With apologies to the Proclaimers’ for paraphrasing their hit from the 90s (and to you for putting that song in your head), I’m officially announcing my New Year’s Resolution (better late than never).
Here it is: I will run over 1,000 miles in 2013.
How far is 1,000 miles?
1,000 miles is a long way no matter how you slice it. To put it in perspective, if I got in my car and drove 1,000 miles away from where I live in Bethesda, Maryland, I could almost make it to either Springfield, Missouri, Miami, Florida or just short of Halifax, Novia Scotia almost 15 hours later.
I don’t know about you, but spending 15 hours in a car headed in any direction – or for any destination – seems pretty daunting.
The rationale behind the goal
First and foremost, this is an attainable goal for me, but it won’t be easy. I’ve come close to running 1,000 miles in a year before the last time I trained for a marathon. I ran a little over 915 miles in 2011 and probably would have surpassed 1,000 miles that year if I didn’t have to take significant parts of November and December off due to a foot injury.
I’m going to run a marathon in the Fall (more on that in another post) so staying faithful to the training program I select will go a long way in helping me meet my goal, but I’ll still have to average at least a little over 80 miles a month outside of that training . During some of the later months during my training program, I’m sure I’ll log well over 100 miles. Currently, I’m averaging a little over 72 miles per month (more on why that number is lower than it should be later in this post), but if all goes as planned, I should be able to surpass the 1,000 miles mark somewhere around November.
I know there are some people who think running 1,000 miles in a year isn’t all that much. Some more dedicated marathoners and ultra-marathoners will log a considerable amount more than a 1,000 miles this year. For an extreme example, ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek logs over 7,000 miles in a year.
For me, I feel like 1,000+ miles is a good goal because I know it’ll keep me in good shape and I’ll feel confident about being prepared for the marathon I’m going to run. I also feel like running that amount will fit around my busy family and work schedules. I may explore running more miles or starting a daily running streak in the future, but for now, setting the goal to run over 1,000 miles will keep me on task.
What are the potential roadblocks?
As I mentioned before, I probably would have run over 1,000 miles in 2011 if I didn’t get hurt late in the year. The reason I’m currently averaging fewer miles than I should is because I tweaked my back a few weeks back and had to take about a week off to recover. Knock on wood, my back feels fine now and I’m looking at making up the difference in March.
It will also take some careful planning on my part. In addition to working around the schedules of my wife and two kids, I’ll also have to work around my travel schedule for work. Running the minimum 3 to 4 times a week I’ll need to run won’t happen if I think I’ll just fit them in during the week somewhere. I’ll need to have a specific plan in place. The way my family and I have overcome this obstacle in the past is that I’ve put my running schedule into our family Google calendar among all the birthday parties, soccer games, and work trips.
So off I go…
Some days I think setting the goal to qualify for Boston or even doubling my goal for miles in a year. I know me and how I run and I know I’d be setting myself up to fail if I set those goals now. I feel confident that running over 1,000 miles is attainable, will keep me on track to be a strong and consistent runner and definitely something to build on.