Five Reasons I Love April, My Quarterly Running Summary and More!

April Double Run1

Happy Friday everyone! I hope everyone is doing well and is ready to roll right into the weekend! Life has been busy on this end … I haven’t posted in nearly two weeks, but have enjoyed keeping up with everyone’s blogs! More on that stuff later …

As I write this we are coming off our third straight warm day in a row. Today was in the low 50s compared to the 60s we’ve enjoyed the last couple of days. Of course, running in the pre-dawn hours means dealing with much colder temperatures – two of those three days were in the 20s!

But tonight I was able to relax after dinner because Lisa had to work, so I decided I was going out for a run … and it was great! Between the 8.5 miles I did this morning and the 9.5 I did tonight it was a solid 18 mile day – and with the week I’ve had I really needed the nice relaxing feeling of getting out in a single layer with shorts before the temperature dropped too much!

Although I talk about wishing away the year because of the cold weather, I have had a pretty solid running year so far – so let’s see how he first quarter went in a bit more detail!

First Quarter Running Summary

One good thing about doing so many weekly summaries is that it is easy to pull it all out and summarize! I dropped it all on a bar chart just to see how I have been doing. Take a look:

Miles Q1 2014

For the most part a solid and impressive first quarter. By the numbers:
– Total miles – 713 miles (through March 29th)
– Average weekly miles 55 miles.
– One week I broke 60 miles, but all weeks were above 40 miles.
– Longest run 18.5 miles
– Shortest run – 5.75 miles

I did a bunch of ‘runs with purpose’ throughout the period, which was about what I wanted since most of the mornings were sub-zero either in temperature or wind chill. Most of those were long weekend runs or hill challenges – again, I’ll take it!

Considering my goal was to break 2000 miles for the year … I would say I am well on my way. I just need to keep it up and start incorporating more speed work and other stuff on my weekly plan … but I’m not worried!

Races: None in the first quarter, and nothing planned for the second quarter as of right now. My first one I’m signed up for is the Ultra in July … but I assume that some time in May or June I’ll do something.

April is a special month for me, so as we lunch into it, here are five things that make it special to me:

Five Reasons I Love April

1. It WILL Finally Get Warm!

Sure it has been warm in the afternoon – but in the mornings it is COLD! Most of the year we get 20 degree differentials – 70 in the afternoon and 50 in the morning, or 20 in the afternoon and 0 in the morning. But in the Spring and Fall we see 40+ degree differentials regularly! That means I will be running in 15F temps and then walking around without a jacket when I get out of work!

By the end of April temperatures will make for some amazing morning runs … aaahhhhh, I just can’t wait!

2. My Birthday Month

Yay! Happy birthday to me! Well, not today … but soon enough. I have never had an issue with my birthday, never fought the march of time or wished for the years back. I have had some amazing times in my life, so why wish that away?

When I was a kid, often we would have birthday celebrations on different weekends to accommodate all of the family and friends. So I was never fixated on ‘that one day’ …now as an adult I am still pretty relaxed. but can always count on Lisa to do everything she can to make my actual birthday as special as possible.

3. Our Engagement Anniversary

One thing I always say is to never be ashamed about celebrating your love – no matter what! Lisa posted a photo of this yesterday for #TBT, and it remains a key highlight of our lives. She was still at Albany Med, I was traveling more and more for Bruker Instruments, but through that year we made it work and got engaged at the Gregory House on a romantic weekend and prepared to spend our lives together!

4. Fraternity 150th Anniversary Celebration

Belonging to Theta Xi Fraternity is one of the best things about my undergraduate years. Learning responsibility and irresponsibility, and meeting some of the greatest people who continue to populate my life (including Lisa), it was a great four years – but also full of ups and downs, missed opportunities and minor regrets. But also a huge amount of pride, as I joined a house that was crumbling, and was part of 8 guys who rebuilt it from the ground up – with plenty of help from alumni – and enjoy seeing it now.

Since graduating RPI I have gone back to the house many times, and the first few years I went to the biannual conventions a couple of times – including the 125th convention in St. Louis in 1989. Now we have hit 150, and everyone is converging on Troy, NY. Not everyone can be there, but it will be great seeing so many guys – a lot of whom I haven’t seen in person for 25 years!

