If you are runner, you cover a certain number of miles in a year. You may run a couple miles a week or hundreds of miles a month.
The miles we run can be a distraction or they can be our exercise. They can be something we feel like we have to do. The miles can be part of an elaborate training plan or simply a whim after a hard day.
The miles bring us a crazy amount of joy and happiness that only those who have been on a true “runners high” can understand. They are sometimes painful and make you never want to run another one ever again. But for some reason runners keep going back for more. More and more miles.
Running is not for everyone, but those of us who keep putting one foot in front of each other, for hundreds of hours throughout the year, miles are important. We realize that it’s not just a total, it’s the way we choose to spend our time.
In 2012 I ran 566.4 miles. I covered the distance between Asheville and my parent’s home in Orlando.
For me, that’s a lot miles and a lot of time spent running. It’s my highest yearly mileage ever and the first year I actually kept track of all my runs.
This year, there are months where I ran less than 20 miles (the month my Mom died.) There are months I ran almost a hundred miles (my peak marathon training month.) I can look back at the log of my miles and they tell can almost tell the story of my version of 2012… the highs and the lows.
I remember a run on a mild mid February day, where I felt light as air after reading Chi Running and I finally figured out how to get shin splint relief by doing yoga.
There was a painful 9 mile run in April, the day after we got back from our vacation in Costa Rica. My whole body rebelled against the experience and I spent the entire time questioning how I thought it was a good idea to sign up for a marathon.
It was on a midweek training run in June that I made the decision to start sharing more of my life with you on this blog. I used many of those miles in July and August to name the blog, design the logo in my head, and decide what I wanted to write. I probably would have never dreamed up Runninginaskirt.com without those 566.4 miles.
On an awesome day in October, I ran 26.2 miles through the streets of Chicago. I only remember about 23 of them. I learned that I can conquer anything.
There was a 3 mile run in November where I ran with such heavy feet and a heavy heart that I really wanted to quit everything. I imagined my Mom was with me encouraging me and telling me she was proud of me. She may not have understood why I chose to run, but she loved that it made me happy. I ran through tears that no one but me knew I shed.
Running may not move mountains or change the world, but it is important to me. I run to remember. To forget. To exercise. Or to sometimes just feel alive.
Whatever the reason you run, we all share the common bond of those miles. We know the power and strength they bring to all aspects of our lives. As the Dierks Bentely song says, “Every mile a memory.”
I hope you can look back and reflect on your running year (or just your year in general) and smile and knowing you at least tried to run your heart out. I know I did.
Happy New Year everyone. And happy running.
2013—I’m looking forward to your arrival. I’m coming up with some good resolutions to conquer you. It’s time for a fresh start, a new log book and a whole lot more miles.