Well, I did it. Finally. Amazingly. I did it.
Quick quiz, what is the significance of 24,901?
Before I give you the answer, I need to go back to the beginning… at least the beginning of when I began to keep track of such trivial things, 1992.
Back in the early 1990s, I had this idea that I should run. I was in my twenties and I was in good enough shape, but I wasn’t in great shape, so I took up running as a small hobby. I wasn’t that committed to it, but I got myself out there enough. That year I ran 229.8 miles.
The next year I did just about the same.
In 1994, my first son, Ryan, was born. My miles dropped to 146.1. for the year.
The next few years were weak. My best year was 1995 when I ran 117.5 miles. In 1996 and 1997, I failed to reach even 60 miles in either year. It’s difficult to find time to run with two cute little boys who wanted to play with their daddy.
(Was I even a runner at that point?)
My third son, Ethan, was born in 1998. My mileage still suffered.
It was at this point that I realized that I wasn’t a runner at all. I was someone who posed as a runner.
In 1999, I finally had a better year. I exceed 100 miles.
I recall being in Freeport, Maine in 2000 at the Dockers outlet (or maybe it was L.L. Bean) and realizing that I wasn’t a 32 waist any longer, nor a 33 or a 34. The discounted pants I was trying on, the ones that fit, were a 36. Who was I kidding? I wasn’t just not a runner, I was a guy heading much too quickly, at just 32-years-old, into middle age. I certainly had a middle age-like body. I determined that day that I needed to change some things.
I got this idea that running 400 miles in a year seemed like a good goal.
That year, 2000, I reached 275.8 miles.
In 2001, I reached, and exceeded the 400 mile goal by logging a then amazing 563.3 miles.
I remember watching a marathon in 2001 and saying, “I need to do that.” I registered early the next year (or late in 2001) for the New York City Marathon lottery.
I won that lottery and got into the race.
In 2002, I ran 788 miles and completed my first ever marathon. I was hooked. I was also now, and forever more, a runner.
In 2003, I ran 870 miles. I also ran my second NYC. I started to think about a thousand mile year.
2004 saw me reach 1,025 miles I ran my first sub-4:00:00 marathon in Baltimore that year.
In 2005, I ran two marathons. I also covered 1,603 miles.
In 2006, I ran my fastest marathon ever (3:25:16) in Chicago. I wondered if I could ever reach 2,000 miles in a year.
The miles (and the marathons) just kept coming:
2007 – 1,773.8
2008 – 1,804
2009 – 2,025. (I did it!)
2010 – 1,465
2011 – 1,333
2012 – 1,342
In these years, I did a lot of hiking with my sons and the Boy Scouts. I was logging lots of miles, many of them just were of a different nature. I was all good. But, something else started happening, I started to get injured.
2013 – 939.3
2014 – 901
2015 – 1,107
2016 – 1,229
2017 – 519
Yeah, injuries. Stress fractures. Tears. An aching Achilles. I kept running and completing marathons, even with these injuries (I ran the NYC with a stress fracture in my foot. I’d also run it with tears in my Achilles. I was a warrior, but I wasn’t doing myself any favors.)
2019 – 380.68
It was in 2019, that I realize that I had done permanent damage to my Achilles. I had surgery to repair the tears in January 2020.
In 2020, I ran 409.9 total miles as I slowly came back from m y surgery.
Last year, 2021, I ran a marathon (the NYC) for the first time post surgery. It was the 22nd marathon of my life. I also covered 1,022.6 miles.
And, so far this year, 2022, I’m at 748.5 miles.
Add those miles up and I’m at 24,901 total miles.
What is 24,901 miles?
Why, it is the circumference of the Earth at the equator.
With my 5.1 mile run today, I just finished circling the world. I have run all the way around the world!!!
By getting out there, day-after-day (I decided this year to run every single day. I’m closing in on my 200th day for the year). I run when I don’t feel like it. I run when I’m tired. I wake up early or go to bed late to get runs in. I made a commitment to myself, right now, and my future self, to be in the best shape I can be in, now, and always.
I just ran ran around the world. It took me 30 years, but I did it.
Impossible is an illusion. We can always do more than we think possible if we put our mind to it.
Never quit. Never give in. Find a way.
And do it.
I just learned that the circumference of Jupiter is 272, 946 miles. At my current rate it’ll only take me 300 more years to reach that total.
Don’t bet against me!