time getting over the fact that I only ran 21 miles.

For the last few years, my “low” weeks have generally been around 40 – not 20 – miles. After my last marathon last April, I deliberately decreased my running for a few months. 20 miles a week (along with lots of cross training and strength training) became the new normal, which was fine.

But I assumed it would feel easy and natural to bring the mileage back up once fall hit. For whatever reason, it hasn’t.

I’m not really worried about my short term plans. The Atlanta Half Marathon is still 8 weeks away, and although I want to run hard, I’ve never had my sights on a PR there. The course is hilly and, realistically, I’m NOT going to be drinking wine while prepping Thanksgiving goodies the night before? Unlikely. I’m running it because it’s supposed to be a fun race and to give myself something to focus on this fall.

And also to motivate myself to build up my base so I’m in a good spot going in to spring marathon training.

THAT is what I’m more worried about with this whole, “Oh, I’m running 25 miles a week but I feel like I’m in good shape and it’s fiiiiiiiiiine….” attitude.

An attitude adjustment will be needed. At some point. I’m not going to force it quite yet though. I’m still hoping it will happen on its own, especially as it starts to actually feel like fall. (We are still having highs in the 80s down here.)

Blah. Running is hard and all of that.

Anyway, since this post has been nothing but me whining about my lack of motivation, I’ll leave you with a picture of  my newest subcontractor:

Our concrete patching project is currently on hold due to rain. Sub is napping on a fleecy blanket. I hope she doesn’t think she’s getting paid for today.

Miles, slobber, beer

Thanks for all of your kind comments on my last post about my disgusting itchy feet. I almost didn’t post pictures because…well, they were disgusting and I realize that no one wants to be cruising through their Google Reader over their morning coffee and come across images of an internet stranger’s welty foot.

But it was too bizarre not to share, so I did.

Still not sure what exactly happened. As a few of you pointed out, it definitely could have been a reaction to poison ivy or poison oak or poison-something-else. That would be weird because we were camping in a sandy field and there weren’t many plants around, but who knows. Shady business, that Indiana.

Anyway, it’s better now and I went for a run today. Yay!

I ended up taking exactly a week off due to this rash/bite nonsense. Although it was unpleasant, I can’t say I am totally broken up about it. It was kind of nice to spend the holiday weekend being unabashedly lazy, especially since it was so hot out. Last week’s stats:

And for the month of August:

How’s that for a conservative mileage increase? I probably should be up closer to 150 with this half marathon on my docket, though. Oh well, I’ll get there.

Meanwhile, it’s been a really productive evening over here.

It’s difficult to get a photo that captures Parker’s Snaggletooth in all of its slobber-coated glory. But he has been extra clingy today and this rank drooly thing has been up in my business all night.

I’ve been smelly-slobbered on so much that I’m going to need a shower before bed.

And since it’s Wednesday and it’s been a while…beer!

I’ll admit that I bought this Ass Kisser Double IPA solely because of its moniker. I mean…obviously.

Ass Kisser Ales is the actual name of the brewery and apparently they’re in San Jose, CA. I’m of the opinion that if you come out of the gate with a name like that, you’d better be making some good, bold, in-your-face beers to back it up.

Sadly, though, this DIPA is pretty weak. I mean, it isn’t terrible, but the body is on the thin side with more bitter citrus and malt than hops. On the plus side, the 7.8% ABV is well masked: for a higher-gravity beer, it’s easy to drink. I just expect my DIPAs to be a little more…well, hoppy.

Bottom line: Buy this one for the label – I’m sure it would be a party hit. But don’t expect the flavor to pack the same punch as the name. (Purchased at Tower Beverage, $7/22oz)

Once again: thanks for putting up with my stupid “injuries” and lame whining. And I promise I’ll try to stop complaining about bugs…I realize I’ve been doing that a lot lately. In fact, throughout this post I have been resisting mention of the earwig (shudder) that I found in my bathroom* this morning.

Well, what can I say. Georgia has some serious bugs.

