2014 – Year End Review of a Runner

Well, I never thought I would run more than I did in 2013 – but in 2013 I had a lot of injuries – constantly battled an ankle issue and still got over 2500 miles. Fast forward to 2014 and a year where I learned what to do and not do with my ankle I was able to break 2900 miles – including walking and running.


The gang at TARC Spring Classic


Training and injury

What I learned was that I cannot really run on my ankles on tough trails often – I can do them, I love them – but if they are every day I end up having trouble walking – let alone running. So 2014 saw me do some road running – which I almost never did before and running more and more on easier surfaces – wide forest roads, bike paths, rail trails etc. It worked.


In late April I returned for the third year in a row to the TARC Spring Classic 50k – had a great run – so nice to see so many friends again!

On the trail at the TARC Spring Classic 50k

On the trail at the TARC Spring Classic 50k

In the area of “let’s try something new” I was led on again with Eric Sherman to try a fixed time event. I went down to New Jersey to run the 24 hour race at 3 Days at the Fair. We made a trip out of it and had a great time. We lucked out as our date of choice was warm and dry – the prior day was a monsoon! The day was a bit on the warm side but the overnight was great. I cruised right along – pretty much mixing up 25/5 (minutes) and keeping the stops to a minimum. Chafing got the better of me and started to slow me a great deal in the early morning. Around 5 am after I had long since PR’d for distance I stopped at our car/camp and got in the car to warm up as the sun was beginning to rise. At this point I had 79.5 miles. After about a half an hour I got out and carried on what was perhaps the ugliest ½ mile ever turned in – must have been about a half an hour – but I got my 80 miles, a PR and 10th place. Very happy – cannot wait to go back again next year!

I did something a little off beat and different too last year. In memory of my mother and along with my family I was a team captain for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Peabody. My plan was to run the entire event the best I could. It was on a high school track with hundreds of people on it. A great experience – the family camped and walked and I ran as much as I could. At the end of the event we had raised $3000 for ACS and I ran 62 miles. The kids did great – both getting well over 10 miles!

After that was out of the way it was time to recover a bit and focus on the fall event – the return to Ghost Train. Yet another attempt at 100 miles. Last year was great until about mile 55 and then it fell apart – I wanted to give it a shot. As like so many New England ultras it was great to see so many friends – and to meet so many new ones! Scott Baver, Kim Vanyo, Luciana, Gail Martin, Colleen, Gwen, Eric Sherman…it goes on and on – great group of people! Kim and I more or less ran the first leg together and then did run the next 60-65 miles together – Eric Sherman was there for support and was going to join us for some miles after mile 67.5 to hopefully get us to the end. Much like last year I was really good until I was not. Looking back I know I did not take care of myself at the last aid station I was at and I slowly over the next four miles deteriorated to the point that Kim went off to get help and Eric walked me into the aid station. I will always think in hindsight I quit to easily. Kim fought off a very tough overnight of fatigue and got her first 100 and Eric who was just going to do a few miles on his pre-surgery knee ended up pacing her for the last 30 miles! A great experience!

With friends at Ghost Train finish

With friends at Ghost Train finish

The Numbers

  • Total miles 2903
  • Running workouts 232
  • Walk/Bike workouts 234
  • Total cardio workouts 450
  • Calisthenics sessions 137 (epic fail – major disappointment – especially considering that 76 of these sessions were in January and February)
  • Total hours of cardio 614 (1.65 hours/day average)
  • Total hours of exercise 651 (1.75 hours/day average)

Total elevation gain 130,352 feet (a lot less than last year – but was not training for a mountain 100)

 Other crazy stuff

  • Number of runs over 5 miles 208 (50+ from 2013)
  • Number of runs over 10 miles 71 (+11 from 2013)
  • Number of runs over 15 miles  28 (+ 4 from last year)
  • Number of runs over 20 miles  13 (+ 2)
  • Number of runs over 25 miles    9
  • Number of runs over 30 miles    9 (+ 5)
  • Longest run  80 miles at 3 Days at the Fair (18 mile PR!!)

 Where I ran and walked (number of times)

  • Willowdale/Bradley Palmer       11
  • Middlesex Fells                        26
  • Lynn Woods                            10
  • White Mountains                      14
  • Danvers Rail Trail                     49
  • Treadmill                                   14
  • Roads                                      290

The Aftermath – where do I go from here

Well – I am just going to keep on running and walking fast. It works for me – it makes me happier and I love my running friends and the few events I do each year.

In 2015 I will do the TARC Spring Classic 50k again as part of my training for 3 Days at the Fair 24 hour again in May. The Relay for Life is happening again – but the city forced some changes. It is now 6 hours shorter, does not go overnight and is not on a track but in a field. My initial plan was to run two separate marathons in the 12 hours – but I am not committing to anything until after I see what the course looks like. If I do not like it I am going to walk the entire 12 hours.

In a sudden curve ball I threw at myself on a whim the other night I decided to enter the Vermont 100. I was bumming out when my friends entered and I said “the hell with it” I want another crack at a 100 and not be the crew, pacer or following online. So this will motivate me a ton to get thru my training. Need to work on elevation, running and power hiking – and I will!! I also really need to be much more consistent about my cross training – core stuff cannot slide like much of it did in 2014!

Thanks for listening – and all your support – hope you all have a great 2015!





One Response to “2014 – Year End Review of a Runner”

  1. Lance Eaton (@leaton01) Says:

    Phenomenal job Mike! I made it to 1250, which was a banner year for me!

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