• Monica Jackson

The Motions of Running 500 Miles in 1 Year

Updated: May 21, 2019

What got me hooked- In my dreams the fitness aspect of my life would look like a person who knows how to take care of her body. I realized I want to be the person who “is” not the person that “will be” so I needed to chase this version of myself down. I decided to set a goal of running 500 miles in one year. Don't get me wrong, I didn’t think I could do it but when I did the math (& if I stay on track) it’s just 10 miles a week 50 weeks of the year. That seemed like an attainable amount to run every week. It takes me at least 3 miles to put down the worries and anxious feeling anyway, when I hit 3 miles my lungs feel useful, my mind becomes open and I feel like I have purpose. The runs are something for myself every week, no other purpose than to put in the miles.

At 50 miles- (5 weeks in) I asked myself mid run, is 3 miles going to get easier. Maybe a question this because the miles each week didn't feel accomplishing or validating. Likely because my mind is open to all my thoughts when running (often some that don’t occur any other time) so I had been grappling with them for 50 miles. Frequently I thought about this goal of 500 miles in a year, one day I came to this conclusion that how you or I look physically- the muscle we have on our bodies & have worked to gain- does not necessarily reflect on you or me as a person. There are some people that have committed hours upon hours to make their bodies physically strong and there are others that are stronger in what they can contribute to the world (I think that these kind of people as having a strong positive effect on what they can bring to the community/word table) BUT They're not always or maybe not often synonymous. I had never separated the two, perhaps this goal will help me scale where I am now & where I want to be in both capacities .

200 miles deep- (about 5 months in) I question why I want to do this there is this intrinsic desire to challenge myself- to see what I am capable of- I found the physical challenge of this goal leads to an almost bigger mental challenge. Without realizing it there's a delayed gratification from running the 500 miles that I hope will be fulfilled. But even at 200 miles, I feel some comfort knowing I ran as far as I have. To be authentic, yes of course some days I don’t feel like running & some days I talk myself out of it. BUT this goal has a form of discomfort tat molds will allow the best versions of ourselves to be present. I have to remind myself that the miles will not happen all at once but by putting one foot in front of the other no matter how fast or slow that they have been as long as they get.

The next 300 miles- will be along will be a loving discipline & challenge that is also a little uncomfortable, but I guarantee that I will be changed because of it.

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