300

Well, I did it. This week I ran my 300th mile of the year, hitting the goal I set for myself with 55 days to spare.

It wasn’t the most inspiring of runs. I didn’t quite hit 3 miles, and I crossed the 300-mile mark right around where my route went steeply uphill. I may have technically been walking when it happened. I certainly wasn’t doing anything impressive:

 

While a younger, more idealistic me would have been inclined to make a bigger deal out of it—to hit that aimed-for mile on a beautiful weekend long run, not while dragging myself up a hill right before going to sit in an office—it didn’t matter to me at all. The goal had been a fairly arbitrary one anyway, and it was clear months ago that I would hit it, as long as I didn’t just stop running entirely for the last three months of the year. And in fact, I did the opposite of that: I ran my first half-marathon a few weeks ago, which turned out to be much more challenging than my modest yearly goal. (I have a piece coming out on that soon, which I’ll share here.)

In any case, here’s what that 300 miles looked like:

Those sad, short bars in the middle are the two months of the year when my job gets particularly busy and stressful. Believe it or not, the fact that I ran at all is an improvement over previous years, when I essentially gave up from mid-April to mid-June. I had set the 300-mile goal knowing my monthly miles would drop off significantly then, but even still, I seem to have underestimated myself.

I have some time left in 2018, and I don’t plan on slowing down. I’m aiming for a 10K in early December, and maybe I’ll find something in January to keep me honest during the holidays.

I procrastinated a bit in making this post, mostly because sharing accomplishments usually also means imparting some wisdom learned in the accomplishing, and there aren’t any big lessons here. But maybe there’s some kind of wisdom in that: The highs are amazing, but more important is to appreciate the everyday feelings, to learn to love not the 300th or 500th or 1000th mile itself, but all of the ones along the way, insignificant as each may be.

What should I go for next year?

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