The 2020 run-down

I did it! I managed my 2020 mileage goal! And to be honest, up until a week or so ago I wasn’t completely certain I would manage it. But I did. And that means that I have to blog about it. (Although I may have blogged about my failure, too. But now we’ll never know.)

My 2020 running goals included a mileage goal of at least 700 miles, spread out through (at least) 175 runs. The goal was set with the intention of running a few half-marathons and one or two full marathons and I never even stopped to think about the possibility of a global pandemic leading to all of my races being cancelled. I also didn’t expect to spend as many days doing long adventure walks instead of running (no regrets!). But those things happened, and that made reaching my goal a little harder than expected.

I did, however, manage a couple of good half-marathon distances including one in July and an invigorating sunset run in the Pentland Hills just before Christmas. But those longer runs should have happened more often than they did. As it was, the lack of long runs added to the struggles to get the miles in towards the end of the year.

Just Frances at Mile 5.5 of a half-marathon into the Pentland Hills

In November, I wrote about a push to meet my goals thinking that I would manage 30 runs and at least 100 miles. But I didn’t manage that, which meant that at the start of December I shared that I still had 216.56 miles to run in 2020. That meant I needed to average 7 miles a day throughout the month. But this excuse, that excuse, and the next excuse meant that the last two weeks of the month needed 10+ miles a day to achieve my goal.

And then, a couple of days before Christmas, I found myself thinking about just how obsessed I was becoming (in my thoughts, if not in my actions). But I realised that I was too close to my goal to give up on it, even though that would mean running far too much in the days to follow. As I ran for a second time that day, to rack up a total of 14 miles, I realised that I was calculating the miles that remained for my annual goal. I was negotiating with myself over how many miles to run on different days so that I could also achieve other things, like my desire to climb in the Pentlands on specific days and, indeed, to simply rest.

Yes, I knew that the last few days would be hard and that I would be pushing myself far more than prudent. But I also knew (or at least, believed) that I could do it; I felt confident that I could put myself through these gruelling days of over-exertion. Thankfully, snow on Boxing Day and in the days to follow made the hills too dangerous which meant I was able to put walking out of my mind, allowing me to simply concentrate on running.

And so here I am, at the end of 2020 with a total of 702 miles on my running shoes, having just finished a 5-mile run for New Year’s Eve. That’s an average of 1.9 miles a day and approximately 60,000 calories burned. But if you’re looking for more nitty-gritty stats, here you go:

  • January: 18.5 miles (0.6 daily; 4.7 weekly average)
  • February: 24.1 miles (0.8 daily; 6.0 weekly average)
  • March: 45.4 miles (1.5 daily; 11.3 weekly average)
  • April: 32.0 miles (1.1 daily; 8.0 weekly average)
  • May: 67.3 miles (2.2 daily; 16.8 weekly average)
  • June: 70.2 miles (2.3 daily; 17.5 weekly average)
  • July: 100.7 miles (3.2 daily; 25.2 weekly average)
  • August: 24.5 miles (0.8 daily; 6.1 weekly average)
  • September: 18.2 miles (0.6 daily; 4.6 weekly average)
  • October: 32.1 miles (1.0 daily; 8.0 weekly average)
  • November: 50.4 miles (1.7 daily; 12.6 weekly average)
  • December: 218.6 miles (7.1 daily; 54.6 weekly average)
Just Frances at Mile 2.5 on the last 5-mile run of 2020

Frustratingly, I didn’t manage to beat any of my time goals this year. They were made with the intent that I would be running formal races, and therefore training for races. Instead, my runs were done with little intention other than to rack up the miles. But those goals still exist and will give me something to work on for 2021.

My 2021 mileage goals will be a little more ambitious than 2020, however, I will be breaking it down into monthly and quarterly goals so that I don’t find myself needing to push out 200+ miles in December! I will, however, need to run just over 100 miles each month. But I think I can do that if my main goal for 2021 (to be announced tomorrow) is successful!

2 Replies to “The 2020 run-down”

  1. Congratulations! I met my mileage goal in late October, which was good, because November and December were crap for riding. I’m not sure about setting a mileage goal for ’21–I found myself more concerned about miles than enjoying the ride. Happy New Year and good luck in 2021!

    1. I hope to meet my 2021 mileage goals a little earlier that my 2020 goals — despite a plan for more than 500 additional miles!! Unlike you, however, I must have the goals or I won’t get out often enough. I mean, I enjoy running most of the time, but if I don’t have a goal to motivate me, my enjoyment of being lazy (especially when it’s cold or rainy) prevents me from lacing up the shoes!!!

      Here’s hoping for loads of miles for both of us this year!!! <3

Join the conversation!