Before I get into this post, just wanted to say thank you for making this blog a part of your day and hopefully year.
With 2012 upon us, I needed some goals. I needed to set some sort of target for myself, right? In the past, I've either had races as goals or PRs but this year just felt different. I feel like I have to keep it simple. That's not to say that I don't have those goals on my list because I do - it's just that there is one thing that is more important than anything to me.
My number one goal this year: to run more than 2,000 miles.
Why is this important? Well, running that many miles helps everything else. Running that much gives my legs strength, the strength necessary to get through marathon training properly and enough to finish marathons strong... hopefully. I've never felt strong at the end of my marathons, so that's something I hope will change. It also will allow me to chase down some other PRs, most notably in the half marathon and possibly the 5K.
But whatever positive side effects arise, getting to the magic mark of 2,000 miles is what I have set my sights on.
So how does that break down, this 2,000-mile figure?
Well, this year there are 366 days (thank you Leap Year) so divide 2,000 by 366 and you get 5.46. So that's what I have to average a day. Yeah, but that figure doesn't really make it manageable.
Divide 2,000 by 12 and you get 166.6666666666666666.......... um, 167.
That's an average of 167 miles a month. Okay, that sounds a bit better. But still, how about a plan for conquering that? Well divide 2,000 by 52 and you get 38.5. Ah, that's better.
So if I can average 40 miles a week, I will get to my magic figure of 2,000 miles for the year.
Can I do that?
Beginning the week of Oct. 10, I ran 10 consecutive weeks of 40-plus miles. The low was 44 (twice) and I cracked 50 miles four times. I averaged 48 miles. The streak ended with a 19-mile week as I got sick before Christmas but I bounced back with a 51-mile week to close out the year.
I ran 194 miles in October, 206 in November and 189 in December, an average of 196 per month. Translated over an entire year and that's more than 2,300 miles.
So this goal wasn't just something I plucked from mid-air. I keep setting a high bar for myself and did so, kind of without realizing, as I got on my streak. I pushed myself, responded and kept pushing myself. Before too long, things that didn't seem that simple became the norm and I just kept plugging along.
This goal then is the result of that increased mileage and confidence.
I'm happy that I put together a three-month stretch like I did to close out 2011 but also realize that this goal will take a lot of work, a longer run streak and some commitment and discipline.
But I'm okay with that.