Eat, Drink, and Exterminate. It does have a certain ring to it, right?

*And then trapped under an empty water glass. With a towel thrown over the top. That thing will either starve to death or become someone else’s problem.

Toe striking is dangerous

I am not talking about running form. Ha, fooled you!

No, I am talking about literally striking my toe. With a spiky shovel, while trying to uproot a weed like this one.

(That is a six-foot fence.)

I’m not sure exactly what happened. I was hacking desperately, I guess, when I somehow struck the edge of the spade directly on top of my foot. It didn’t really hurt, but as I showered off that evening, I made a grisly discovery: big toe, cracked across the bottom, half peeled off.

I will spare you a foot photo because that would be disgusting, but here is a picture of the shoe I was wearing at the time, which now has a permanent crease where the blow landed.

Proof that PureFlows are not made for toe striking. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

Anyway, it’s certainly not the first time I’ve shed a toenail, but here is my dilemma. I have an appointment for a pedicure this afternoon (because it’s MAH BIRTHDAY!) and I’m not sure what I should have them do with it. It’s still hanging half on. Whenever I’ve lost a toenail from running, it has worked its way off slowly and there has always been a new baby nail grown in underneath by the time the old one fell off. I don’t think that’s the case here.

I’m not really worried about pain (it doesn’t hurt at all) or infection (I’ve been drenching it in sweat and dirt for the last two weeks) but more about the inevitable awkward interaction when I have to explain the situation to the nail tech. Such interactions are awkward for me anyway, even without a freaky cracked toenail to discuss.

So that’s my dilemma of the day. Suggestions?

Fortunately, the toenail situation hasn’t stopped me from running and working out.

Last Saturday morning, I did my first double-digit run since April. 10 miles at 8:30 pace, which is downright speedy for me at the moment. Full credit to my running group for that one…there is no way I would have run that pace on my own. Or awoken at 6 AM to do so.

Then, yesterday, I did my first track workout in a month. I didn’t really intend to take a break from the track, but random things kept conflicting with Tuesday night workouts. Last night, I finally made it back out there, and was rewarded with a mercifully cool (uh, sub-90-degree) and cloudy evening.

Faith and I celebrated with mile repeats.

As we rounded the first curve, we had a brief conference about goal pace. We both kind of simultaneously threw out 6:45, which sounded reasonable and challenging. The last time I did mile repeats was a solo effort back in February, when I did four of them in 6:51, 6:47, 6:42, and 6:39. Last night’s workout was only three, but with the summer heat and my lack of recent hard efforts, just getting under 7 seemed daunting.

That went out the window when we came through the first 400 in 91 seconds.

New goal: slow down a little and focus on running even splits.

Faith and I ran in lockstep, swapping the inside position every few laps, and finished the three repeats in 6:32, 6:33, and 6:34.

That’s faster than expected, obviously. And I was pretty happy about that. I’m sure it helped to have company.

Final tally for the month of July:

This time last summer, I was thinking about cracking 2000 miles for the year. Obviously that’s not going to happen this year. And I am totally okay with that. I know I sound like a broken record on this, but I am SO MUCH HAPPIER doing lower mileage in the summertime down here. I spent way too much of last summer hating life because I was trying to grind out 40+ mile weeks in the heat and humidity. Stupid. This is much better. And while my endurance has suffered, overall I’m in better shape than I’ve been in for a while.

Although I’m definitely looking forward to picking it up again this fall. Endurance can and will be rebuilt!

Assuming I can keep myself free of DIY-induced injuries.

The low-mileage identity crisis

As I’m sure you are aware, it is July, which means it’s now halfway through the calendar year. And that means it’s time to check in with my New Year’s Resolutions!

Just kidding. I don’t have any resolutions. But here’s how much running I (haven’t really been) doing this year:

(That isn’t a typo, I really did log the same exact mileage in June as I did in May. Purely coincidence.)

In 2011, I ran approximately 2,000 miles. Obviously, I’m a little (a lot…) behind the ball if I want to do the same this year. And with no fall marathon, it’s unlikely that I’ll make up the difference.

