and i would run one thousand miles

Yes. I love that Proclaimers’ song. It’s catchy and really gets me going.

But that’s not the point.

At the beginning of 2018, I was a little frustrated. I was back from my hip flexor injury in the technical sense, but I saw no improvements in my running. Some of it was my own fault: I’m notorious for not drinking enough water, skipping speed work, and neglecting cross training. I’m not an elite athlete, a professional, or anything remotely close, so it’s not like my improvements or lack thereof meant anything to anyone besides myself.

But it’s still nice to achieve goals and see some tangible results.

With that said, I had mostly convinced myself that I was ok with the status quo. But something still chafed at the back of my brain.

I decided that I was going to run 1,000 miles in 2018.

Is it a lot? Maybe to some, not so much to others. To me, it was huge. Overwhelming. Daunting, even. Almost 165 miles more than in 2017, it would require me to really focus on a training plan and getting in the distance.

To hit exactly 1000, I had to plan for 83.33 miles per month. It didn’t matter if it was the middle of the blistering Florida summer, or in the midst of hurricane season. Whether I was sore or sick (within reason), tired or unmotivated, I needed to log time on the road.

No. Excuses.

Things started well enough in January. I completed about 81 miles, and felt great about that, considering we had gone on a family ski vacation and lost about a week of running time. I had a few small races, too, and the enthusiasm of the new year made the world feel like my oyster.

In February, the Daytona Half Marathon and several Run DONNA events pushed me over the 100 mark. I loved knowing that I had run 104 miles. I was strong and in charge of the future of this challenge.

Towards the end, I did get a little obsessive.  November and December were lean months, never yielding mileage out of the 60s. I can blame the holidays, the weather and an illness that kept me off the road for about a week, and then too drained to do much more for a few days after that, but I was able to rally to finish strong.

How did my running change?

Instead of “short” weekly runs in the three to four mile range, regular runs ended up being anywhere from six to eight miles at a time. Weekend long runs varied, but never felt particularly draining because I was running so much more during the week. An old goal of always feeling “half-marathon ready” was realized. At any given time during 2018, I could have toed the start line of a half and completed a reasonable race.

Prior to starting this challenge, I shied away from running back-to-back days. My body didn’t take kindly to it and if I did it too often, I would experience nasty aches. With the increased running, if I had to go out on consecutive days, it was no longer a huge deal.

My body changed. I don’t want to say I lost weight because I don’t own a scale, but there is so much more muscle definition in my legs, especially above the knees, and I went down a size in clothing. I also went up a notch in confidence and started dressing a little bit more for my body, rather than what I thought my body looked like. My cross-training was spotty again this year, so I won’t give too much credit to gym time, so I attribute a lot of this to the extra miles.

Overall, I felt in much better shape. I’m not as tired and also, not as hungry. I do still enjoy a good power nap but I’m also able to get out and go go go. Whether it’s just regular errands, taking on a new activity or just getting out to explore, I don’t feel my energy or enthusiasm waning.

I finally met and exceeded a running goal! It can get discouraging to fall short time after time, but in 2018, I logged 1,0o05 miles and went beyond what I said I would do. It required patience, staying on track for 365 days and constantly keeping the target in sight, but being able to say “I did this!” is one of the greatest feelings.

I didn’t necessarily get faster, nor did I worry too much about my pace. I went with the philosophy that a mile is a mile is a mile, and listened to my body. On race days, I pushed but for regular training, I just went with the flow. One thing at a time.

Most of all, I have grown to really appreciate the sport of running.  It’s been both therapy and social time, as well as a vehicle for work and creativity. Since I started, I’ve always enjoyed it, but after this past year, it has given so much to me and my well being.

For 2019, I signed up with Run The Edge for the Run The Year 2019 Challenge. The goal is to go one step further and complete 1,019 miles on my own, and 2019 with my running partner S. I think we can do it!

I’m already synced up with the online tracker, but can’t wait for my package to arrive, so I can start checking off miles on the poster and earning pieces of that medal!

(If you are interested in signing up as well, you can save $3 on your registration with my referral link!)

What goals are you reaching for this year?

Do you set mileage goals for yourself and your running?

