My Year of Running

At the outset of the year I’d made the conscious, though not publicly-stated, decision to run 1,000 miles in 2016. So here it is officially: I’m attempting to run 1,000 miles in 2016.

;-)

I have steadily increased my mileage over the past several years from 600-something in 2013 to 700+ in 2014 and finally topping 800 miles this past year. I’ve done this by running more often throughout the week and by stretching my average weekday run distance from about 5k to about 7k and my weekend run distance from 5 miles to 10k.

In January Mashable ran a post about Mark Zuckerberg and his commitment to promoting running with the seemingly-simple goal of running 1 mile per day this year. 366 miles – it’s a leap year, after all – seems like an achievable first step for most folks who either haven’t run ever or don’t run consistently.

I joined the Facebook group for his efforts the day I read the article.

I don’t normally listen to anything – music, podcasts, nothing – but another Facebook post sent by my brother-in-law motivated to share my year-to-date mileage today.

All of which is to say, I’ll likely be even more annoying about my running for the remainder of 2016. If you don’t like the beer blog updates or tweets, you’re sure to be annoyed by these.1

Until next time, I’ll see you out on the streets.

  1. If you want to see my previous attempt at being very descriptive about my running, you can check out this Google Doc, which I’d intended to be an actual book cataloging my first full year as a runner (mid-2010 to mid-2011). I ultimately got too busy and shelved the whole project, called “Around the Year in 365 miles”, mostly because I couldn’t remember how I’d felt during each run.

    A much better example of an interesting running diary/log is the excellent Poverty Creek Journal. I’m only halfway done with the prosaic poetry (non-rhyming and paragraph form), but it’s a fantastic artifact of a runner during a similar timeframe recounting how his runs carried him through a calendar year.

Laboring against Hercules

“A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.” – Anthony Trollope

Since it’s February 1st (Rabbit rabbit) I figured I can update everyone on the progress I’m making using Day One and Everyday

I didn’t miss a single day writing in the journal and I only forgot to take a selfie 3 times during January. Given my previous performance completing either of these types of tasks in the past, this is a huge win.

My hope is that I’ll have a cool montage (in the case of Everyday) and a wealth of memories and self-knowledge (via Day One), such that each of the small steps I took each day will turn in to a marathon when I’m finished.

I also recorded my second-highest mileage total, running about 90 miles, but it wasn’t nearly daily. It’s the busy time for me at work, so I’m not too concerned about the routine as much as I am the miles, which were high & rewarding.

Maybe through all of this I find some more time to meditate – a habit where my longest streak is about 15 days – to add to my growth potential.

What it is really teaching me is how much time I actually waste that I could be using to contribute something for myself and others. A modicum of effort for a return only time can reap? Compound interest truly is an amazing thing.

Bowie

Other people are saying it better than I could today, so I’ll let them say it. I just want to post this blog as well to add my own raised hand. RIP, David Bowie.

And then there’s this, which is being attributed to the actor Simon Pegg, but was actually retweeted by someone named Simon Pegg (not the actor) on Twitter. Still a great sentiment:

I’ll add one mention of own and that’s the fact that David Bowie was an artist in every sense of the word. Music, theatre, fashion, you name it. And he just kept doing his thing regardless of popular culture, so much so that, for a time, he was “pop”.

That’s the dream, I think. Doing it well, doing it for a long time, doing it your own way.

RIP, David Bowie.

Half Marathon Finishing Line

A True Runner’s High

Turns out it may be endocannabinoids (like those in cannabis), not endorphins, that produce the so-called runner’s high.

Whatever the chemical compound, the result is real and it’s spectacular.

That said, I really enjoy this bit:

To survive as a species, we seem to have needed to run, and nature obligingly found ways to make this strenuous movement pleasurable by providing us with a runner’s high.

I certainly experience the runner’s high when I run or I probably wouldn’t be so inclined to keep doing it.

Here’s visual evidence from this past weekend’s half marathon.

Half Marathon Finishing Line

Half Marathon Finishing Line

If you’re still not convinced, the only way to know for sure is to lace up your shoes and go out for a run.

Running Towards Consciousness

Bruce got it, because he created Kung Fu.

Jiro gets it, because he is a sushi shokunin.

Henry gets it, because he’s a runner.

Ruben gets it, because he’s human.

I get it (and ignore it), because I’m human & I run.

There is this connection between mind & body – we call it consciousness & it reveals itself as intention – and I am BAD at being fully aware unless & until I lace up my shoes to go run.

We all struggle.
We all strive.
We all run.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.