To which I say: eh. Does it actually matter? Nope. I don’t think I’ll look back on 2012 and mourn my average weekly mileage.

Hopefully, I will look back and remember a summer when I actually enjoyed (!) the hot weather because, guess what? I didn’t force myself to go out and run a zillion miles in it.

I’ll admit that I’ve had a few moments of blog-induced panic during this whole lower-mileage period. For someone who has been logging 150-200 miles a month for the last couple of years, recording a 75-mile month can feel, at best, like a regression.

At worst, it feels like a total failure and an unpleasant contradiction of the very person that I am. Because twenty miles a week! That’s not me. I’m a forty-mile-a-week person.

That probably sounds ridiculous, and it is. But running is something that I’ve devoted several hours a week to for my entire adult life, so I think it’s understandable to have mixed feelings about cutting way back.

However: at the moment, I’m happier this way, and that’s what’s important. I mean, I’m actually liking summer instead of hating it! Life is too short to hate an entire season simply because it’s incompatible with your hobbyjogging.

I’m sure I’ll increase my mileage again in a couple of months, when it comes time to think about fall/winter races (half marathons, probably). In the meantime, logging lower mileage doesn’t make me any less of a runner or a running blogger or a person.

So anyway. Guess what I’m doing tomorrow?

Oh hey! I submitted for the Peachtree lottery months ago, before I even moved down here. I got the acceptance email and put the race on my calendar. Then I kind of forgot about it (which, I don’t even know how…this thing is a huge deal here) until a couple of weeks ago.

Needless to say, I’m not exactly treating this as a goal race. But a good hard tempo effort would be nice. It will be warm and the course is hilly. I’m sure it will be a little crowded, even with most of the 60,000 participants seeded in later starting corrals. If I can hang at 7:30 pace, I’ll be happy.

Assuming I can manage to actually finish this one, I’ll see you tomorrow with a race recap!

Points for consistency?

It’s been just over a month since I stated that I wanted to spend my summer running less, cross-training/lifting more, and ridding my frame of the marathon chub that it had collected over two seasons of high mileage and little else.

So how’s that going?

Um…apparently, it’s going nowhere.

This isn’t so much upsetting as it is weird. Granted, I haven’t counted calories or anything but I have been making a major effort to eat healthy things instead of unhealthy things and I’ve pretty much nixed the weeknight boozing. I’ve been hitting the weight room faithfully and have seen tangible improvements there. I feel less bloated and I no longer need to do an elaborate ballet routine to get in to my favorite jeans.

Dirty filthy lying piece-of-shit scale.

Or, my body is just happy where it is, I guess. I’m going to keep at it for a few more weeks and see what happens. When it comes down to it, I’m not unhappy with my current weight, and I’m not willing to start tracking every morsel that enters my mouth – if that’s what it would take – for the sake of losing a few pounds.

I am also not willing to totally give up delicious food. Eating is one of my favorite hobbies. Some people like modern art or music or classic cars or porn; I like Pork Belly Banh Mi sandwiches from Star Provisions. I have no doubt that if I stopped enjoying food I would lose weight. But delicious food…it’s so delicious….

Anyway. That’s my non-progress report on that project. On to other meaningless statistics, such as workouts from the last two weeks while I was on my little blog hiatus*:

And mileage for May:

(The “days trained” stat includes lifting/XT days as well as running days.)

It still feels weird to be running so little, and my pace has definitely suffered from all of the other activity, but I’ve been pretty happy with my weight room adventures so far.

For instance, last Thursday, I talked Gesina in to doing this work out that I made up which involved 11 different leg and core exercises separated by sets of burpees for a total of 100 burpees. We were at the gym for almost two hours. But that’s mostly because we tend to get chatty between sets. But, hey – at least we’re being chatty at the gym instead of at happy hour, which is probably where we’d be otherwise. I know I’ve said this before, but having a workout partner makes weight lifting about a thousand times more bearable than doing it alone.

