I needed only about 74 miles in December to reach 1,000 miles running in 2012. I had almost 100 on the schedule so the record seemed easily achievable baring injury or illness. It wasn't pretty because I sort of limped in with nearly the minimum amount of miles needed.
On New Year's Eve I was scheduled to run a half marathon, easily surpassing the 3 miles I needed on that day to reach 1,000. Well, the weather was awful and I'd been fighting off a cold for over a week. As I sat in the car, temperature in the mid-30's, listening to light rain falling, I was certain it was over. Rather than put on my gear and get ready to head to the starting line, I started packing things away.
Suddenly, with about 8 minutes until the gun went off the rain simply stopped. I was tormented for a few moments of whether or not I should go for it or go home. The need for 3 miles was strong. How disappointed would I be reflecting back on 997? I simply couldn't deal with that thought and scrambled to get my shoes on and geared up for certain rain and wind.
The weather held for a few miles and then light rain began again. At four miles I had an inner smile and was happy I hadn't wimped out. I'm glad I started and was determined to finish. After finishing the first of two loops in the half marathon, the wind started howling making the rain drops feel like sleet or hail. It was downright miserable.
I ran White Rock a year earlier in similar conditions and swore that I would never do it again. You can get through the first hour or so without too much trouble, but eventually the wet clothes and feet create an inner chill that simply escalates beyond reason. The problem is that once you're 6.5 miles out, the only way back is 6.5 miles. One might as well finish.
Because of the double loops of this race, I had options. The story would be different if I had never run a half marathon, but I have completed over 10 in the past 18 months. This was just a two day challenge that I had already completed the year prior. Thus, the draw from my car as I ran by the parking lot was incredibly strong. It was calling to me..."Randy, Randy...come inside and get warm. You can run again tomorrow, but come inside."
So, did I keep going? Heck no, I wimped out and ran straight to my car, changed clothes and went home. I regret it now, but it was probably the right decision for me. I still regret it because it was my first DNF (Did Not Finish). It is a real bummer.
Overall, I'm trying to stay focused on the 1,004 miles. It was not a goal I set and was unrealistic in my mind in late August. The marathon training really ramped up the miles in September and October which suddenly made it a possibility. In 20 years of running, I believe this is my first year with over 1,000 miles. I find it hard to believe and do not have records from the earlier years when I was very dedicated...yet, I'm thrilled with it regardless because I know I haven't even come close in quite some time (which in itself is hard to believe with 9 marathons in my past).
My goal for 2013? Heck, I don't know. Let's say...1,005 miles with a much stronger December!
Run in Peace, Rest in Grace