Mission Accomplished: 1,000 miles of running in 2017!
To some, 1,000 miles of running in a year sounds like an impossible feat. To others, this is hardly noteworthy. Regardless, achieving this particular goal means to world to me, and I wanted to share my reflection on this achievement for many reasons. If you have a moment, please read on. I think it’s worth your time!
Here’s my story…
To begin, I need to go back to last year when I first started toying with the idea of this goal. 2016 was a rough running year for me. Difficult days at work and a long commute of sit-and-go traffic took everything out of me, and I found myself using this as an “excuse” not to run. In hindsight, that is the exact OPPOSITE of what I should have done. I reached such a point of frustration that I made up my mind I was going to fix that problem in 2017—thus, my 1,000 mile running goal was born.
2017 started off well. I ran a sub-2 hour half marathon in April and was building my mileage nicely each month. I signed up for the Sleeping Bear Dunes Marathon and was completing my training in the blazing heat and humidity during the summer. By July, I was already ahead of schedule with about 600 miles completed. Truthfully, things were going pretty darn perfectly and then…
I was admitted into the hospital on Saturday, July 22, 2017, with a blood clot. Not that any blood clot is good, but mine was especially unusual and scary as it was located in the dural sinus region of my brain. Once I was over the initial shock of it all (and past the excruciating pain in my head), I accepted the fact that I was dealt a crappy hand at that moment in time but had to make the most of it moving forward. The nurses and doctors laughed when I asked, “When will I be able to run again?” They thought I was joking but obviously wasn’t. After all, I was already over the halfway point and didn’t want cancel on my marathon!
Thankfully, I was given clearance to try running again after a month or so, with the instruction to “take it easy” and anticipate headaches. Additionally, blood thinners were a new part of life that also required some adjusting to. That’s another story… I will note that I am still currently taking warfarin, so I strive to be extra careful when running to avoid falls.
Fortunately, I handled these changes quite well and the headaches didn’t come, so I kept running. In October, I successfully completed my marathon. It was my slowest marathon, but I gave it my all on the hilly course in northern Michigan. Post marathon, I enjoyed some 5ks over Thanksgiving with family and nice, casual runs in the cooler weather. It is still baffling that December is already here!
The human body is capable of truly amazing things if you’re willing to work. Hitting this milestone was a major time commitment and required mental discipline, physical endurance, and the willingness to run in ALL types of Midwest weather and at various times of day.
I want my achievement to be viewed as a call to action or even just a small dose of inspiration to push you toward your next personal accomplishment. You can find 1,000 excuses not to do something; all you need to do is find 1 reason to do it!
And, in case you were wondering, I am going to keep running!