My Blog Stats for 2011 and a Big THANK YOU

I love stats. The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 100,000 times in 2011. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Also, the stats above didn’t seem to pick it up, but on December 19th my blog went viral somewhere (still not sure how) and my traffic shot up to 58, 663 page views. Wow!

  • Total views for December: 147,949
  • Total views for 2011: 244,168
  • Total views for 2010: 46,408
  • Current average hits per day: 873
Here are a few ways this blog impacted my life in 2011:
  • Many new, lifelong friendships
  • Thousands of dollars in free gear (shoes, clothing, etc) and food for product reviews
  • A better job opportunity
  • A move to San Diego
  • A new relationship

I’m so humbled to see such tremendous growth and I want to take a minute to deeply thank all of my faithful readers and commenters. You guys are such an inspiration to me. You keep me on track and focused. When I’m out on a hard run, I think about not letting you down. Some of you have been with me since the first day I started blogging. Thanks for a great year. I hope you will follow me into 2012 for more adventures!

The next few posts will contain:

  • A race report for Across the Years (This is a good one!)
  • Goals for 2011 (What they were and did I meet them?)
  • Goals for 2012

Stay tuned!

About these ads

I’ve got a new race schedule for 2011.

This year I want to find other people to race with, so I’m posting my schedule in the hopes that I might encourage people to tag along. It doesn’t matter your fitness level or if you’ve never raced before. Pick a race and let’s do it together. I’ll even help you train! The more the merrier. Email me: vanessaruns@gmail.com.

MARCH 2011

St. Patrick’s Day 5k Run on March 13th in Toronto, Ontario

I’m opening my racing season with this super fun St. Patrick’s Day dash. The kind people at sportkilt.com shipped me this Ultra Mini Women’s Kilt yesterday, which I will wear at this race. They have also sent me one of their men’s kilts, which I will hold a giveaway for in the near future.

Race info here.

Register here.

Around the Bay 30k on March 27th in Hamilton, Ontario

This will be my first 30k without shoes, which I will be running with a few other BRS members. I’m quite excited about this one!

Registration and info here.

APRIL 2011

Harry’s Spring 8k Run-Off to Fight Prostate Cancer on April 2 in High Park, Toronto, Ontario

This will be my first year running this race. I absolutely adore this park and will run there any chance I get! I’ve heard it’s very well organized. Looking forward to it.

Registration and info here.

Hustle for Hunger 5k on April 17th in High Park, Toronto, Ontario

My favourite park again! There are some great trails here and I’m hoping that one of these races will take me through some of them. If not, I might just take the rest of the day and hit them up on my own.

Registration and info here.

MAY 2011

Mind the Ducks 12 Hour Run on May 14th in New York

My birth month! And my very first out of town run! Also my first ultra. Also an official BRS meet-up. And an opportunity to finally meet a few of my good Facebook friends. Many exciting things about this race! Spots are very quickly running out, so now is the time to register if you want in. I can’t wait!

Registration and info here.

Toronto Marathon on May 15th

The marathon the day after my ultra. A true test of endurance. We’ll see what happens here.

Registration and info here.

Toronto Women’s Half Marathon on May 29th in Sunnybrook Park, Toronto, Ontario

I did this race when it was just a women’s 5k and now they’ve added a half. This is another one of my favourite parks with some great trails, though unfortunately I expect the half will probably be on a paved road. They try to make it sexy by having male firefighters handing out water, though I have to say the firefighters for the 5k race I ran weren’t all that inspiring. Plus now I live right next to a firehouse so technically I can get hosed down after any training run. The main incentive for me on this race is the stats. I want to see how I come out in a women’s-only competition. This is also the day after my 29th birthday!

Race info here.

Registration here.

JUNE 2011

A Campaign of Hope 5k on June 4th in High Park, Toronto, Ontario

This is a very small, low-key run with a lot of sentimental value. It was one of the first races I ever ran, and I remember showing up like a total beginner with fuel belts and having carb loaded. This is also the first and only race that I ran with my dad. My dad isn’t the greatest person in the world, but he’s very competitive. One year when he heard I was running this, he came to the park and ran it in jeans and work shoes. He actually passed a lot of people. He’s the kind of person who will die of a heart attack if he has to, but he’ll still make sure he passes you. Another memory I have of this race is coming in first girl. I had never been first at anything and it was the most incredible feeling! This year I want to run without shoes, and I’m aiming to come in top five overall.

Registration and info here.

Mitsubishi City Chase on June 25 in Toronto, Ontario

This is like a scavenger hunt/Amazing Race-type competition. I’ve always wanted to do this, but I need a partner to register. Who’s in??

Registration and info here.

SUMMER 2011

Acura Toronto 10-miler, mid-July 2011

I’ve done this before and it was super fun. Very scenic and well organized. I ran in shoes though, so in some ways I feel like it didn’t count! I’d love to run this again. They have yet to set a date for it.