5. Celebrating Everything with My Boys

Last weekend was the school musical, Chris had a DJ gig, this weekend we’re looking at schools in Rochester, later this month Danny goes to senior prom, both boys compete in the NYSSMA school music competition, are going to Washington DC to play and march with the school marching band … and on and on. There is so much we’re doing, and I have so much pride at the amazing young men they’ve become. I so enjoy the time we all get together, and so I look forward to a busy month running around!

My Blogging Hiatus and Plans

First off I want to thank Carina for her comments, saying “so prolific to so quiet with no warning”. She gave me a bit of a shove to post sooner than later. So what happened that I went from nearly 300 posts in 6 months to none for almost 2 weeks? Well, that is a bit of a story that I couldn’t find a way to post in a positive way – but suffice to say that not everything about a blog (or about participating in the blog community) happens in the public eye. It had little to do with anything outside of blogging, but being extra-busy exacerbated things. Here are a few things that got to me:

– Trolls – yeah, after all these years I allowed myself to get sucked into troll battles.
– ‘Lucky T-Shirt Science’ – Laura talked about this and referenced me … and as a engineering and statistics guy seeing some of the awful ‘studies’ out there and the incorrect use of them on blogs drives me nuts.
– Liars – for all of the ‘OMG that is SO TRUE’ comments on blogs, there are SO many dishonest moments out there. It is frustrating and disheartening – but discussing it isn’t allowed.
– Trampled toes – here is the thing, this is a hobby for me, so if I feel I am trampling on what you are trying to do on a blog that supports your profession or you are trying to build a blog to earn a few bucks … I feel bad. I did it at least a few times over the last month, so I already decided I needed to make some changes.
– Getting sucked into the vortex … I unfollowed, unsubscribed, removed, etc about 90% of blogs. RSS feeds and so on.

From here … well, I really don’t know. To an extent I will continue posting, but I have no schedule, no plans for specific weekly topical posts (he says as he adheres to ‘5 things Friday’), and really no plans other than to post when I feel like it.

Bottom line is I love running and learning about eating healthy, and enjoy the community here and at several blogs I follow, and want to continue enjoying them. So regardless of how much I post, I’ll see you at your blogs!

What are your weekend plans? How was your first quarter of running? Has warmer weather come your way>

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25 thoughts on “Five Reasons I Love April, My Quarterly Running Summary and More!

  1. Those are some impressive miles for the first quarter of the year! Imagine what you will be able to do now that the weather is warming up!
    I have been happy with my first quarter of running this year, but as I am getting ready for my marathon I am starting to think about my plans and goals for the rest of the year.
    I had been wondering where you went:) Sometimes its good to get away from the blog world for a bit. It really can be a vortex that is easy to get sucked into! I know it is always refreshing for me when I take some time away. But I am glad to see you back!

  2. I wondered what was going on – but I know that life happens so I didn’t want to pry. I try not to get caught up in the drama too – and I luckily haven’t had too many trolls here yet (but now that I allow anonymous comments, I’m sure they’ll come). I read a study recently that said that 97% of online profiles are pretty close to who they actually are, but I sometimes think the remaining 3% are the most vocal. It’s no fun and a bummer because it brings down something that has the potential to be so positive.

    The thing that sometimes gets to me is how overwhelming things are – so much I want to read and I feel like I never catch up. Your blog, however, is one I never want to miss- it always has thought commentary and links. I think we have to figure out how blogging fits into our lives, and that changes, but however you decide to fit it in, I’ll read!

    • Thanks Laura! I loved your politician post, and it just amazes me that people would be following you through all of the stuff you post and unfollow over THAT? Pretty tame stuff, but also loads of fun and wonderfully informative! It is stuff we all know as runners, but is one of those ‘step back and see the big picture’ things.

