I celebrated the New Year this morning with a quick two-mile run around the neighborhood. I was slow, bloated by bad food and one-too-many glasses of champagne, but I got out there on a dank, windy day and kept the streak alive into its second year under a depressingly gray Rochester sky.
But the real milestone occurred just 24 hours earlier. On a similar route around Sea Breeze, not only did I hit the one year #runstreak mark, but I hit the altogether separate and unexpected goal of 3,000 km (1,864 miles) for the year.
To put that into perspective, my total mileage for 2015 — my annus mirabilis when I recorded my fastest and second fastest full and half marathons and PRed the Boilermaker — I ran 2618.4 km (1,627 miles), 237 miles less than I ran in 2018.
I may have worked harder in 2018 and not achieved as much, but for all my troubles, I had still run two sub-four marathons, my fourth and sixth fastest respectively, my third fastest half marathon, and my third fastest Boilermaker.
For that, and for the #runstreak, I gave thanks on my run today, but truthfully I didn’t feel like celebrating.
Because from the beginning of July, just a week before the Boilermaker, through to about the beginning of October, everything was a struggle. I was recovering from an injury, which I’ll describe in more detail in other upcoming posts, and that along with some general life struggles that I’ll keep to myself led to some pretty tough days.
That’s why the Flat-Footed Fox has been silent for almost five months. Quite honestly, I haven’t felt inspired enough to write — not depressed exactly, but still in that general spiritual malaise I described less than a year ago. Only now, the injury was adding insult to my existential funk.
But the discipline, the laser-beam focus and deep commitment of the #runstreak, had kept me going through the rough patches. My commitment to it meant I was out there (and I mean “out there” — not one kilometer of the streak was run indoors or on a treadmill) in every meteorological condition possible, from miserable Western New York snow and wind chills to the sticky heat and humidity of Florida and Maryland and back again.
Because of that, it has begun to develop in me a mental and physical toughness and resilience that extends beyond the streets and trails and into the inner reaches of my being. The streak also serves as a huge reminder that big changes are not accomplished overnight but through a consistent accumulation of small, repetitive steps.
And that, more than sub-four marathon finishes and thousands of kilometers run, means more to me going into the New Year than any resolution I could dream up.