1 year. 12 months. 365 days.
Over the last four years I have begun the wonderful relationship of loving and hating running. My sister Heather, my wife Emily, and a few other members of our family, as well as friends, have slowly pulled me into the world that is running, not only as a hobby, but also as a way to stay healthy. The past two years I have set goals to run with friends in the 2013 Pittsburgh Marathon Relay and the 2014 Pittsburgh Half Marathon. It is starting to become an annual tradition that, each fall, we all signup to run one of Pittsburgh’s marathon events come May.
After completing the 2014 Pittsburgh Half Marathon last May I quickly looked to 2015 and started talking to Heather and Emily about what race we should do. Although walking was quite difficult after the race, there is something about running through the city streets and neighborhoods of the Pittsburgh community that draws me in every year. So much so, that after crossing the finish line this past May, I immediately wanted to find another race to experience the thrill of running through crowded streets with hundreds and thousands of other runners all trying to cross the finish line.
Although my mindset was in a great spot, other parts of my life (moving into a new home and work) quickly took over my spare time and running fell down the ranks of what was important. I didn’t have a goal. I didn’t have an upcoming race that I had a set schedule for. I didn’t have the drive that I had the past 4 months to get back into shape and overcome the December that was my First Surgery and Road to Recovery.
I have been running occasionally but as always with me and running over the last four years: I fell out of my rhythm and lost all of the progress I had made over the last four months by the middle of June. As this summer has moved by very quickly I keep telling myself to get moving and start running again.
By the beginning of August, Emily and I began looking forward to the coming months, discussing which race we were going to do in May. Even though I have only completed two races thus far, I had the crazy thought in my mind that if I can have surgery on December 19, 2014 and have a few speed bumps the following two months and still be able to complete the Half Marathon in a little over two hours, then why can’t I complete the Full Pittsburgh Marathon in 2015.
I would have a clean slate to start my training, and would not have any additional hurdles to overcome except for simply being out of shape and battling the snow in the winter months.
At this point, it is still only the end of August and there is still time to decide if I am up for the challenge of completing a full 26.2 mile race but in order to even have a chance at doing the half marathon again I have to do one thing: START RUNNING.
Since my sister, Heather, was such an awesome running partner for the 2014 Pittsburgh Half Marathon last year we started talking about getting back into running and put a plan together for doing either the half or full race. Since the race is more than 9 months away, we wanted to make a loftier goal. Instead of just training for the half or full race, lets make a full year goal of running at least 1,000 miles. Heather, Emily, and I will be working together to each run at least 1,000 miles over the course of the next 365 days.
I was able to work with her to create a Google Doc spreadsheet that we can manually track our daily, weekly, monthly, and full year training to make sure we stick to our smaller and ultimate goal of running 1,000 miles in a year. We can see totals for our weekly, monthly, and overall mileage as well as average pace. I used a similar setup last year for the half marathon and figured this was the best approach since it worked so well for me last year.
Since we decided to do this challenge together, we made separate spreadsheets within the same document so we can see how the other is doing along the way and help each other out when it comes to planning when to complete our longer runs.
The decision of running 13.1 or 26.2 miles in early May is still up in the air. I am excited to start running again, and knowing that I have both a goal that is more than 365 days away and many smaller goals to meet each week makes meeting the monthly mileage projections possible. This challenge is not just a challenge to run 1,000 miles or to beat my half marathon time from 2014. I see this as a challenge to get healthy, which will hopefully lead to eating better and becoming more active day to day.
I know that I have Heather and Emily completing the challenge with me, every day, week, and month that goes by. Although she lives in another city, we will be working together, staying on schedule, and running together at the peak of our challenge in May during the 2015 Pittsburgh Marathon weekend. I also know that everyone else that I have joined over the last couple of years will be right there with us running and training to prepare for our annual run in downtown Pittsburgh in May.
I’m sure there will be days of triumph, days of lackluster runs, and days where the last thing I want to do is go out and run, but I am excited to start this challenge of running 1,000 miles in 1 year starting August 31, 2014.
Join us in our quest to #Run1000Miles
Tomorrow, It Begins!