Registration and info here.

Sprint Triathlon on August 14 in Cobourg, Ontario

I’m going to aim for my first triathlon this summer! I’m hoping for the sprint distance in Cobourg. It’s a beautiful beach and a great small town.

Registration and info here.

FALL 2011

Noble Canyon 50k on September 17th in San Diego, California

I’d really like to get in another ultra before the year is up and I’m considering this one.

Registration and info here.

Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 16th

This will be my last marathon of the season! I’m planning to kill it. Just leave everything I have out on the road. Best case scenario: I qualify for Boston or New York.

Registration and info here.

Mad Dog Scramble 8k Trail Race on October 30th in Sunnybrook Park in Toronto, Ontario

I have such fond memories of this race, and it’s one of the only real trail runs in my city. Very hilly, very challenging, and tons of water crossings. I can’t pass it up.

Registration and info here.

Pick a race and join me!

I was never a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions.

Maybe because they seemed pointless. I’d watch people make the same resolutions year after year and accomplish nothing. Or maybe I was just too young in previous years to appreciate the concept. Time seemed infinite, so I couldn’t really understand what the rush was to accomplish anything. It could have also been because my life was a roller coaster, more focused on survival and much less on self-actualization and bettering myself. My resolution, like my Christmas wish, was just to survive another year.

But I’m at a different point in my life now. I’m not on a roller coaster. I don’t feel immortal. And I’m not a failure. I know that if I make a resolution, I can stick to it. I can, if I choose, end the year better than I did the year before. Whereas previously I had no clue where I might be in 12 months, I now have the foresight and stability to envision my life one year from now. Now I think that resolutions are what you make them. And I want to make mine great.

I don’t like to call them resolutions. I look at them more like goals, which I’ve tried to break down into months. That way they’re more specific and progressive. Plus it’s easier to stay on track if I have a smaller goal to focus on at different points throughout the year.

So here are a few things to expect from me in 2011:

1. I plan to graduate in March and establish my own practice as a holistic nutritionist. I am currently working on a business plan and by the end of this year I hope to have set most of the groundwork for a successful practice. I am very detail-oriented and excited by both the minor and major challenges that await me through this process.

2. I plan to run 2011 kilometers in 2011. This works out to just under 1250 miles. My December mileage goal of 150 miles was a success, but it didn’t leave much time for cross training and very little recovery time. This mileage goal will keep me on track, but still allow time for rest and triathlon training. Which brings me to…

3. I plan to complete my first triathlon. This is something I have wanted to do for the longest time, but for the first time this year I am not daunted by the distance. I’d like to compete in a sprint triathlon in August (I will be posting a revised race schedule on Thursday), which is a 750m swim, 20k bike ride, and 5k run. The run is no issue. I think biking is also fairly straightforward (I was a biker before I became a runner). My weak link is the swim. So far I can swim 1km without stopping, but I plan to continue training for endurance and speed. When the weather gets warmer, I will start training in lakes.

4. I want to start running more with others. I’ve been to the Running Room training runs near my house a couple of times, but it doesn’t really feel like a fit for me. I hate the walk/run intervals and I never feel challenged. The routes are fairly flat and boring. I’d love to run more trails, more hills, or even just faster. I’d love to find a group that can occasionally push me a little harder than what I’m used to. Hopefully this will be the year that I find that.

5. It’s important to me that I vary my training. I find that I benefit from this greatly and I have specific goals as to how I can incorporate this into my year. Generally, it means more swimming, more hills, more trail runs, more intervals, and more core work instead of only flat, consistent running. I mentioned previously that this year would be all about testing my limits. Since I started running in 2008, I’ve built a very solid base and I’ve never had an injury. I feel I’m at a point where I can trust my body to tell me when to stop and push my limits a little more often.

6. The hardest thing I will run this year is the 12-hr Mind the Ducks race (my first ultra!) immediately followed the next day by the Toronto Marathon. My goal is to survive this.

7. My specific focus in January will be meditative running. I will be posting more about this soon.

8. I will be making more of a transition towards whole foods and experimenting with different types of foods and preparation, particularly whole grains and legumes and vegetables. This will require some extra organization and planning and time.

SMALL CHANGES

Besides big, life changing plans, everyone gets an itch in January to make some sort of immediate change. That happens to me too. So here are the things I’ve tweaked so far:

1.  I started running to school. Whenever I have class, I run there and run back. It’s a round trip of 15k. This is still very much a work in progress. I’m still underestimating the time it takes me to get there and I’m usually late for class. The biggest challenge is carrying my backpack. It’s a good fit for running, but I’m not used to the extra weight or even the sensation of carrying something. I’m also trying to plot a better route that doesn’t include as many street lights, though in the end it might be longer than 15k.

