Monday, January 2, 2012

It is done

I did it.  I ran at least 2 miles, everyday, for all of 2011.  It is difficult for me to compile my thoughts and think of a day, like today, that I won't be running (although my legs have been looking forward to it for quite some time).  It has been 367 consecutive days of running (January 1st 2011 through January 2nd, 2012),  367 days of lacing up the shoes and heading out the door.  A little hard for me to believe that the journey is over, as running everyday has become such a part of my life.  But, I am actually looking forward to a truly full rest day today, and I know that if I am okay with that, it is good the challenge is coming to a close.

About midpoint in the year I stated I wouldn't recommend running everyday to others, I am changing this, I would recommend it, but with some flexibility.  I would recommend everyone to do a challenge like this once in their life.  Maybe 2012, or 2013, or you start on February 1st, either way, pick a consecutive year and give yourself a fitness challenge.  Walk a mile, run a mile, run 2 miles, walk 3 miles, bike 4 miles, whatever it might be, do something physical everyday for a year, the journey will be well worth it!  The physical and mental discipline required that you will discover you have plus all that you will learn about yourself and those around you are truly priceless.  My friends and family, mostly of course my deeply understanding wife, have been incredibly patient, flexible, and accommodating as I undertook this challenge, and for that I am deeply grateful.

Something that did happen is that I PR'ed in every race that I ran, truly, every single race.  Throughout the year I just kept getting faster, even on my bad days I got a PR.  This of course could be for many reasons, but the consistent running is certainty a factor.  I mean after all, even on a "short" week I did 14 miles, not too bad really.  Plus, I learned just what my body is capable of, and also what I can put myself through mentally.  Which I know will come into play as I embark on a few ultra's in 2012.

Don't get me wrong, running everyday for a year is tough.  I sprained my ankle in February playing soccer and ran through the "recovery", ran through a bad spout of Achilles Tendonitis, ran in sub freezing weather, snow storms, rain storms, wind storms, completed early morning runs and late night runs, I even once packed my clothes and ran in the snow out of the Juneau airport during a layover.  However, the gains I saw in my running were huge and I feel like I took a big leap as a runnier.

With all that said, it has been a really great year and I am very much looking forward to 2012 and the exciting running schedule I have planned out.

I would also like to finish with a quote from Joe Grant, someone who has embarked on a very similar journey in 2011, "If I can show this unwavering dedication to something as trivial as running, can I also not show a similar reverence to others and other areas of my life?"

Finally, here are the 2011 numbers:

Mileage:  1,671
Count:  375 total runs
Time:  269 hours (just over 11 days)
Elevation: 57,800 ft of gain
Calories:  248,700
Average pace: 6.2 mph
States (in order of appearance):  Montana, Alaska, Oregon, Washington, New York
Number of shoes:  4
Weight:  -15 lbs

Final race of the year, New York City Marathon


  1. GO JARED! Your dedication is truly impressive, even if I still think it's a bit crazy. I love the nod to your "deeply understanding wife" :) I need to grow in my understanding of and grace towards JR's areas of passion.

    Titus took a 4 hour nap yesterday, and I spent the entire time reading the book we sent you guys, "Born to Run." It actually made ME want to take up running! I can't wait to hear what you think of it; after not being able to put it down for 4 hours straight, I'm pretty sure you're going to eat it up.

  2. Great job Jared! Great articles as well! Proud of you!