I forgot that I love running.
In September of 2019 I ran 300 miles from Mount Washington to Hampton Beach with a group of 12 strangers in two vans over the span of 36 hours. Well, I didn't run all 300 miles. I didn't even run many of them. But it was one of the best social and athletic experiences of my life.
The last time I ran regularly, I was on the cross country team at my high school, nearly twenty years ago. In the days leading up the relay, I was scared. I hadn't run more than a few consecutive miles during my training. I was always injured with a bum right calf, and I was terrified that if I pushed too hard, I'd be out and let my team down.
During the relay, I didn't play the hero. I ran only as fast as I could and keep a smile on my face. If I lost that smile, I slowed down. My calf got me through to the end, unhappy but intact. Better still, the pain in my knees that persisted since I injured my lower back in my early twenties had vanished. Best of all, I remembered that I used to love to run—that I still loved to run.
Since then, I've started to run more regularly and to think more carefully about my technique and training. It didn't hurt that my friend JD lent me her copy of Born to Run. I think just about everyone decides to become an ultrarunner upon completing that book. Be careful before you pick it up.
This year I'm tracking how far I've run in the bullet chart below.
There are three important parts to this graph:
I'll update this chart daily. Let's see where I end up!