I began running during the summer of 2006 when my daughter Claire was just a bitty baby. Once or twice a week, I'd get my mommy me-time and despite the heat of a July day, I'd be found running along a wooded trail, the shade from the trees only providing minimal protection from the noonday sun.
Four and a half years later, I am still running. During that time I've raced to half marathons and participated in the Disney Princess Half (which was more photoshoot than actual race). I've run in about ten 5Ks, getting my time under 30 minutes. I've logged 20 miles in a week (once, but still...something I'm proud of). I've run under the hot sun, I've run the day after a blizzard dumped 22 inches of snow on top of 19 inches of snow, I've run til I've chafed the soft parts of my thighs and a blister has formed on my pointer toe.
Despite these running achievements, I've been, at best, a haphazard runner. When I've plunked the money down on a race, I start running in earnest, heading out the door dutifully 3 times a week, noting my mileage and time. When there is no race on my calendar, there is little running in my week.
This year, this will change.
This year, I have goals.
Having goals makes me feel like a real real runner.
My One Big Goal for 2011 is to run 700 miles this year.
Some of you reading that will think - "Oh my goodness! That is a lot of miles! That's like running from Lebanon, PA [where I live] all the way to Savannah!" Which is true...but I have plenty of running friends who have run much farther in a year.
However, that is a lot of miles for me. This past year was the first time that I ever kept track of how many miles I ran - 547 miles. Looking back over the year, there were plenty of months that I logged few miles, weeks that I did not run a single step. I can do better.
Running 700 miles means that I will have to run an average of 2 miles a day...or 14 miles a week (with 2 weeks off)...or 13.5 miles a week for 52 weeks...or 58.3 miles a month (all this math, I did on my last run, heehee).
Is this a tough goal for me? Sure is. I didn't run 58 miles in a single month in 2010. But, that doesn't mean that I can't run that many miles in a month.
Just having my One Big Goal has already helped me in the first 11 days of 2011. I ran on New Year's Day (3.1 miles). On my first running journal week (Monday the 3rd through Sunday the 9th) I ran 13.5 miles. There were a few days that I didn't want to run - especially one cold, dark morning. But in order to make this goal, I have to run when I can, believing that later that day or the next day won't be a good time for me.
16.6 miles down...683.4 miles to go.
Savannah here I come!