A couple of weeks ago, I heard about a challenge.
2015 in 2015. Simply put, the challenge was to run 2015 miles in 2015. Either on a team where you combined miles for 2015 or on your own, where you personally ran every one of those 2015 miles.
I heard about this challenge on January 4th. Guess how much I had run those first three days of 2015? One mile, y’all. ONE. I was in that wonderful, lazy condition called post-marathon rest. Sure, the Honolulu Marathon had been three whole weeks earlier (should have been plenty rested), but I was still claiming it as the reason why I wasn’t running. My next marathon loomed on the calendar, and I thought, “I should probably run.” And when the thought of getting back into it and starting from nothing made me feel a little sick to my stomach, I thought, “And I probably shouldn’t get this lazy again!”
So, I signed on for the challenge. Money paid, T-shirt and medal up ahead, accountability to actually DO this. To stay in shape. To keep running even without a marathon on the schedule. To not be lazy!
I didn’t do the math. I didn’t even think about it. I just went out as soon as I was registered and ran six miles, thinking, “This will catch me up on those three days I missed!”
I came back that night and told Wes what I’d done, quite pleased with myself. “Have you done the math?,” he asked.
“I sure haven’t,” I said. “Two or three miles a day, right?”
“You have to run 5.52 every day this year to get 2015.”
“It’s Day Four. You should be at 22.08 miles already. How many miles have you run this year?”
Seven, y’all. Wow. Already behind, before I even really started!
“Well,” I sighed, thinking of how I’d already registered for this really dumb challenge, “I guess I have a lot of running ahead of me.”
The next two weeks were the coldest we’ve seen in Houston all year… but I was out there every day, bundled up, running my stinkin’ 5.52 miles one day, 6 the next to catch up slowly, over and over again. When I woke up to cold rain in forty degree temps, I started pulling on my running clothes with tears in my eyes. Wes mercifully intervened, took me to the gym where he swims for his Ironman training, and bought a membership for me. I got in ten miles on a treadmill that morning and ran more than the standard 5.52 miles a day every day after that, so thankful to be out of the wet and cold, trying to bank miles for recovery after the next race, wondering if this was actually an impossible goal, sticking with it when Wes would tell me how proud he was of me for even attempting it.
I ran every day, just like that, up until the Houston Marathon, which I’ll blog about later this week. And now? Post-marathon, I’m back at it, surprised to find that recovery this time around has been easier, thanks to the fact that I’m running through the soreness and not just sitting on the couch loudly and dramatically lamenting my pain.
Twenty days into the challenge I’m actually AHEAD OF SCHEDULE on the mileage. (Thank you, Houston Marathon!) This impossible goal looks like it won’t be impossible after all. And having it hang over my head is keeping me honest about getting out there and running, something that I’ve never kept up with like I’d like to post-marathon season. This year is going to be different. It already is!
Anyway, this is an encouragement to YOU from a girl who isn’t very athletic at all. If you want to get in shape this year, you can make a goal — 5.52 miles a day, 1 mile a day, or whatever works for you — and actually meet it. It is TOTALLY possible. Who knew, right?!
Here’s to a whole lot of miles…