I have attempted the run the year challenge for three years in a row. And, I have fallen short each time.
In 2018 I finished with 1800 miles—a new personal best and a good start. In 2019 I again set a personal best with 1801 miles but still a couple hundred below the goal.
In 2020 I was determined to run the year and run the miles. I was sick in January, so missed a few days at the first of the year, and was behind ever since.
The virtual runs offered during coronavirus lockdowns did not help. In fact I think the uncanceled runs, provided by the same people who created run the year, served as cross purposes. While racing in a number of events sounds like a good way to catch up on miles, the resting before and after a race creates a net negative affect. In 2020 I raced in over 30 virtual races. Both wanting to push myself, and to support the running community.
I sought to run these races with some integrity. Not every race was a PR, although I did set some of those. But I did not go out and simply jog a 5K or finish a marathon as a slow jog. I put out a real effort as if I was racing. Among these 30 events I ran about a half dozen marathons and ultras.
Every week the deficit for my running balance improved more and more. Soon it was in the single digits. With a week to go, I had less than 50 miles to run. I can remember thinking on Christmas Eve morning, if I wanted to, I could run this whole thing in one day. But that is not how the day would turn out.
A mile into the run I got hit head on by a car. The driver didn’t stop. I could see the headlights coming at me but it was too late to do anything about it. I flew in the air like a cartoon character and landed on my right side. The adrenaline initially masked the pain, but I soon realized my arm and leg were like Jell-O. Another attempt at running the year was finished. Another time I have fallen short.
I am lucky to be alive. I can remember details of the accident that I wish I didn’t. I am sad to have put the ones i love through this hell again. But as the tattoo on my clavicle reminds me, i will rise above.