Well, I did it. And I did it in grand fashion today.
For the first time since 2009 (and that was a long time ago!), I reached 200 running miles in a single calendar month.
I woke up today at 195 miles. I knew I needed a five-miler to reach 200. I got ready and I set out, as I always do, to reach my goal that day. My plan was to run five comfortable miles.
I ran the first mile in 8:59. That’s great for me. I usually start off slower (it’s always uphill when I start). But this was faster than usual. Sometimes my first mile is at 9:40 or so, sometimes even closer to a ten-minute mile.
That faster mile, a sub-9:00 mile, inspired me to step it up just a little.
I ran the second mile at 8:53. As I did it, I wondered if I had three more fast miles in me. But I thought, “I’m now at 197 miles for the month. I should just enjoy the last three today.” (I have been pushing hard this week. On Sunday, Monday, and yesterday, I did ten-milers.)
But then my third mile, and I wasn’t pushing, came in at 8:19. I wondered where this speed came from. Was I that excited about reaching 200 miles?
I started doing some quick math in my head. “I can run two miles at 9:25 (or so) and break 45-minutes for this run. Holy Cow!” For me to run five miles in under 45-minutes is a very good run. I was running great and I knew that even if I slowed down to a more normal pace that I could break forty-five minutes.
But instead of taking it easy, I wanted to see what I had inside. That’s when I started to push…
Mile Four came in at 7:58. I couldn’t believe it! I don’t often break eight-minute-miles when I’m out there. I now had just one more mile to go and wondered, a lot, if I could just do one more at sub-eight pace.
And I did.
The last mile, and I don’t know where this came from, except from pure exuberance and determination, clocked in at 7:21.
I finished the five miles in just 41:32.
My goal this year has been to run every single day. My goal it to have 365 consecutive days of running. This is something I have tried to do in other years and never came close. This year I’m doing it.
I’m still on target. Tomorrow I’ll complete September. I’ll then be 75% of the way there.
To date, I have run 272 consecutive days. I’ve covered 1,176 miles. I’m averaging, for the year, 4.3 miles a day.
But here’s the thing. Here’s the big thing… while I am achieving this goal, thus far, it has not been easy. I don’t want to run every day. Many days, like today even, I’d rather do something else.
But I set a goal, a high goal, a challenging goal, and I am determined to make it.
Success comes from setting goals and working to achieve them.
Achievement comes from not making excuses, by getting out there, and doing whatever it is you can to meet the goal you set.
You just have to do it. You just have to try.
In my life, I have failed more times than most people. I set all sorts of goals. I have all sorts of dreams. I have aspirations galore. And, because I dream big, I also fall short of my goals.
Still, I think the best is yet to come. (I plan to always believe that.)
I don’t believe in limits. I don’t believe in quitting. I believe in striving and going for it.
So fat this year, it’s all working out. It’s been great. Things are going very well.
But that does not mean this has been easy.
This morning, I felt lazy. I didn’t want to run. Running every single day is a chore. It’s often not fun. It’s a pain. It’s relentless. It’s never ending.
But I knew I had to get out there. And I knew, today, a special goal was just ahead: A 200-mile month.
I did great today.
I now have to get out there and do it again tomorrow.
I’ll have to do that again and again for the next 92 days as well. There is no let up.
Each day comes and I don’t have a choice. I have to run.
It’s what I have to do.
Working to achieve goals is demanding and difficult. It always requires a relentless and focused plan. It takes strength of character.
And hard work.
And much of the time, that work is a grind.
But sometimes, even in that grind, the results can be wonderful.
Sometimes we even amaze ourselves!