And I’ve been pleased with my track workouts too, especially given my lack of overall mileage. This week’s assignment was two sets of 2X800 + 2X400.

I went out hard.

I didn’t have a watch on and somehow missed hearing the 400 split of our first repeat, so I was a little surprised when I heard 3:08 as I finished. Crap, that is too fast, I thought.

So of course I went out and ran a second faster on the next one.

The 400s were a breeze by comparison, but that third 800 was hell. My lungs were burning and my stride was getting all flat and slappy. On the second lap, I let the group I’d been hanging with slip away from me. That pissed me off.

You started this, and you’re going to finish it, I told myself.

So despite the fact that I have no balls and the track has no walls, I put ’em there and finished it hard.

It hurt. In a good way.

Suck it, scale.

*Thank you to each and every one of you who left such flattering and supportive comments on my last post! I absolutely did not intend for it to be a fishing-for-SOMI thing; I just wanted to explain my insecurities about my life and my writing lately. It’s comforting to know that so many of you have had similar feelings and experiences. And of course, I’m glad that there are people out there who want to read this blog. As always, I welcome feedback – negative or positive – in the comments or at eatdrinkrun [at] gmail. <3

Greetings from the…

…land of no internets.

Since I’m still trying to figure out the best internet solution for the new house, I’ll be coming to you live from the Starbucks down the road for the time being. I think it’ll work out well, because I haven’t unearthed the coffee maker yet anyway.

Thanks so much for all of your congrats on our anniversary! It was a great little getaway. We stayed at the H2 Hotel in Healdsburg – the newer, more eco-focused sibling of the venerable Healdsburg Hotel down the street – and I can’t say enough good things about it. (And they’re not even paying me, imagine that!) A few of the highlights:

  • Free bikes for guest use. I had actually looked in to booking one of those wine tours/limo thingies because I knew we wanted to visit several wineries and not have to deal with driving – I’m so glad I didn’t! Doing our own thing on bikes was much more fun (and FREE).
  • Most ridiculously comfortable bed ever. My husband stayed at the Healdsburg Hotel several years ago on a business trip and always talked about how it was the most comfortable bed he’d ever encountered. I don’t know if H2 uses the same beds, but it certainly didn’t disappoint.
  • FREE COLD WATER. I’m sure this was part of their eco schtick, but instead of having bottles of water in the mini fridge, there was a glass jug filled with chilled water and a note that invited us to refill at our convenience from the ice-cold filtered tap in the hallway. I am sure I annoyed my husband by remarking several times a day that this was the BEST THING EVER. Seriously: why can’t every hotel do this?  I always get dehydrated when I travel because I’m too cheap to pay for the $6 bottle of Aquafina and I hate drinking lukewarm tap water from a skeevy coffee mug.
  • Amazing free breakfast. I wanted to fill my suitcase with Rosemary-Pine Nut Scones.
  • Location and price. Froufy little wine country towns like Healdsburg aren’t cheap, obviously, but compared to the other “upscale” options in the area, it was quite reasonable.

Anyway. Enough about that. On to the running…or lack thereof. This was last week:

And the month of April:

That’s officially my lowest monthly mileage number in two years. Even last June/July/August, as I was cursing my way through my first Southern summer, I managed 120+. Ouch.

But oh well. I think that’s just how it’s gonna be for the next few months. I don’t want to curse my way though this summer; I want to hit the fall feeling refreshed and strong and ready to tackle high mileage. In order to get there, I need to get my strength up and body fat down and that means working hard at other things for a little while.

Speaking of which…next week, Gesina and I are starting this monthlong bootcamp that she found on Livingsocial. Should be a good time for my glutes and pecs, which haven’t seen a squat or a pushup in months.

Well, my coffee cup is empty; time to get on with my day. Thanks for bearing with me and my sporadic posting during all of this transition and travel!

All quiet

I love writing, but sometimes I feel like I have a limited supply of words to lay down. And unfortunately, I’ve had precious few of them left over for blogging over the last couple of weeks.

