Four years ago I did something unpleasant to my achilles tendon and had to spend the entire summer in an aircast, which I affectionately called "The Boot." At the end of my long, drawn-out summer of physical therapy, my therapist suggested running as a way to keep the tendon conditioned, which seemed totally counter-intuitive, not to mention against everything I believed in. I do not come from runners. I was already somewhat of a black sheep in my family for regularly going to a gym and lifting weights.
But I thought, what the hell. So I started slow. Very slow. I think for the first few months I gradually went from "running" for 30 seconds out of every five minutes, at like 5mph, and every time I ran I'd up it by 15 seconds. Clearly it took a while to work up to running nonstop for half an hour. But eventually I did it, and then I decided to start keeping track of my miles.
That first year, without even trying, I logged 820 miles. So I decided to go for 1,000 the following year. This sounds like a lot, but really it's only 250 every three months, so under 100 per month.
That first year? I tore my rotator cuff in two places, had surgery, massive amounts of PT, a frozen shoulder, ANOTHER minor trip to the hospital to take care of that, and lots of time away from the gym. I don't think I even managed 500 miles that year.
The next year? Another bout of achilles tendonitis. Here's a tip: when you damage your achilles, you need to be VERY VERY careful when you go up an incline of any kind. So, another summer in The Boot, and I logged perhaps 600 miles. This was last year.
This year, 2008, I decided I would be injury free and I WOULD hit 1,000. And guess what? I did it! Saturday morning I passed the mark, and am now sitting pretty at 1,002.8 miles. I might be able to get to 1,030 or 1,040, depending on my level of sloth. It was 16 degrees out this morning, so the sloth won out.
Maybe now I can relax.