      As for the trolls … it wasn’t so much here as at a couple of other places and over email. Funny thing, I actually have no problem at all with disagreement – and spirited and heated argument even. In fact, I tend to think most blogs suffer from a ‘always nice’ comment environment that I think diminishes frank discussion. Since I come from the ‘before web’ age where there was always spirited discussions in USENET or forums, I miss that debate … and let’s just say it is seldom appreciated in the blog world πŸ˜‰

      • I actually completely agree with you – I like healthy, productive discussion and that includes his agreement. I’m not sure how to foster it on my own blog though. It’s part of why it tried to make commenting so easy on my blog – so we’ll see what happens!

  3. Oh, and a case in point – I posted a piece about politicians today, and immediately saw a few followers drop off. I want to say I don’t care, but I hate the idea of offending anyone (or seeming mean-spirited) but I also don’t want to water down or compromise who I am and what I believe. It’s quite the paradigm some days.

  4. Great job on the miles and consistency you are definitely on pace for 3,000 miles not 2,000 :-).

    The warmer weather means that my attitude is getting better and my miles will go up a little and maybe a little extra on the speeds side of things.

    I was wondering where you were off to.

    Mike do not let the trolls or asshats get to you. Unfortunately, if you reach a certain level of success in blogging, they seem to take pleasure in seeing how much they can piss you off or how much they can get you to stop blogging.

    Running Around the Bend is your blog, write about what you want and screw them. Do not feed the trolls and do not bother reading their crap, moderate the comments, delete troll comments without reading past a certain point and if they continue to keep being a troll – block them as spam. It is easier on the blood pressure to delete and ignore their crap than it is to get all worked up reading the crap they say to purposely get a reaction out of you.

    If someone who is blogging for a living cannot compete with your blog, that is their problem not your’s, because you are not stealing anyone’s content and your blog is from your heart, which is what I enjoy about reading it.

    Keep your blogging fun for you and keep it what YOU want it to be, not what others think or want it to be.

    Every so often, I go through and clean the feeds/blogs etc. that I follow, just part of something we all need to do from time to time.

    • Thanks Harold – we go back and forth on how much the weather either kills or energizes our mojo … and it is just so true! Glad you are feeling it, and again to reiterate how much I loved your shoe shopping tales. We’re off to Rochester tomorrow (college visits for the boys) and hopefully I can stop in at the running shoe store there.

      And thanks for the advice – I didn’t let them get to me as much as I saw some degree of negativity coming through in my entire engagement with the blogging community (ok, not entire, with my friends I still have nothing but joy reading and commenting). And it made me step back and ask myself some questions …

      And frankly coming back with a positive blog post (I had some negative ones in draft) and having such a tremendous response … reminded me of WHY I do this. Sometimes I thing we need that no matter how long we’ve been around!

      • So much truth in that last paragraph. Keep up the great work and definitely keep smiling. The running seems to be taking care of itself.

        I did the same thing last summer and pulled back. I got back to where I feel I belong and to be honest I am having fun with my blogging – no pressure and I do what I want, not what others expect me to do, which makes all the difference.

  5. You’re backkkk (at least for now)!! I’ve had an email typed out to you multiple times and deleted every time, because I wanted to give you your space. I’m glad to hear everything in life is going OK (albeit busy), but I’m sorry for all the blog issues. I am at this point pretty convinced that I’m just the terrible combination of naive/ oblivious/ not popular enough to get notice, but I’ve never had to deal with trolls or haters, at least that I know of! And if you’re in any way talking about me (trying to make money off my blog … well, not on my blog, but off of services that are related to and “advertised on” my blog), then know that I don’t feel like you’re trampling on my toes. I really respect your opinion and would love to see you continue posting, commenting, and sharing as you have been. I hope you do, but I also know how much time blogging takes, and if you’re not 100% into it, then giving yourself the permission to step back is a big favor to yourself!

    • Thanks so much Megan! I love that we read so many of the same things, but I really think I’d rather be commenting on your posts on the subject than writing myown. I have the interest but was getting to broad in my focus and need to tighten up again. As for trolls and haters … well, you ARE so nice and create such a positive space on your blog that a person would have to be a special type of lowlife to mess with that! πŸ™‚

  6. I was wondering where you went and kept stopping over to see if my feed wasn’t catching your posts or not!! I’m so glad you are back and that the weather is getting nicer and you are totally rocking your running in the first quarter of the year. The weather here has been getting nicer so I am SO loving that!! This weekend my little sister is coming to visit us tomorrow and I have my last “long run” of 16 miles before really tapering and I am going to soak up the good weather with my boys!! Have a great weekend!