I’ve been working really hard on this other writing project. Okay…that’s an exaggeration. I’ve been intending to work really hard on this other writing project while being constantly distracted by Draw Something (user name: shelbyvanpelt – and no, I’m not very good at in spite of my love for MSPAINT, but it’s highly entertaining nonetheless.)

In any case, you haven’t missed much. For instance, I calculated my March mileage and it was ho-hum.

Starting the month off with a foot tweak and a bad bout of flu, I knew I wasn’t going to hit the 200+ mark, but still…I didn’t really bounce back from that like I should have.

This past week involved a lot of easy running. No speed work, and not even a real long run.

To be completely honest, I feel like I’ve already moved on from this marathon, and I’ve been spending way too much time thinking about all of the things that I want to do post marathon. Other fitness-y things that aren’t running. Because I love running, but I feel like I have a limited number of miles to give, and I’ve been coming up short all spring.

Gah. I’m just all out of sorts lately!

You know what will help with that…

Red Brick is one of the local craft breweries here, and I recently picked up a pack of their HopLanta IPA. Hoppier than a bullfrog with a stubbed toe, the label claims. Cute.

So I wasn’t blown away by this beer, but it wasn’t bad either. I’d call it medium hoppy, with a good dose of breadiness and not so much bitterness. Easy drinking and enjoyable. I expect it tastes better when served fresh from the tap on a warm patio on a summer afternoon…as opposed to out of a bottle from my fridge. 6.7% ABV.

Bottom line: Standard IPA that performs well at the local/regional level. (Purchased at Your DeKalb Farmer’s Market, $8/6)

So I want to get back to writing here daily or at least several times  a week, because I miss having that daily ritual…what should I write about? Are there any controversial topics in the running and/or booze world about which you’re dying to hear my uninformed opinion? No? How about random questions for a FAQ/NAQ? Fire away, friends.

(Swim) Suit Up!

So my foot still hurts, but I’ve decided I’m not going to get mopey about it. As many of you said in yesterday’s comments, it could be something as dumb as user error on the shoelace front.

(Although, to those of you who have experienced bizarro foot pain on account of shoes being tied too tight: did the pain continue after you took your shoes off? My foot seems to be crankiest when I’m walking barefoot on a hard surface. So obviously, I’m avoiding doing that.)

Anyway. NO MOPEY FACE! Whether this hiatus ends up being a couple of days or a couple of months, I’m not going to sit around and watch my fitness level tank. Yesterday. I lifted weights for almost an hour (!). And today, I sucked it up and paid for a day pass at the YMCA so I could use the pool to get my heart rate going a little.

However, before I could do that I had to – as Barney Stinson would say – SUIT UP.

The last time I was in a pool that didn’t have a swim-up bar was probably 4 or 5 years ago. But I knew I had a two-piece speedo lap suit, cap and goggles somewhere, so last night I tore the apartment apart (always an awesome thing to do when you’re in the process of moving) until I found them.

Cap and goggles? Still fit fine. But that suit? Not so much. Apparently I have, ahem, expanded in the lower region. My ass in the bottom half of that swimsuit called to mind marshmallows and rubber bands. Together.

It was kind of mortifying, and made me further realize something I already kind of knew: that even though I’ve been logging a ton of miles and running great workouts lately, my overall fitness and body fat/composition could use some work. But that’s a topic for another day.

One trip to the sporting-goods store later, I’d procured an ugly lap suit from the clearance rack that fits much better.

My ass is totally a Monet.

And then this morning, I swam.

You know what? It wasn’t actually that bad. After a few awkward laps, I fell into a rhythm and although I’m sure I’m a slow swimmer with terrible form, it was a decent workout. Since swimming is pretty damn monotonous, I broke it up in to sections with a few “recovery” breaststroke laps thrown in:

  • 6 lengths easy breast
  • 10 lengths crawl
  • 2 lengths breast
  • 20 lengths crawl
  • 2 lengths breast
  • 20 lengths crawl
  • 2 lengths breast
  • 10 lengths crawl
  • 2 lengths breast
  • 6 lengths hard crawl
  • 6 lengths easy breast

The whole thing took about 55 minutes. Afterward, I asked the lifeguard how many lengths are in a mile and he said 66 so I guess with 86 lengths I swam about 1.3 miles? Swimming/tri people, does that seem correct?

