I ran 366 miles in 2012. That’s a mile a day for every day of last year (2012 was a leap year, and thus had one extra day). Not bad considering I took most of May, June, and July off for a calf injury. This milestone was not the culmination of any New Year’s resolution or the completion of a goal I had set for myself.
In fact, I didn’t even think about it until near the end of October when my iPhone running app announced I’d hit 265 miles. Hmmm, I thought, another hundred and I’ll have a mile a day (not yet realizing 2012 was a leap year). I started doing the math in my head—that’s a little under 10 miles a week for the next 11 weeks. I can do that, I said to myself, no problem.
Such optimism for a woman who had spent the past 20 years or so convinced her running days were over, and not because I was injured, but because I’m generally lazy. On Saturday mornings as recent as 18 months ago, as The Little Woman and I drove to breakfast, we actually pointed and laughed at all the runners who were out early, rain or shine, running in their spandex, their tight shirts, and toe shoes. Seriously, toe shoes? Hahahaha.
Now, I counted the days left in the year, approximately 70, and once I managed to do some math in my head (harder than it seems), I thought that maybe I could do 100 miles in the next 75 days, if I could manage three and a half miles an outing and three outings a week for the remaining 11 weeks. Then I kind of forgot about it, until the end of November at the Turkey Trot when I realized I only needed 50-ish more miles. I had yet to put up 50 miles in a single month, but I thought I could do it, and how cool would it be to have done a mile a day for a year?
December brought the Jingle Bell Run, which TLW and I committed to early, but that was only three miles, and the month pretty much flew by. Things at work got crazy, and I wasn’t getting out much as I’d come home from work and collapse, exhausted. I pushed myself, but still only managed 14 miles in the first two weeks. No way would I make 50, I thought. Then, I discovered that after a really rough day at work, I could fly through 3 miles, so I went a little longer and soon I was running four miles or more an outing. And my times came down to right around 9:10/mile. I got inspired and recommitted myself to making 365 miles by the end of December. After all, I’d have plenty of time during the holidays, and with time off, I could even run in the daytime.
On Christmas Eve, I ran 3.67 miles. I took Christmas Day off to, uhm, carbo-load and cranked out five miles on Boxing Day. On Friday, December 28, I had about 18 miles left to go. I could do it, I knew now. Just four days to run a little over 4 miles a day. I hadn’t run four days in a row all year. I certainly hadn’t run over four miles a day four days in a row, but it was less than 20 miles.
So on Friday I did 3.64 miles. Only about 12 miles to go. Three days. Piece o’ cake. Saturday was tough and I could only manage 3.77 miles. That’s okay. Two days. Twelve miles. I Can Do It. Then I realized that 2012 was a Leap Year. I had to add an extra mile to my total. On Sunday I did five miles even, and my math skills started to fail me right along with my legs and lungs. One day. Nearly seven miles. Ugh. I’d not run seven miles in one outing all year. But failure was not an option at this point. I’d come too far to quit now. I couldn’t face the new year having missed by a couple of miles what was now a major goal.
I spent the morning sleeping in—I needed my rest. I ate a hearty breakfast—I needed my energy. By the time I suited up and laced my sneakers, it was after noon. I did not feel like running. It was cold out. Snow flurries. Brrr. “Okay,” I said. “You can do this.” I told TLW my probable route, just in case I didn’t come back by dark. “Come find my cold dead body,” I instructed. I headed out. My calves complained, but I ran on. At approximately 1.74 miles I had to stop for a bathroom break—thank god my route included a bathroom (what IS it about running?) I managed another couple of miles and a hill before I had to stop again for a few steps. Another mile. Four miles. I was beat. I stopped my running app and walked to the track. I’d have to finish on the track. I had two and a half miles to go. Ten laps. I could do this. I resumed my running app and took off. I clocked the fastest times of the day going around and around that track. Ten laps took me less than 25 minutes.
I did it. I finished. I ran exactly 366 miles in 2012. Exactly.
I can’t wait to see what 2013 brings!