Running is often a social event at MySQL, where a sizable portion of my 108 runs last year were with other MySQLers: Six times with Zack Urlocker (EVP Products), six times with Patrik Backman (Dir SW Eng), twice each with Larry Stefonic (SVP APAC) and Clint Smith (Legal Counsel), and once each with Kristofer Pettersson (SW Eng), Saskia Schweitzer (Training coordinator), Mikael RonstrÃ…Â¡m (Principal Engineer/Senior MySQL Architect), and Nicolas Pujol (Sr Director, Alliances & Channels). Running can even be social time spent with non-runners (not just on the phone), as three of my runs were with MySQLers on bike: Once with Michael "Monty" Widenius (Co-founder), once with Lenz Grimmer (Community Team) and half a time with Matthew Montgomery (Support Eng) who suffered a flat tyre.
For me, statistics can be one of many good motivators for running.
I'm proud to note a new record of 1259 km for last year, which is a lot more than the earlier years (the time series for 2001 to 2006 goes 523 km, 477 km, 424 km, 501 km, 809 km, 673 km). Also the pace is faster. My average speed is up from around 9 km/h in the early years of the century to nearly 11 km/h last year.
In fact, I spent nearly 120 hours (4.9 days, to be exact) running during 2007:
Month km Time km/h min/km Ct
1 Januari 61 km 61 km 6:04:05 10,1 km/h 5:55,6 6
2 Februari 47 km 108 km 4:32:11 10,3 km/h 5:49,3 4
3 Mars 92 km 200 km 8:55:22 10,3 km/h 5:48,0 8
4 April 145 km 346 km 13:58:56 10,4 km/h 5:46,2 13
5 Maj 119 km 465 km 11:06:24 10,7 km/h 5:35,7 10
6 Juni 154 km 619 km 14:03:05 10,9 km/h 5:29,1 13
7 Juli 71 km 690 km 6:35:17 10,8 km/h 5:31,8 7
8 Augusti 82 km 772 km 7:31:26 10,9 km/h 5:29,7 7
9 September 128 km 901 km 11:42:47 11,0 km/h 5:28,4 11
10 Oktober 131 km 1 032 km 11:27:24 11,4 km/h 5:15,1 11
11 November 130 km 1 161 km 11:45:28 11,0 km/h 5:26,4 10
12 December 97 km 1 259 km 8:59:28 10,8 km/h 5:33,2 8
2007 1 259 km 1258,51 4,9 d 10,8 km/h 5:33,8 108
(If km/h and min/km tells you as little as miles/h and min/miles tell me, you may benefit from my computation in Neo Office that the slowest month of January had an average speed of 6,3 miles/hour and a pace of 9:32 minutes per mile, whereas the fastest month of October had an average speed of 7,1 miles/hour and a pace of 8:27 minutes per mile).
Some MySQLers of course grow tired of all these runners boasting their training, and would prefer us to all play poker instead. Personally, I'm glad to note that an ex couch potato like myself can make steady progress over the years. At school, I always belonged to the last quarter of boys being picked out for any team sports.
Benefits from running are many. Besides being social and healthy, it increases stamina. Stamina is good not just for work, but also for other sports activities: Running helped me climb the GroÃƒÅ¸venediger mountain (3674 m) in July without belonging to the most tired quarter of climbers in our group. And I enjoy winter sports (last year snowboarding in Wolkenstein in Italy) even more, when tiredness seldom if ever hits my legs.
Finally, running is a great way to follow the seasons in the most beautiful areas close to where you live or travel. I have a set of regular runs that I prefer over others, and where I do my seasonal observations. Of the 108 runs during 2007, 71 were 11,79 km runs around Isarwehr (in Munich), 20 were 11,6 km runs around Sellmo (near my country house in Nagu, Finland -- an extended MÃ…Â¡viken Runt by Nagu IF), 3 were 12,99 km runs around Ikea (in Grankulla, Finland) and 14 elsewhere: Orlando, Rancho San Antonio, Palo Alto, Portland, Hamburg (Sports Day with Lenz), Heidelberg, and a few non-Isarwehr runs in Munich. BTW, thanks Garmin Forerunner for measuring the distances.
For 2008, I look out to run more and faster than 2007, and to be able to support more mountaineering, more snowboarding, and perhaps a "trans Alp" on a mountain bike. Whether I'll go for my fifth marathon somewhere remains to be seen.