If you didn’t already know, running is becoming an obsession of mine. So a few days before my 39th birthday I mentioned to my wife that I wanted to try to run my age in miles. She smiled and said “that’s cool! I think you can do it.” I wasn’t so sure, but her confidence gave me the courage to try. So on June 8th, at 4am, I laced up my shoes and set out to do something big.
So what do you do when you have a big goal to tackle? You brake it down right? I broke the 39 miles into 4 separate runs. I knew that I needed to get a lot of the miles done early; before it got too hot. Here’s a breakdown of each of the runs.
First Run: 17 miles
I couldn’t really sleep, so instead of tossing around in my bed I set out at 4am for my longest run of the day. My only goal was to get back so that my wife could leave for work on time. I would have loved to get 20 miles in, but I ran out of time and completed 17 of the 39 miles and actually felt great.
Second Run: 13.2 miles, 30.2 total
At 9:15 am I laced up my Hoka One One’s and set out run number two. I intended to run 15 miles, but the heat and humidity almost broke me. By mile 9 I had almost run out of water, and at mile 10 I discovered that the pool that I was counting on for a refill was not open on Mondays :( So I trudged on and made it to another pool at mile 12 and took take five minutes to cool down and rehydrate. I made an executive decision to cut this run short and headed about a half mile back to my house.
note: the GPS had some issues during this run. So Strava recorded a little more distance than what I actually ran.
Third Run: 5.2 miles, 35.4 total
I set out at 5:30 pm to wrap up the last 9 miles, but had to cut it short so that I could help my wife shuffle the kids around. I was thankful b/c it was still really hot. I don’t remember much about this run, but I’m pretty sure I was happy when it was over :)
Fourth Run: 4 miles, 39.4 total
At 8:30 I laced them up for one more “short” run. The last 4 miles would have been much easier mentally if I had 4 mile loop, but I don’t, so I decided to do an out and back on some familiar trails. Surprisingly my legs felt okay, heavy, but ready to get it done. Considering how much work they had done for me, I thought it would be hard to put one foot in front of the other. It seemed like an eternity to get 2 miles away from the house, but when I finally hit the 2 mile turned around, all the mental battles went away. The last 2 miles felt like they were down hill.
I posted a pic on instagram right after I finished:
I have some big plans for next year; a BIG goal. What I’ve learned about big goals is that they when you break them down they are much easier to accomplish. For me, that process started with a shift in my nutrition. That shift led me to try to run 3 miles for 31 days, which has since shown me that I could add more volume to my weekly running schedule. Before February the biggest run week of my life was 31 miles. By the end of May I was routinely getting in 40+ miles a week. Out of 15 years of running I was able to drastically increase my work load and I owe it to a plant based diet and some good mechanics. I’m really amazed with what I’ve been able to do over the past six months. I truly believe that when my mind, body, spirit, and emotions are aligned and healthy, I can push my body to its limit without going overboard. All of this should set me up for what I want to do next year. More on that later :)