As the first quarter comes to a close, I’d like to give you an update on my goal to run 1000 miles in 2017.
To date, I have run 299.3 miles, give or take. I set out to get 250 miles per quarter and I hit 250 miles 2 weeks ago. In order to hit my goal, I planned to run an average of 20 miles per week. So far, I’m averaging closer to 25 miles per week.
I’ve been very fortunate to have above-average temperatures in the Chicagoland area for this first quarter and that has allowed me to run outdoors every weekend. During the week, I have been hitting the treadmill at work, but I’m looking forward to the warmer temperatures to be able to get out on the Chicago lakefront.
So, what has changed as a result of pursuing this goal? When I first set out, I didn’t know what to expect. I always thought I had a pretty consistent running regimen for the past 7 years, but I was never really sticking to a strict schedule or running plan. By having this goal, I have been more consistent and have really settled into a routine. I run on Saturdays and Sundays and I run at least 7 miles on each of these days. I run 3 days during the week, with Monday and Friday as my rest days.
While this was and will never be my goal, I have dropped about 5 pounds. I think this is a result of the combination of my increased mileage as well as the decrease in my alcohol intake. I have limited my alcohol consumption, for the most part, to Sunday evenings and Thursday evenings (the eve’s of my rest days). And, I’m not making up for lost consumption on those days. I feel I’m in the best physical shape I have ever been in my life. My 17-year-old self disagrees.
I have also eliminated distractions, like music and added accessories, from my runs. I still run with my phone, 1). for safety reasons, and 2.) to track on MapMyRun, but I no longer wear the watch that syncs with the app. While I valued the music, and it got me through many tough runs, I have come to appreciate the natural sounds around me. Plus, I got bored with my playlists and struggled to find some new music I liked to run to.
I can now just lace up the shoes and get out there. It has taken some time, but I now really enjoy taking in all of the natural surroundings of my run. I have been incorporating some meditation techniques at the times when I run alone and I’ve been more focused and relaxed during these runs.
I am more focused on other areas of my life, too. I have loosely sketched out a plan on where I want to be, professionally, in 10 years. Hey, everyone always has a 5 year plan. I decided to be a little disruptive. I have a plan to get me to the type of work I want to be doing in 10 years and have put a few things in motion to get to that point. Of course, that type of work will probably not exist then, but I’m flexible and can adapt!
Admittedly, when I set this goal, I wasn’t too optimistic that I’d be able to accomplish it. The first couple of weekends of back-to-back long runs were tough and I was exhausted. But, my body adjusted and I became more focused. I’m glad I was able to get ahead of schedule and put a few miles in the bank because the 2nd quarter looks to be a little more hectic and a little more out of my control. I have a lot more travel already planned and I know there will be a few more hiccups along the way. Fortunately, the first quarter has laid a great foundation and I am now in the routine to be able to work around the obstacles.
See you on the running paths and stay tuned for the 2nd quarter update.