Back at the beginning of this year … New Year’s Day to be exact … I made a goal for myself to become a more consistent runner. I love running and being in shape and feeling strong and healthy, but I’m never really good at being consistent unless there is something on the line.
My goal was to run 1,000 miles this year. That breaks down to roughly 2.74 miles every day. I also gave up my gym membership, so all these miles had to be run outside. I told a lot of my coworkers and family about my challenge so that they could hold me accountable in a way.
Everything was going quite smoothly with the challenge until June/July hit and we were working our butts off trying to get our kitchen remodel done in the evenings after work. Needless to say, there wasn’t much enthusiasm to go for a run at 11 p.m. after painting or laying floors for hours. I made a vow to myself that I would make these miles up easily in September and October — the glory months for runners. But, I failed to realize that I had already weighted those months with more miles (compared to January and February) and I was going to be running A LOT.
So, to catch you up, I have 103.3 miles left in my challenge. Below is a spreadsheet of all my logged running days:
The months break down like this:
January: 79.7 miles
February: 52.5 miles
March: 66.5 miles
April: 100.5 miles
May: 104.35 miles
June: 65 miles
July: 45 miles (!!!)
August: 52.5 miles
September: 106.15 miles
October: 114.5 miles
November: 104.5 miles
December: 5.5 miles so far
Total: 896.7 … 103.3 remaining
Running over 100 miles the last three months has been surprisingly refreshing. Yes, of course, there have been days that going for a run is the LAST thing I want to do, but otherwise I really look forward to running my favorite routes.
I also feel really great, and my legs looks like this:
But I didn’t start this challenge to have in-shape legs! Here are some of my favorite moments over the last few months:
*Running with Scott. I would say I’ve run about 25% of these miles by myself. The other 75% have been with Scott. He is a such a supportive husband and will don layers upon layers to go run with me in 20 degree weather. These runs are the best because we talk. I LOVE our talks. These hour long talks wouldn’t happen if not for our runs. We hash out feelings and frustrations, we laugh, we talk about finances and our future, God, and anything else that pops into our minds. I’m not saying these conversations wouldn’t happen otherwise … but they might not. And I’m thankful for them, and him!
*Running in weather I would normally be in the gym for. Living in the Midwest comes with its climate challenges. It’s hot and humid or raining or freezing or pleasant … all within a couple weeks! Learning to adapt and enjoy has taken on a whole other meaning. But there are many moments I would have missed out on had I been pounding away on a treadmill. Including: seeing our horse friend out on our country route that is friendly and will let us pet him, running laps around the track as fast as I can right before a thunderstorm rolls in, getting caught in a pop-up downpour that lasted 20 minutes, seeing other runners along my routes that offer a bit of encouragement on a crappy day … and the list goes on. I’m sooo thankful for all these moments.
*Running slow. I usually run to beat a previous time or set a goal before my run and try to beat it. Of course this happened during some of my runs, but I’m happy to say that on a lot of them there were no goals. I was running just to run and this was euphoric! It’s nice to finally listen to my body and challenge myself only when I’m ready … not when a schedule says I must run this many miles at this pace. It was nice to say, “that was a great 5 miles, I think I’ll walk the last one” and not beat myself up over it.
Honestly, when December 31, 2013 hits, the thing I will be most proud of is sticking with a New Year’s resolution goal for the whole year for the first time! Scott wants in on the goal for next year so we’ve been thinking of a goal to try together. I’m pretty sure biking will be worked in.
If you don’t have a measurable health or wellness goal for 2014, I strongly encourage you to pick something, whether it be to go hiking twice a month or walk so many miles or just be active a certain number of days each week. I promise you won’t regret it! If you’re already an active person on a regular basis — good for you! I’ll drink a homebrew in your honor. 🙂
Yay for 103.3 miles left!