The December run-down

This is it, people! This is the last month of the year, and the last month available to me to hit my 2020 running goals. And I won’t lie: It’s going to be extremely challenging and I might not make it. But I’ll deal with that hit to my ego later, for today I want to be hopeful!

My 2020 mileage goal was to run a minimum of 700 miles, spread out through (at least) 175 runs. That would have been an easier goal to reach if my races weren’t all cancelled and if I didn’t spend as many days doing long adventure walks instead of running (no regrets!). But this is where I am now. And so, this is what I must do to complete my goal.

When I wrote about my push to meet my goals last month, I had hoped that I would manage 30 runs in November and at least 100 miles. But, alas, I only managed 18 run and just over 50 miles. And that means that, as of today, I have 216.56 miles left to run this year. That means I need to average 6.986 miles a day throughout December (but we’ll round that up to 7 miles a day). And because I spent so many days hiking in the hills this summer rather than running, I have 39 runs yet to complete this year. And that means not only running every day, but eight of those days will have to be a “dooble” or a “double dunter”.

I have set out a rough plan that includes a lot of 7-mile runs and a few dooblers with two 5Ks (for days when I have several meetings throughout the day so need to split my time). I also have a few 5- and 10-mile days planned and (if all goes well) I will do a half marathon for the first three weekends of December and a full marathon on the last weekend.

I know that I will want to do some long adventure walks once I’m on my Christmas holidays, and I don’t want to lose my running miles because of that. That means I will need to get a lot of miles in early so that I can do a simple 5K on days I’ll be hiking more than 5 miles.

I will be honest and say that I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know if by body is strong enough for it. (I haven’t run more than 200 miles in a month since I was in my teens and early 20s!) But I have to at least try. And when if I fail, I will just remind myself that this year was filled with “good reasons” for missing my goal: Cancelled races and more long adventure walks and hikes than normal.

No matter what happens with my goals, I will be running on the last day of the year, as is tradition. (And I will start 2021 with a run, too. Again, it’s tradition!)

But for now, it’s time to lace up those shoes and knock out a 7-mile run!

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