2. I am now buying in bulk. This is saving me money while also forcing me to prepare my meals with more time and planning. This has resulted in more nutritious meals prepared more naturally. You can see pictures of my favourite bulk food store and read about it here.

3. I’ve developed a semi-obsession with okra. I found these okra chips at my bulk food place and I thought they tasted ok. I really love okra’s shape and colour and consistency. Even the name is awesome. I’ve been experimenting with it and I’m still trying to find a way to prepare it that I absolutely love. It’s a great vegetable for experimenting.

4. I’ve started soaking my grains and sprouting my beans. This has been an amazing experience for me. You’ll find pictures and more info on my facebook page. There is no feeling in the world like watching something grow and come alive. I know it’s just sprouts, but you feel a connection to your food. I’m someone that grew up on cans and instant foods, so watching something prepare slowly over days is a wonder to me.

This is going to be an amazing year.

Welcome 2011!

I’m all rested up and excited to greet a brand new year. My holidays felt short, but I have many fond memories of 2010 and no regrets.

Here are some of my favourite highlights:

1. My goal for December was to run 150 miles, which I finally finished on December 30th. I’m thrilled about this because a) there were several times when I was certain I wouldn’t make my mileage and b) except for 30k, I did it all without shoes and completely injury-free.

I had mentioned previously that 2011 would be all about testing my limits, and my December goal was a big part of that. I couldn’t repeat this every month, but I learned many things through these miles that I wouldn’t have otherwise known. I will be blogging more about this experience soon.

2. I put my shoes away. I started using VFFs and running barefoot, and have enjoyed a whole new running experience. I ran my first trail race ever this year, the Mad Dog Scramble. It was also my first race in VFFs. This was by far my hardest race, and I killed it. I was so proud of myself. After that I started seeking out more trails, which led me to find my woods, which have since been a source of great pleasure and enchantment for me.

Here are some previously unseen pictures that I recently found from 2010’s Mad Dog Scramble:

That’s me on the left (behind the flag) trying to explain what VFFs are to the dude behind me who asked.

I have to remember to smile more.

I’m happy, I swear.

3. I came in first girl at a race! It was only a small 5k, but it was exhilarating nonetheless, and an experience I hope to replicate in 2011. In 2009, this was my first 5k race. It’s a very hilly route, and that year I had only trained on flat surfaces. The hills nearly killed me. In 2010 I came prepared – and finished first girl. One of my proudest running moments of the year.

4. I ran my first marathon! Amazing amazing amazing experience. I have no words. My only fear is that I’ll never be able to replicate the awesomeness of that first time. I was immediately hooked, and marathons for me are sure to be a lifelong endeavour. Years from now I’ll look back on 2010 and fondly remember my first one.

5. My blog has been a great success. I started blogging on February 17th 2010. At year’s end and 180 posts later, I am very proud of the loyalty of my readers, most of whom I’ve gotten to know over this past year. You guys are awesome and you keep me blogging and I appreciate all 715 of your comments!

Here are some fun stats:

  • Total blog views in 2010 = 46,000
  • Pictures uploaded = 538
  • Busiest day of the year = April 18th at 614 views
  • Here is my most popular post on barefoot running

5. I filtered out all my relationships. And kept only the good ones. This was extremely hard to do, especially since I happen to be related to some very toxic people. I learned that it was much better to cut these relationship from my life, family or not, than to allow them to continue poisoning me. As soon as I did this, I felt a sense of calm, contentment, and peace.

I said goodbye to my dad, who is manipulative and abusive. To my grandfather, who is a pedophile. To my grandmother, who supports his actions. And to the church that allows him to be a leader. Also gone are many friendships that always take but never give. And in their place – new friendships. I’ve met some amazing people this year, and I’m looking forward to spending more time with them in 2011. I learned to control my world and who can be a part of it.

My life is changing. I have many exciting plans for 2011 and many goals. I have compiled these into a list which I will share on my next post, but there is one change that I must announce now:

In March I will be completing my final exams (oral and written) to become a Holistic Nutritionist and will need some time to study for this. I have also been working with some clients, and plan to take more clients on this month (I will be blogging more about this soon). Because of these and other responsibilities, I am going to start blogging bi-weekly instead of daily. My posts will now be made every Tuesday and Thursday evening at 10pm EST. I’ve taken some time over the holidays to pre-plan these posts, and they’ll likely be longer. I’ve got some great guest bloggers and giveaways lined up as well, but that’s all I’ll say for now!

POST-SCRIPTS

Today I had my first guest post go live! Check it out here. Alan is one of my running mentors and you’ll be hearing more about him soon. In the meantime, follow his blog.

I entered Barefoot Angie Bee’s Running Chic’s Giveaway. You can do the same here.

I hope everyone had an amazing end of year, and I hope you’ll continue to follow me through 2011.

Happy January!

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