First up…the stats.
January- 80.6 miles
February- 80.8 miles
March- 77.9 miles
April- 95.6 miles
May- 52 miles (knee pain mid-way through the month)
June- 78.5 miles
July- 84 miles (introduce Vibram Five Fingers Bikila’s into the mix, ran in 4 separate states: Iowa, Tennessee, Nebraska, Colorado)
August- 81.4 miles
September- 86.6 miles (ran again in Colorado at SYMC Summit)
October- 73.8 miles (slight foot/heel pain, replaced shoes -they were at 400 miles and were due)
November- 85.1 miles- Two races:Marion Iowa Turkey Trot and Irvington Virginia Turkey Trot (ran this in my Vibrams)
December- 128.8 miles (ran in Sioux Falls South Dakota)
Total Miles for 2011: 1005.1
So..here was the deal. The mileage goal for 2011 was 950 (100 more than 2010’s mileage). In mid-November, the crew at Runner’s World Magazine came up with a challenge called the Runners’ World Run Streak. The goal was to run at least one mile, every day, from Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Day. The Thanksgiving Day run was a given, I was signed up for the Irvington Virginia Turkey Trot. I ran in my Vibrams (first race in them) and did great.
The two goals (950 + Streak) seemed at odds. Simply doing a mile per day wouldn’t help with the 950; on top of that, I’d be taking a huge step back. So, I simply played it safe: M-W-F-Sa I’d run 4+, and Su,T, Th would be 2+. By mid-December, I was at the 950 mark. And, at the schedule I was on, I’d be about 20 miles shy of 1000. So, I decided on Thursday, December 22, that I was going to shoot for the 1000. As you can see above, I ended a tad over the mark.
Here are some lessons:
From November 24 through January 1, every run had a purpose. I never questioned whether I was going to run, only how far, and how fast (I am NOT fast). That T-Day run in the Vibrams really killed my legs. For 4 days, I could hardly walk, the step or two at the end of the hall at my dads house in Virginia was awful. Push through pain.
My pace slowed way down. It simply became a numbers game. I just needed to last, to endure. I watched where I stepped. I slowed down when I wanted to. I enjoyed running. Live life joyfully.
On December 12th, just 2 weeks in and 3 to go, I was done. Exhausted. Beat. I read my Bible that morning from Matthew 24:44. There, Jesus tells his disciples that they need to be ready at all times. To make it. The only easy day was yesterday.
I’m not sure where this ends. It’s now January 4, and I’ve kept the streak going; I’m at 44 days. My body is aching, the left heel has been aggravating me off and on for the past 2 weeks. When I sit with my left knee bent and then get up to walk, my first 10 steps are more of a “hobble”. But.
It’s January in Iowa and there is NO snow on the ground. Monday’s run was really cold, but I have a new jacket that I’m in love with. The newest Runner’s World arrived, with some pointers on eliminating the very pains that I’m dealing with. And I just found out that this year, the Marion Arts Festival is adding a half-marathon to their normal 5k- that’s in May. I’m generally not a “glass half-full” guy, but things are looking up. And tomorrow looks like a great day for a run.