2016 was a long time ago.
I was still in my forties, barely, by most measures, but I was still there. I turned 48 that year.
2016 was the last year that I was able to accumulate 1,000 running miles in a calendar year. In the immediate years before 2016, I started breaking down, started having multiple running injuries.
But, still I ran. On and on. As I always hope to.
After reaching 1,000 miles in 2016, I was unable to make that mark again. I pushed my body as best I could. I still worked out every day, or almost every day, but I couldn’t maintain high mileage weeks or months.
And, in January 2020, almost two years ago now, I went under the knife to repair the tears in my right Achilles tendon. (The tears in my tendon had led to the tears in my eyes as I pushed and tried to struggle through an injury that just wasn’t going to heal on its own.)
I have chronicled the surgery and its aftermath on these pages time and again.
The surgery went well. The physical therapy went well. And I found myself getting stronger and stronger, day by day, week by week, and month by month.
Well, today I reached a milestone. A big milestone. Huge, if you ask me.
Today, after I ran a nice solid (and somewhat fast for me) seven-miler (57:44), I once again reached the thousand-mile mark. 2021 has been a success. It’s been a great success. Huge, if you ask me.
It’s funny, I never had any doubt that I’d eventually get back and be the runner I used to be. I’m not there yet. I’m older and slower. I might never be as fast as I used to be again. (And that’s okay.) But I still want to be the guy that can run and run and run some more.
I want to be the guy that can reach 1,000 miles (and more) year after year after year.
I don’t ever want to stop.
I believe that in life we have to find ways, many ways, to push ourselves. We have to always strive to be more than we were and better than we are.
I took a big step back today.
I rejoined the thousand-mile club.
It’s great. And I feel great.
I can’t wait to see what 2022 brings.
(I’ll be working on a running book in 2022 that will be a completely original, motivational, and fun. Stay tuned!)