Last year, around August 20th, I had logged my 1000th mile of the year. It's only June 17th, a few days before summer and a full week and a half before the year's midpoint, and I've already logged in my 1001th mile. (Actually, with today's 9 miler, I'm up to 1010 miles). Each one of those miles was done with purpose, either as a warmup and prep for the Flying Pig or in its aftermath and the leadup to this training program.
I've done quite a few of them in DC, when I was happy to have refuge from cold Canada, and I have a few to come in the hot, humid climes of Washington in the next few months. Close to home, I've run in Burlington, Toronto, Scarborough, Etobicoke. Farther away, I've run in Miami, New York's Central Park. I've race quite a few of them: a marathon, a 30K, a 10K, an 8K and two 5Ks. I often run many of them in my mind on my way home, or on an airport or on a plane to visit R.
Reaching 2000 miles for the seems a very distant goal. At the beginning of the year, I had my mine set at a number a few hundred short of that target. Who knows what the next six months will take me, but i'll tell you what: All those training miles have made me a stronger runner. I feel faster, my paces seem more steady at faster speeds and I take joy in running.
A mile in my books is a good chunk of time. At my best, it can be a little more than 6 minutes. At my steadiest, it can clock in at 7:40. At my routine, it goes by in 8 minutes or just a bit faster if i'm feeling fresh. And when I'm just running and enjoying the scenery, I get a peek at those 9:20s or 8:50s. I can't remember all the past 1001, but I'm sure my body does.
Today, a day after recovering from my cold, I was really worried about going out for my run. I promised myself not to go out too hard, to run it by feel and I hoped that my body would recover enough for tomorrow's 5 mile race. I ran it strong and it felt great. The miles clicked by. I ended it with a a faster for the last bit as I knew I could give it my all in the final mile, one clocked at 7:05. One miles -- as of now -- of more than a thousand.