One year ago today, I ran my first run towards my now completed goal of 500 miles in a year!
Today, as I finish my first run of this new year, I reflect on how I got here. First for a data recap:
2020 RUNNING YEAR REVIEW
Solo: 500 miles
Albany Knickerbockers Run Club: 2304 miles
Weight: Jan 2020– 240lbs, July– 185lbs, Jan 2021-205lbs
Longest Run: 12 miles
Fastest Mile: 11:36
Top 3 sprinting songs: 1. Wow by Beck
2. Come Get Her by Rae Sremmurd (lovingly sung as “Somebody come get her, she’s running like a sprinter”)
3. Pussy is God by King Princess
IN THE BEGINNING
Last year’s goal of running 500 miles in a year was actually not started in the 2020 pandemic life. A few months before I heard anything about COVID, one of my best rugby friends convinced a handful of us to do a half marathon with her. Knowing myself, I needed a goal to get there– and so the Albany Knicks Running Club was born with the 500 miles in a year goal.
500 MILES AMONG FRIENDS
Smashing this goal is one of my proudest goals I’ve accomplished and it was all sparked from a completely separate goal from a friend. This is just another reminder to surround yourself with the kinds of people you want to be like.
Community is everything. I am even more proud of the number 2304 because as a club, we ran 2304 miles. It is truly INSANE to think that a friend asking to join her on a half marathon could snowball so far, but that is how community works and a huge part of why I love being a Knick.
This has been the most interesting goal in that it is so community driven and so solo at the same time.
The community of runners pushing each other and being each other’s lifelines– the texts, the group chats, the group runs– all of these community based things started my running journey and my love of running. My favorite runs this year were the rare occasions we could run together.
While the community fueled my running journey and continued to push me, the vast majority of my runs were solo runs. Throughout the year, I had to keep re-assessing where I was personally in my running. I had to figure out how many miles I could get in one go, how many short runs I could squeeze into my busier weeks. This was a truly independent feat and as all goals, creating the space and time in my schedule was not always easy.
Creating boundaries is hard no matter how old you are and I had to navigate often putting myself and this goal first. This is where planning is key and while I wasn’t always the best at that, I definitely improved as the year went on.
I promised my body that it could rest until today (1/2/2021) if it just got me through these last few miles. That was my intended reward for the grueling last few weeks I left for myself.
In the beginning months, I was proud to get myself a mile. Every single mile I tallied made me proud. Now in the last 3 weeks I had to do runs anywhere between 4 and 8 miles regularly to catch up and make this goal. Whenever it was hard, I told myself, ‘you have a sweet break coming!’
The funny part is, when I finally got that break, I didn’t want to take it. The last day of the year was warm enough and I thought it should be a running day– in that moment, I knew I was truly a runner. Through this goal, I developed a love of running and found a new sport, which is more of a reward than anything I could have planned on.
BIG TAKE AWAYS
Discipline– goals create discipline, and even though I truly developed a love of running, discipline got me through the days I didn’t want to start. This is why I will continue to create goals for myself, to continue to build that discipline.
Community– goals among community snowball meaning these goals create more goals, which snowball into this whole new world of people bettering themselves. Take people with you and they’ll take you with them. My club got me through the days/weeks/months where I ‘didn’t wanna.’
NEXT YEARS GOALS
- Solo Running: 555 miles and take off 30 seconds for my fastest mile. I am increasing my miles because baby, I am a runner. I am working on speed again because I have hope that this vaccine will get us back on the rugby pitch and Y’ALL KNOW I AM A RUGGER!!
- Solo Stretching: Go stretch alone. If you think I am the kind of person that stretches that’s because I stretch with you. I never-ever-ever stretch by myself anymore. Okay, I do an occasional hip swing and squats merely out of habit. I started with these but even they dwindled later in the year.
- Community Miles: 10,000 miles– Let’s run a ridiculous amount of miles this year! My personal goal is to convince enough friends to run that we total 10,000 miles.
So far, the Knicks run club has committed to almost 8k, some amazing coworkers are on board, and some of my non-rugby besties.
All I have left to say is, are you in to smash some miles in 2021?