Dear Monica of Run Eat Repeat,
I want to start out by thanking you for your November Pile On The Miles 2012 Challenge.
I signed up at the end of October, just a few days post half-marathon. I was on quite a runners high after my favorite half marathon yet. I had quite a PR, but I felt so amazing through every training run and the race. And, after the race. When I signed up for this challenge I looked at my schedule for the month of November, looked at the number of miles I had been running, thought about the number of miles I wanted to cover, and I thought this month would be the perfect month to increase my mileage. Perfect timing for a challenge. Fall running in MN is for the most part amazing. Call me crazy, but I’d rather run in the fall than any other season here.
Monica, I want you to know what your challenge did for me. Physically, it made me a stronger runner. It made me step out of my normal, boring routine. I set a goal of 120 miles for the month. For some people that isn’t much, for some it’s too much. I thought it would be just right for me. I was looking to increase my weekly miles slightly. I wanted to go from on average, 20 miles per week (not in training) to around 30 miles per week. Very doable. I did not go into this challenge for weight loss. However, the increase in miles I think, has changed my body a little bit. My pants and work scrubs are fitting different, and I feel good. I ended the challenge with 141 miles.
Mentally, this challenge was such a boost for me. I didn’t think I could get more of a runners high than I already had. I had a positive attitude going into the challenge. I feel even better after the challenge. There is something to be said about setting a goal (no matter what it pertains to!!!), creating a plan, putting in the hard work, and achieving that goal. I also think that checking in with you each Monday on what our smaller, weekly goals were, was a good plan. It puts the big goal in perspective. Breaking that 120 miles into shorter goals didn’t make it feel like it was too much at all. This challenge made me realize the importance of setting individual goals each month, setting a plan and putting in the hard work. I already have goals and a plan for the month of December!
I am very comfortable with running. Running is my comfort zone. However, increasing my mileage by about 10 miles per week added at least one extra day for me, my schedule made for some morning runs (which isn’t an issue, but I prefer to run in the mid-morning or afternoon in the fall), and I wanted to push my runs a little faster than normal (that’s the beauty of lower temps!). I stepped out the door on windy, cold days. I stepped out the door a few mornings. I stepped out the door when my iPod died and my Garmin battery died. And I stepped out the door when I was really tired. I pushed through sore legs and side cramps. This challenge made me push through my mental excuses, and I am very thankful for the mental strengths I have after this challenge.
So Monica, thank you again, for this challenge. It was so much more for me than just running and logging the miles. Hopefully next year you will host the same (or similar) challenge.
Thank you Monica!
Missy @ Miles With Missy