Other observations from the pool:

  • I cannot swim straight. I’m either right on top of the big black line or brushing my elbows against the plastic lane divider thingy. (Why are swimming lanes so narrow? Someone should pull a Kramer on that shit.)
  • And hence: I am so glad I had a lane to myself today. I am only going to go to the pool during really weird off-peak times.
  • Because: I’m terrified at the prospect of having to share a lane with an actual swimmer. Seriously, every time I  approached the end of the pool I breathed a sigh of relief when I didn’t see a pair of legs hanging there, about to disrupt my crooked flailing.
  • And sharing with multiple swimmers? The circle thing? Absolutely terrifying.
  • For some reason, I can only breathe on my left side. It’s like my head won’t turn all the way to the right or something. (I’m not an ambi-turner!)
  • And since I can’t quite go two full strokes without coming up for air, so I end up breathing on every stroke, which, I believe, adds to the whole package: flailing, wandering around the lane, gasping for air. I’m sure I look awesome in the pool.
  • People can say what they will about running being intimidating. At least there aren’t LIFEGUARDS watching you make an ass of yourself on the track.

It’s a good thing I got a properly fitting swimsuit.

And finally, February stats:

It was a pretty good month. Well, aside from this foot thing.

(Which I’m still really hoping is a temporary thing.)

5K short

Last night, I got home work and entered my run from earlier that day into my log. The page reloaded, updating to add the miles to January’s total, and it came up with this:

I groaned. So close. I was briefly tempted to head down to the treadmill and bang out 3.1 miles to make it an even 200.

But then I was even more tempted by the beer I’d bought on my way home. Because really…it’s just a number. It’s not like 200 monthly miles is any sort of real milestone for me. I was 200+ all through the fall last year. It just sucks to be so close.

In spite of the missing 5K, though, January was a decent month. I’m feeling good and looking forward to cranking it up a bit more in February, starting with the mile repeats I’m going to do this morning just as soon as my bagel digests.

(As a side note: so far, I’m really liking RunningAHEAD! Thanks to everyone who recommended it. Look at this pretty chart:

It color codes my workouts for me! I would never have the energy to make something like this on my own, but it’s kind of fun to have.)

Anyway. About that beer…

My fridge is packed with stouts, porters, and barleywine-style bottles right now, but all I wanted last night was something fresh and hoppy, served ice cold. So I picked up a six-pack of limited-release Saranac White IPA.

As suspected, this beer is a IPA-wheat hybrid, brewed with Citra hops and wheat malt. It poured a little cloudy with a big fluffy head.  Lots of orange and spices, with some mellow hops in the background. More wheat beer than IPA, really – but it hit the spot nonetheless. 6% ABV.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for something a little summery in the dead of winter, this is your beer. (Purchased at Peace Street Market, $9/six)

About those mile repeats. I must get going before the coffee pot lures me in for another refill. Happy Wednesday!

2,011 in 2011: the failure

The best thing about setting meaningless and arbitrary goals is that when you don’t meet them…nothing bad happens. Hooray!

I suppose there’s the possibility that I’ll drink enough champagne with dinner that I go streaking through the streets in the hours before the clock strikes, thereby logging another 6.7 miles. But given that we’re staying in and laying low tonight, I’d say it seems unlikely.

But hey – I cracked 2K for the year! Not bad, eh? I don’t really know how many miles I ran in 2010, but I’m quite certain that I ran more in 2011. So I’ve got that going for me.

