Running through 2013

by Melissa Brunner

I log my runs. I'm not so obsessive about it that I note exact times, temperatures, humidities, wind speeds, terrains, what I wore, how many hours I slept the night before, whether my dogs sneezed on me, the planetary alignments, and anything else that might have a slight impact on how I felt. However, I do like to know how far I went and how long it took - if only to know that I pushed myself.

It's interesting to take time at the end of the year to reflect on the miles and what lessons I might learn. A 3.1 mile run on New Year's Eve brought my total for the year to 644 miles. Not too shabby - although a running acquaintance logged her final year of the run to top the 1200 mile mark! My mileage topped out in August and September - 82 and 87 miles, respectively - while training for the Oct. 5 Run for a Reason half marathon. With that in mind, June and July also were consistent at 74 miles each month.

What do I learn from this? That it motivates me to have a goal. I shouldn't be surprised by that, I guess. In my line of work, my deadlines could be thought of as my goals - I have a specific task to complete by a certain time. I knew I had to be ready to complete a run that was 13.1 miles long by a certain date, which motivated me to get out of bed early on Sunday mornings to beat the heat of those hot summer months! I could translate this approach to cleaning my house - when I'm expecting visitors, I am finally motivated to clear up the clutter! Hmmm, perhaps I need to entertain more?!

I had down months, too, and I remind myself why those things happened. A few illnesses and muscle strains in February had my total at a mere 12 miles for the month - ouch! And I only managed 21 miles for December. The holidays kept us hustling and bustling and I devoted some time to physical therapy sessions, trying to work out a nagging strain for which I finally sought attention. Plus, as our dog, Bam Bam, nears 15 years of age, he has some fussy days where he requires extra attention. Time with him - and with family and friends at this time of year - is more important than tallying extra miles.

Of course, it's all perspective and I'm pretty happy with it from where I sit. I turned 40 this year. I am greatful that I continue to be blessed with the ability to put one foot in front of the other and go as far as I'm able to go. I may be slower than I used to be, but I'm in it for the long haul. I recently read about a 94-year-old woman who's still running and setting age group records. 94?! We all should be so fortunate.

I also consider this. In the approximately four years that I have been logging my runs on one particular site, I have tallied total of 2577 miles - which equates to 1586 donuts burned! Now that's a number to which I can relate!

Here's wishing you a happy and healthy new year!


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