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The First 100 of the First 1,000
10% Complete By 10% Of The Year. Here are 10 lessons from every 10 miles.
I’m a bit shocked to be here…already.
The weather cooperated. My body cooperated. And as of publishing, we’re onto 110+.
At this point, I thought I’d be nervous about being behind or how long it would take. Fear was my expected emotion.
Instead, I’m elated.
My good friend, Jeanne Torre says, “Every run has a lesson.”
And looking back at the first 100, these are 10 lessons from every 10 miles.
Mile 0-10: You have to start
“Well, shit. Here we go.”
I figured a 5k would be a good baseline for the year ahead. This wasn’t a mad dash, but it will become a reference point for health, strength, and ability throughout the year.
What I didn’t know is that I’d be so wrong about how I was running.
Mile 11-20: You need to slow down
The Week of Slow, 80/20 Running, was the first revelation. My body and my mind had to meet each other on new terms.
I was able to bank lots of big miles early, but there was a lot of doubt. I was covering bigger distance, but I felt like I was spending way too much time running.
Despite what I wrote in the above tweet, I wasn’t sure I believed it yet.
Mile 21-30: You’re not all the way back yet
The Week of Slow ended on a sour note. The 5.5 miles to end 7 days of turtle running were among the worst of the first 100, but they served such a powerful lesson.
In feeling bad, I had to remember that I had regressed big time in December after an incredible November of running.
So, my comeback would take time. I needed to be patient.
Mile 31-40: Develop A Training Mindset
The more I reflected on the changes from November to December, I realized the big difference: a clear goal.
And while I can boil down the 1,000 miles to averages, the end is far from a monthly checkin. I need something tangible.
So, I wanted to train for something in the nearer future. After all, my first sprint triathlon is what got me into running.
I looked at the 80/20 Training Plans, and Matt Fitzgerald, the author, mentioned that half marathon training created the best all-around running shape.
To me, that sounded like the perfect challenge.
Mile 41-50: Prepare For The Early Resistance
As I jumped into the training plan, I didn’t expect Day 3 to be the biggest obstacle. A few days prior, I had discovered something by pushing myself on another 5k (tweet below).
So, I wondered, “Could this plan do the same? Could I find the same mental edge?”
As it got later and later on Friday, and I was more ready for the weekend than a run. The resistance closed in on all sides.
But, I did it anyway.
This early win was so critical to the training mentality.
I like to say:
First is the worst.
Second is the best
Third is the one that puts the hair on your chest.
And so it goes.
Mile 51-60: Trust The Process
As I continued on the 80/20 Training Plan, the doubt subsided thanks to surprising results.
On my weekly long run, I set a PR for 10k…without trying.
I bought in.
Mile 61-70: Chip Away
As I gained on best running month yet, I saw the power of consistency. Showing up 5 times a week—even with less than 3 miles—proved more effective than my every other day method.
Putting in the work…well…works.
Mile 71-80: Beating Your Past Expectations
My precedent in November proved to be a powerful motivator.
I couldn’t let the cold weather stop me from making January the best month of running yet. It was the win my body and mind craved.
I bundled up and got it done.
The wins were starting to rack up along with the miles. And I was running far past where I thought I would be.
Mile 81-90: Stay flexible
Another 10k, another PR.
It was almost coming TOO easy.
I was so stoked for a beautiful day that I went for far more miles than required. That meant that I had to flip-flop my training.
Exchanging long run for hill sprints was a great decision.
I got such a mental lift from the sunshine and the fresh air that the PR was really the icing on the cake. Plus, running hill sprints in the cold a couple days later proved more rewarding.
Mile 91-100: Focus on the big picture
As I inched closer to the first 100, I got obsessive over the mileage. It thought I’d never get there (I lost sight of the logic).
Even on the run that would get me over the hump, I forgot to start my watch on the first segment missing about .4 mile. Woof.
So, I stayed out a little later. I put in an insurance mile to make sure that I was over 100 total on the official Garmin mileage.
As I walked home, I realized how silly I had been.
But crossing 100 changed something.
It felt like I got the monkey off my back. This was doable, I could make 1,000 miles.
The joy has carried over. The habit has been established. I love the ritual of running.
And the mileage total, it’s a bonus for all the other positive life changes:
Looking forward to the adventured of the next 90 miles.
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