    • Thanks Sara – I hope your taper is off to a good start … this weekend was so nice and such a joy to be outside! Hope you enjoyed it with your sister and your boys!

  7. That is some seriously awesome mileage! Congrats on a great first quarter. As you know, I had some circumstances that kept me away from it a bit, but hopefully that’s all in the past now.

    I, too, was wondering where you were and was so happy to see you post today! But I know how life can really get in the way sometimes and I know that I’ll still be on the lookout for posts from you no matter when you write them! Happy happy birthday month to you! I know some seriously awesome people with April birthdays! I like to try to pretend that I don’t want mine to happen, but usually I’m just being melodramatic. It seems like the years get better as they go on anyway. πŸ™‚

    Hooray for warmer weather and more comfortable temps outside! I’m starting to get into my longer long runs now so it’s an attempt at 15 miles tomorrow when the temperature should be somewhere in the 40’s? I don’t know, but I’ll take that over teens any day of the week! I hope you have a great weekend!

    • Thanks Lauren! I never worry about my birthday – hard to believe how fast the years pass, but I just try to keep myself as young and happy and healthy as I can! Glad to see how well you are doing!

  8. So inspiring! I can’t wait to follow your ultra progress. I had a very good friend attempt her first 100 mile race last weekend….and just got released from the hospital yesterday. Scary, scary stuff. I was just wondering about you this week and hoping everything was OK, glad to know it’s a conscious effort on your part to slow down a bit!

    • Thanks Laura – yeah, that IS scary … I will never forget watching people carted away in ambulances from my most recent marathon! It is something I don’t take for granted – at all.

  9. I thought my bloglovin’ was playing up- I add you to it and then, BOOM gone! Good to see you back though!

    At the end of the day, it’s your blog, you do what you want to do and the direction it goes- whether that means posting 5 times a day or posting 5 times a year- whatever works for you! As your weather heats up, ours heads to the lower end…the downside of following bloggers who are mostly in the northern hemisphere!

  10. I had seriously worried that you’d been hit by a car (sorry if my checking on you was too in your space, just worried). Glad you’re back, on whatever schedule is right for you. What an awesome first quarter!

  11. I just figured you were on some exotic vacation and would come back posting about runs on the beach in some tropical paradise, wishful thinking that I was vicariously living through as I ran through yet another 40 mph wind/1 inch of snow in 1.5 hours storm this weekend. Glad to have you back, and I hope that you maintain balance/peace with your blog and the issues you shared (thank you for sharing, it is often hard to articulate thoughts that are meaningful/deep).

    I do think many bloggers in the fitness and better living community are more zealots than gurus. A guru has confidence, knowledge, experience and is happy to share with others and be challenged on his/her beliefs with composure. Zealots are insecure and outwardly project a false confidence to affirm their own beliefs and react violently (as much as typing on a keyboard blog comment can be considered violent, but the words matter) when challenged.

    The problem for people who care about the difference is how to determine which category a blog falls into. For me, the very quick litmus test is how many of the comments feel like tweets where the readers just ping each other with a litany of ZOMG YOU RULE type of comments, rather than thoughtful ones. No judgement, but I personally prefer thoughtful blogs and comment discussions.

    • Thanks for the comment – yeah, I WISH I was on a tropical vacation! This winter has definitely been punishing, to the point where I find my motivation compromised when the temperature makes me wear heavy hat and gloves …

      As for blog types, I totally agree – and I think for me the trouble was that some people who run ‘zealot blogs’ are actually nice enough folks, but their blogs drove me nuts! πŸ™‚

      There is a reason I constantly tell people not to seek or take advice from me – except for the real generic stuff like ‘exercise is good’ and ‘seek nutrients through food’ and so on … real pearls of wisdom! πŸ˜‰

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