Here’s a quick look at the other meaningless and arbitrary goals – as outlined in this post from last December – that I (mostly) failed to accomplish this year:

1) Learn to bake bread: PARTIAL SUCCESS

I owe any progress on this one entirely to Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day. And I still whip up a batch every so often. But I never really progressed beyond the basic Round Peasant Loaf. Oh well. The Round Peasant Loaf is still pretty delicious.

2) Learn to drink Scotch: FAILURE

Did I ever show you the photo of the time that I tried?

That’s the same face I was making during my flight out to Seattle last week, when the guy next to me kept ripping these terrible farts – and then, to my horror, apologizing. Every time! Awkward! Because what are you supposed to say to that? Just pretend it wasn’t your fart and look around with a disgusted look on your face like the rest of us, dude.

Anyway, Scotch. Yeah, still not my bag. But I’m sure I’ll keep trying.

3) Learn to spell: SUCCESS?

This was a stupid goal to begin with because obviously I already know how to spell. I’m just lazy. Like, I noticed that I misspelled JUBELALE in my last post but am I going to go back and fix it? Probably not. (Also, I’m not sure it counts as a misspelling if it’s not a real word.)

So really the goal should have been LEARN NOT TO BE LAZY. But then I wouldn’t have stood a chance.

Overall, though, I’m giving this one a green light if for no other reason that I believe Words With Friends has improved my grasp of the English language. Or just allowed me to learn a bunch of random words that I didn’t realize were actually words. Whatever! I know how to spell them!

4) Learn to fix a (bike) flat: FAILURE

Utter failure. Except to pull it away from the wall it to remove the cobwebs collecting around it, I haven’t touched my bike all year. Pretty sure both of the tires are flat now, too. Doh.

5) Learn to jump turn: MOSTLY A FAILURE

I did end up getting out west to ski last spring. Each year, I think I probably do a little better with my form. But I’m still mostly a disaster when it comes to even the smallest moguls. It’s hard to have skiing goals when you live in the southeast. #southernerproblems

6) Learn to carve a bird: FAILURE

For Thanksgiving this year, I literally just tore the meat off of the turkey and plopped it on a serving platter, as it was just the two of us so who cares about having pretty slices? And personal hygiene?

Still…I’d love to take one of those knife skills classes or whatever. Maybe next year.

7) Learn to taste wine: SUCCESS

I drank a lot of wine this year. And I went to a Wine Bloggers Conference. Learning FTW! Still definitely not an expert, but I’m starting to feel like I can talk reasonably intelligently on the subject.

8) Learn about beer: SUCCESS

Again…definitely still a novice, but I have learned so much this year. I’m counting it as a success.

9) Learn to apply mascara: SUCCESS

This one was easy. As soon as I started buying the good shit from Sephora instead of the crappy shit from Target, I stopped looking like I had fleas all over my face. I can handle spending 20 bucks on mascara a couple of times a year.

It’s true: money really can buy happiness.

10) Learn how to poach an egg: FAILURE

I don’t think I’ve even attempted this since I wrote that goal.

11) Learn to do a headstand: TOTAL FAILURE

I don’t think I’ve even attended a yoga class since I wrote that goal.

So, to summarize: My successes this year stemmed from drinking, shopping, and dicking around on my iPhone. Sounds about right.

In all seriousness, though, 2011 was a pretty good year. I trained pretty hard in the spring and ran a pretty decent half marathon. Then I trained pretty hard in the fall and ran a legit marathon PR (and a BQ to boot).  The latter ranks pretty highly among my favorite running experiences ever. So far, anyway.

So, really: who cares if I fell 6+ miles short of my yearly mileage goal? Or that I avoided my yoga mat and my bike like they were covered in cooties? Or that I can’t drink whiskey without making a ridiculous fart face? I’m taking some pretty good memories from 2011 when we say goodbye in a few hours.

As for 2012, there are some Big Running Plans and Mega Life Changes on tap in the months ahead. But I’ll save all of that for another post.

So…cheers to the new year! Be safe, have fun, don’t drink so much flavored vodka that you end up falling asleep with your head in a paper bag filled with your own vomit. (Not that I’ve ever done that…. #college)