Tuesday, December 29, 2009

hitting the streets for a year.

I had a goal this year to run 1,000 miles. I did not make it. I don't know how many miles I realistically ran, but I think it was just over 900. Which is a lot. It's good, don't get me wrong. But it's right around 10% off my goal. I guess if this was school, I'd be in A- or B+ range, which is better than I did for most of my schooling, but I don't really like to measure things in terms of school, especially given my problems with that field.

Regardless. A few things stand out from my Nike Plus graph:

The least amount of times that I ran any given month was 10. (Except for December, when I've resumed my awful drinking habits and run a pitiful amount. I'm not going to tell you how few.) The month I ran the most frequently was, no surprise, June, with 21 runs. (More than double my slacker months.) This says a couple things to me: Firstly, in January and February, when it was stupid cold here, I was still fresh in my commitment. I went to the gym (thanks sister, for the membership!) and I put in the miles. Secondly, the time off, to myself, with nothing to do other than read, write and run actually paid off! I mean, I had a great time hanging out with Kat and it was awesome to see a new city, but... I mean, who knew? It actually worked! Thirdly, I slacked in October, with only 10 runs. However, one of those was my marathon, which I accomplished in less time than I wanted, crossing a life goal off my list. Sometimes, the individual tree is worth more than the forest?

I don't feel like a failure because I didn't hit 1,000. I'm not going to try for it again, and I know that may seem like giving up, but I took a shot. I don't think I took my best shot (because if I had done my best, I think I would have gotten it) but I think I gave it a good enough one. Around September, I started to get really fed up with the routine. I was complaining to anyone who would listen that I didn't want to run, that I'd be happy when it was over, etc. Around October, with the marathon creeping up, I started talking about maybe dropping out of the marathon and just running the half. But I knew that I'd trained all year for it and that it was highly unlikely that I'd train that diligently again. So I stuck to my guns even though I was dead afraid of the race.

During the actual marathon itself, I had two goals: finish under four hours and not to stop a single time. I checked the first one off the list, but was unable to keep going, especially in the last three miles or so. I think I stopped four or five times. It was disappointing, especially as it was happening, because all I could think was that I was going to miss my target time because of that stopping. When I finished under my target time, I almost couldn't believe it. I think I was in some kind of shock.

After the marathon, I signed up for a series of short races, so that I wouldn't just stop running completely, and try to finish my yearly goal. It only kind of worked. I went out for those races, but I just didn't keep up my end of the bargain as thoroughly as I had early in the year. However, now that I'm on break, I've been running again and enjoying it.

I think this, then, is the ultimate point: I went hard at a long-term goal, as well as some shorter-term ones. I didn't achieve the year-long goal, which seems like a big target, but I crossed a life-goal off my list. I think that's more important. And so, yeah, I'm disappointed that I didn't do what I set out to do, but I'm proud of myself.

Next year, I'll run when I want to. I plan on biking a lot more frequently, and trying to transition off the road and into the water.

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