Four lessons from my first 100-mile month

Post-race face. #potd

Today marks the start of month #2 of my resolution to run 100 miles per month for 2015. How’d I do in month #1? The final total was 109.199 miles according to the Charity Miles app. I wasn’t trying to overshoot 100 by quite so much until Friday evening when I signed up for the High Cloud Snapple Half Marathon.

January 1, the thought of running a 13.1-mile trail race with a starting temp of 24º wouldn’t have been the excitement-inducing prospect I found it to be when I woke up Saturday morning. The race was great, and my experience was indicative of some of the other lessons I’ve learned this month:

  • I’m still a runner. The inconsistency of my running over the last year or so had me thinking of myself as someone who had run about a dozen marathons and other races. This had a sharp distinction from the more active claim, “I’m a runner.” It was mid-way through Week 2 that I noticed the furniture in my head re-arranged. “That’s me again,” I thought, and kept huffing through the freezing cold.
  • Two other resets have been key. Before I knew “Drynuary” was a thing, I decided to take the time between the start of 2015 and my March 2 birthday as two months of refraining from alcohol and choosing a solely plant-based diet. Both are things I’ve done for about a month a year for the past 5 years or so, but this is the first time I’ve decided to put the two in concurrent service of a specific running goal. As a result, my nights are full of much better sleep. I hit the mattress, and I’m out. Waking up is much easier as well. When I’m back in the apartment after anything from 5-8 miles, my selection of snacks is much healthier than what I was eating before, even though, that was still a vegetarian diet. For me, vegan has meant cutting processed foods as much as possible as well.
  • I can neglect Netflix with no emotional consequences. A new city, a demanding job, winter – these all created a perfect storm of couch-sitting and binge watching in my first 5 months in D.C. While I didn’t make it my conscious objective to make it through all of Netflix/Amazon Prime/Hulu’s catalog, a ticktock of my time pre-January would have provided evidence to the contrary. While I’ll still catch episodes of Parks and Rec, Arrow, and Flash; they will usually be one-off viewings before I start in on cooking dinner or head to bed.
  • I’m cooking again. I have to. Turns out not buying processed food, deciding to eat plant-based, and running a ton mean my body tends to ask for actual food. My slow cooker has been getting a ton of use. I’ve picked up Angela Liddon’s The Oh She Glows Cookbook along with diving in to the plant-based Pinterest community. I’ve learned kale chips can be delicious. Not long after, I learned a person should not eat two entire cookie sheets of kale chips in quick succession.

All of January’s miles benefited Back on My Feet. At $0.25/mile, that’s just shy of $27.30 for the month. It seems small, but I hope it helps. With tomorrow’s run, I’ll be posting on February’s charity and why I’ll be running for them.

An Accounting of January’s Miles

Date Distance Charity Location Notes
1/1/2015 4.238 Back on My Feet Washington, D.C.
1/2/2015 4.248 Back on My Feet Washington, D.C.
1/3/2015 4.642 Back on My Feet Washington, D.C.
1/5/2015 4.453 Back on My Feet Washington, D.C.
1/6/2015 4.3 Back on My Feet Washington, D.C.
1/7/2015 4.713 Back on My Feet Washington, D.C.
1/8/2015 REST
1/9/2015 REST
1/10/2015 5.372 Back on My Feet Washington, D.C.
1/11/2015 5.479 Back on My Feet Washington, D.C.
1/12/2015 5.506 Back on My Feet Washington, D.C.
1/13/2015 5.719 Back on My Feet Washington, D.C.
1/14/2015 REST
1/15/2015 REST
1/16/2015 5.868 Back on My Feet Washington, D.C.
1/17/2015 5.905 Back on My Feet washington, dc
1/18/2015 REST
1/19/2015 6.073 Back on My Feet Washington, D.C.
1/20/2015 6.041
1/21/2015 REST
1/22/2015 REST
1/23/2015 7.522 Back on My Feet Philadelphia, PA Great run w/ @jspry
1/24/2015 EduCon
1/25/2015 EduCon
1/26/2015 REST
1/27/2015 8.019 Back on My Feet Washington, D.C.
1/28/2015 8.001 Back on My Feet Washington, D.C.
1/29/2015  REST
1/30/2015  REST
1/31/2015 13.1
January Total: 109.199


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