One of my goals for 2021 was to run 5,000 miles. It sounded like a great goal but now half way through the year…what was I thinking?
What does it feel like to be on pace for a 5,000 mile year? Exhausting! Currently, I am at 3076 miles at July 16th. I should make it to my goal but the past month has been very challenging. Earlier this year I was training hard for an ultra distance FKT attempt. My mileage got as high as 160 and then an injury occurred. I was then sidelined for a few weeks trying to heal and recover. I did end up running an ultra race and getting the FKT on a 94 mile trail.
Yet here I am with some lower mileage weeks now (around 100) and my legs feel TIRED! Just a few months ago I was running 50k training runs and now a 20 miler feels just as hard. So, what have I learned so far? Rest is important after training cycles. Don’t just jump from one hard training cycle into another. Take some time off with lower miles. You may not be able to tell at first but after awhile your body will be affected by the miles.
So, in a normal year I would have take a few weeks to recover and then begin my progression towards another training cycle and race but this year it is more about seeing if I can hit my 5,000 mile goal. So far I have done enough to keep another injury at bay but if I continue to feel this tired physically, I might injure something.
Maybe some of my tiredness is due to the hotter and more humid summer weather as well. I always seem to perk up a bit when the cooler temperatures of the fall roll around. A 5,000 mile year is one of the hardest things I have ever done because of the amount of consistency and perseverance demanded over the whole entire year and not just a few hours, days, weeks, or months. Right now it feels like I am trying to max out each day in terms of mileage. Even the easier days I plan do not feel so easy.
So what’s the plan to make it? Keep grinding! Get some extra sleep when I can, eat wisely, and keep doing my recovery things (massage, rolling muscles, stretching, etc). When you have a goal like this you can’t get there with one great day, one great week, or one great month. I have to be ready to get up every morning and give it a solid “go”.
What was I thinking? You know, life is hard. Every day we persevere and grind. We give our best. It’s exhausting! This running goal reminds me that I need to keep fighting through life the same. It’s worth trying to be the best husband, dad, Pastor, and friend I can be to others. Not just for an hour, or a day, but for the whole year. No, it isn’t easy but I honestly know it’s worth it!