, , , , , , ,

I did it. I RAN MY YEAR’S GOAL OF 1400 miles!!!!!!

And then I ran 14 more because what else am I going to do? Stop? No. Running is the best way to keep tabs on the murderous family of hawks in Prospect Park. Any day now I’m going to catch them flying off with the unsuspecting Tai Chi man. And where else can I get away with wearing a neon yellow top, purple hat and shoes with holes in the toes?

Yes, holes. My favorite running shoes are not pretty but I’ve put more than 2600 miles in them with no injuries. Do you know what this means? I found my holy grail shoe. Too bad Asics doesn’t make it anymore. MoonPie gave me another pair earlier this year, a gentle nudge that it’s time to say good-bye. They’re cushy and don’t look like the before shot of a detergent commercial. I’ve taken them out a few times, happy to know they exist, but they’re not going to be my shoes until my busted ones disintegrate, probably while on my feet.

I ran my 1400 miles this year, hitting a goal that didn’t seem likely when I set it. Not one of those miles was in a race. Registering for a race seems to provide a good boot out the door for many runners. It offers a challenge to stride for. There’s the structure of training plans for any distance and a race day on the calendar to assure this won’t last forever. They’re good for charities and the running industry. I get it. Races are awesome! I like reading about how others train and progress. I love the spirit of races, but never actually enjoyed participating. I get the same sense of purpose from setting my own goals and when I need the thrill of waddling through a crowd I run over the Brooklyn Bridge. When I need the validation of fierce competition I snag the only empty seat on the subway.

My motivation lately comes in part from the construction crew next door working on scaffolding about a foot away from my bedroom window who begin their hammering not a second after 7 am. The only way to not start my day wanting to bite someone is to lace up and go. I like being outside and pushing myself physically. Never do I feel more like myself than when I’m running, and not the grumpy troll-ish me who would use up one genie wish going back in time to destroy whoever invented the jackhammer, hammer and drill. The other me. She’s a little better.

Forget construction. Construction can’t last forever, can it?

Setting a mileage goal every year helps with the pushing part and the mileage log makes every run count, but running is more than mileage and never ending laundry – otherwise we all have to question our judgement.

Running for the sake of running gets me out the door on mornings like today when it’s warm with some drizzle and a lot of misty fog. Surrounded by colors on the ground and in the trees above against a blank blah sky, I blocked out honking horns and listened to fat little birds with yellow bellies sing.

It does feel good to hit that goal. These legs have never been more ready for the zombie’s to attack, provided they’re not the fast ones and we get time out for soothing epsom salt baths, foot massages and banana smoothies.