To say this has been a good year of running would be perhaps a massive understatement.
Since Jan. 1, when I ran 10 miles to ring in the New Year, my legs have been churning. I've slogged through runs, have sped through others, have scampered and darted and sprinted and powered through, have trudged and hiked and schlepped and shuffled. From fast to slow, from challenging to not-so-much, I've had many upon many runs.
The mileage has added up.
After Sunday's 11-mile run, my mileage stands at 991 for the year. If I stick to my planned schedule for the week, I will cross the 1,000-mile mark on Wednesday.
1,000 miles worth of runs.
I don't know how many miles I ran last year. I tried to count, to work backwards but best guess I ran somewhere around 600, give or take, and most of those were in the last 4-5 months of the year.
But 2010 has helped me break through in running. I've become a marathoner. I've taken the next step past where I was at the end of 2009 by doing that and have tried to live up to that status. I'm always grateful that I have the ability to run, never forgetting for a second where I was five years ago and the long road I took to where I am today. I also never forget that there are others who would love to run but can't, whether it's because of injury or illness. Running is a gift, a privilege and I never view it as anything but.
I enjoy my runs. Most of those 991 miles have been enjoyable. The work that has gone into them has been vast, but the payoff is even greater. I firmly believe that the most important run of my life is my next one, so I always prepare diligently for runs and always try and be in the best mental condition before taking off on those runs. It's tough sometimes to do that but that's what I strive for.
I'm not quite sure yet how I want to commemorate my thousandth mile. If I run six or seven on Tuesday, then I will cross that mark early in Wednesday's run. I might head up to Mt. Rubidoux and run there. The thousandth mile then might be the second mile up there, which would be the mile that gets me to the top.
I think that would be fitting, to have a run like that, a feat like that serve as a symbol of what this year has been. Running Mt. Rubidoux, of course, is challenging, as too is getting to 1,000 miles in a calendar year, but once you get to the top of Mt. Rubidoux, the view from above is awesome and you can take pride in looking down at the path you just ran, knowing you were strong and determined enough to reach the top.
I'm strong. I'm determined. I'm getting my 1,000 miles.
And I'm not stopping there.