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18 Responses to and i would run one thousand miles

  1. You had a great year! Congrats on reaching that 1,000 milestone!! I’m one of the rare few who never set mileage goals. I usually have enough races on my training agenda to keep the miles happening without worrying about any end-of-year goals. Besides, I know myself….if I had a specific number, I’d be focused more on the quantity instead of the quality, and that would send me down a dangerous road LOL

    • runswithpugs says:

      I did absolutely hyper focus at the end. However, I had fewer long distance races on my calendar this year, so I wanted something to keep me going through those training “lows.”

  2. Farrah says:

    That’s so awesome that you hit your goal! Major congrats! :]!

  3. Renée says:

    what an awesome post 🙂 I am so happy for you that you made 1000 miles (more even!). Personally I have never reached that amount – that’s 1600 KM. I think the most I’ve had is around 1400 and that was a few years ago. I did set a goal of 1100KM for last year and I surpassed it to my surprise. I think with all the issues I’ve had with my foot I just never even thought I’d make it and was focused on other things! So actually I want to have a new goal for this year, i just don’t know what it “should” be yet.

    it’s great that running has also helped your muscle definition and that you are feeling more confident! This to me is the most important! I know that with weight loss I *can* become faster (and speed drills of course) so this is where I’m sort of a walking contradiction – I have no issue with the way my body looks, I have muscle definition in my legs that I’ve never had before with the help of cross-training and spinning, I don’t need to “look bikini ready” (I have a body and if I put a bikini on it it’s a bikini body!) . We definitely can benefit from feeling stronger and more confident! I hope one day I can also let go of the number on the scale. Not yet, but that will happen too at some point.

    My goals are big hairy ones – the main one being to break ALL my PR’s… I’ve started training already (and even already busted my 5K time in the middle of December) and it’s GOING TO HAPPEN.

    • runswithpugs says:

      You have some HUGE goals this year and I am so excited for you! It’s going to be incredible!

      I feel the same way as you about the “bikini body.” I was just in a very bad habit of buying clothes in my old size even though they were clearly too large. If I lose weight, cool. If I maintain, fine. I’m lucky to be tall so a few pounds here and there don’t visibly show. When my clothes get tight, that’s when I know I need to lock things down.

      I don’t know that I’ll ever get much faster.I just don’t think I’m built for speed. It is what it is. It’s nice when I have a breakthrough, but I’m happy with what I’m doing regardless.

  4. Coco says:

    Congrats on reaching your mileage goal! That is a huge accomplishment. It really does require dedication and planning. I like to be ready for a 10M, so I try to keep up with weekly 8 mi long runs. I have to train up for a half.
    Coco recently posted…Talking About New Year’s Resolutions At The January Ultimate Coffee DateMy Profile

  5. Chrissy says:

    Congrats on meeting your 1000 mile goal – so amazing! I’m not sure I could do something like that over a full year, but I have done ‘winter warrior’ challenges in January that require running a certain number of miles outside everyday in January (up here in MA, that’s def a challenge, lol).

    • runswithpugs says:

      I definitely had to fight for it! I can’t imagine having to run outside in the winter in MA! We get some pretty frosty days here, and that in itself is a struggle. I can believe it gets old quickly!

  6. Elaine says:

    Congrats Jennifer on your 1000 mi achievement! I love that you learned much about yourself in the process. It’s all about the journey!

  7. Congrats on reaching your 1,000-mile goal! I love the lessons you gained along the way. Good luck with the Run the Edge challenge – I did it last year with my husband, brother, and son – it was fun to push each other!

    • runswithpugs says:

      Thank you!

      I’m not huge into the whole virtual event thing, but we decided it would be a fun way to measure our goals, so what the heck. I’m excited too ee how it finishes up.

  8. Congratulations on reaching your goal! You look absolutely stunning in that dress, and it’s your SMILE that makes it so! Congratulations on a strong year!

    • runswithpugs says:

      Thank you so much! It’s a dress I never in a million years would have thought of even trying on, but with some encouragement, I went for it and it ended up being a great fit.

      Next year is going to be just as great, if not better!

  9. So proud of you! This is absolutely something you had to commit to for the duration, and not the kind of goal you could just scramble to complete. It took a lot of dedication, and you did it! I have no doubt you’ll tackle next year’s goal too.

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