There was a time when I would have looked at the number 175 and seen what felt like 175,000 and said NO WAY, without even ENTERTAINING the idea.
And then there was a time I would look at that 175, seen 175 and maybe considered it, but still been DAUNTED by the idea of running 3 figures worth of miles, VOLUNTARILY. Like hello, are you CRAZY?!
And then there was a time where I would see that number and break it down. I would see it as something HARD, but attainable. I would see it as CHALLENGING, but exhilarating.
I would feel CONFIDENT in myself, and I would BELIEVE in myself, and I would just RUN. I would finally FEEL like the limitless being that I am.
Remember, I wasn’t a runner even 2 years ago… I hadn’t run 175 miles probably in my whole life, never mind in a condensed span of time.
And wouldn’t you know it this challenge would take place during, for me, one of the more brutal summers of memory. 😩
The humidity and the poor air quality really combined for a powerful 1-2 punch against me. Not just occasionally, but repeatedly and relentlessly. And I honestly did what I could to fight back… I ran shorter runs on really bad days or longer runs to try to make up for it on those few days that the air wasn’t suffocating. (Those days felt so few and so far between!)
But acquiring those miles wasn’t worth feeling like I was dying, and I needed to freakin’ breath, so sometimes I had to wave the white flag and accept that I was gonna be behind the pace I had hoped to at least somewhat maintain. I had to rest. And these moments were hard for me, as my resolve and my determination really are formidable. It can be tough to talk myself down into a rational state of mind sometimes. But I knew, and came to accept, that these hard decisions were the right decisions for my body, for my health and well-being.
If I was gonna do this, I was gonna do it the smart, sustainable way.
I’ll be honest, sometimes it was so fucking frustrating. But it meant finding pockets where I could do it and not die.
I always walk Roxy at least a mile after work and I figured hey, that’s at least 60 miles! Oh but often it was too hot to take her very far and we had to backyard it… aka not acquire mileage.
And even Curveball got in on the game – if Magnaball was any indication, I would have averaged 7 miles a day for 3+ days at Curveball… well over the average of 2.5/day this challenge broke down to. But I didn’t get to explore those grounds and accumulate THOSE miles, either. 😔
Life happens, but man did I feel up against a wall. Sometimes the resistance I was facing was spirit-breaking.
And this challenge technically ended in August… but I had already come that far, and fought to be as many miles in as I was, so what was I supposed to do, just stop because the deadline came?
No! This was MY race… I would finish on MY terms. I would rather FINISH it LATE than leave it unfinished – eff that!
When I decided to do this challenge, I aimed to run 100 of the miles and walk 75 of the miles. (Obviously, this was before I realized Mother Nature wasn’t gonna grant me ideal running conditions for most of the days. That realization didn’t actually come until I was well into battling for these miles.)
I came up a little shy, running 96.23 and walking 78.8 and I’m perfectly fine with, and incredibly impressed by that! I ran 96 freakin’ miles in 3 months time – that’s a huge increase! 🎉
I learned a lot about myself in this experience… and I think I’m gonna save that component for another day!