As many of you know, I made – and accomplished – the goal of running 1000 miles in 2016. While it may not seem like a big deal, it kinda was. For me anyway.
Over the past few years, I’ve made running goals. Two years, ago, I made the goal to run 750 miles. And I succeeded. Then in 2015, I made the goal to run 1000 miles, but I failed to live up to it for multiple reasons – illness, laziness, bad planning. But what 2015 taught me was that 1000 is a lot more than 750 and that to hit the 1000 mile mark, I’d have to really plan ahead and also stick to that plan for 12 whole months.
Around about November 1, I was pretty close to 800 miles. And I realized that to hit 1000, I’d have to really double-down and do some serious running to meet the goal. Luckily, I was healthy and had fallen into a running rhythm that would make hitting the goal possible.
So I set about making the dream a reality! And on December 31st, I took my final run, finishing with a grand total of 1001.3 miles for the year!
What did I learn?
It takes planning to meet a long-term goal. And because this one was so easily measured, it was abundantly clear if I had a bad month (June) or a good month (December.)
Stretch goals are good. When I tried for 750, I made it in plenty of time. But when I stretched the goal to 1000, it was a real challenge. Because I’d failed at it before, I felt really good when I hit my goal this year.
A specific fitness goal doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll lose weight. Nope, I didn’t lose a pound this year. I am healthy, but I’m still a good 15 pounds over where I’d like to be. This points to the realization that true fitness is a whole body effort that will have to involve not just running, but other exercises and (gulp) changes in how I eat.
Days off are the best. December was a tough month, since I had to run 120+ miles in 31 days. It did not come without pain. I’ve come to appreciate scheduling days off for recovery AND the amazing run that follows that day off!
I will never forget when I hit my goal. I was running the return leg of my out-and-back on the Loblolly trail at Umstead when my watch beeped at me. I stopped to savor the moment. But then I kept running – mostly because I still had a mile to get to my car.
Stay tuned for posts about my 2017 goals and plans. I look forward to sharing!