YOU VS. THE YEAR. 1000KM IN 2016. When I heard about the new challenge that Under Armour posed for us, I initially though it was pretty bold and intimidating. My gut reaction was, “Oh, that’s for the real runners. I can’t do that! I’m a middle-aged newbie Walk It Out Crew regular who needed a week to recover when she tried to run one puny little mile on the treadmill.” No way can I go 1000 mi… Wait a minute. Not 1000 miles, 1000 kilometers. And kilometers are sweet little friendly units of measure.
I pulled out my calculator. Kilometers to miles divided by days in a year plus one extra day for leap year times the square root of pi to the x power… (I’m kidding about that last part.) A thousand kilometers in a year comes out to a little less than a mile and three quarters a day, every day? I can do that! So I signed up.
Now, I admit that I am totally awestruck by people like Captain Amir (who ran 50K—31 miles!—because he thought it might be a fun thing to do on a Sunday); by people in Canada who run outside for an hour in arctic winter weather; by parents who do 10 miles pushing their babies in running strollers; heck, I’m amazed by everyone who runs. But I must stop myself before the awe turns into a sense of intimidation. I have to respect my own pace and use a different strategy. I’m a tortoise in a drove of hares. My fellow walkers (run/walkers, slowpokes, joggers, turtles) and I in You VS The Year must find other ways to add distance to our days.
During the two UA/Harlem Run challenges, I’d gotten into the habit of going out at lunchtime for a “brisk meander” until the MapMyRun bot-lady said I’d gone a mile, then head back to the office; that gave me my 1.75 miles and a fraction to spare; I figured out that 5 times around the inner loop of one park was a mile, while it was only 3 times around for the other park.
Sometimes I give my Metrocard a rest and get on or off the subway three stops away and walk the rest. On the weekends, I really go crazy and walk to and from Fairway. (What’s so crazy about walking to the grocery store, you ask? Well, remember, over the summer, the Walk It Out Crew walked from Harlem Shake to Riverside Park and back again? That was a little over a mile and a half each way. Fairway is just a little further up the highway, so: Walk + Pause + Shop + Resume + Walk = The Fairway 5K!)
I’ve found other ways to work extra walking miles into my everyday activities. There’s the Target Two Miler and the Mommie’s House Mile-and-a-Half, and soon I think I’ll do a Whole Foods Four. In fact, almost all of my actual runs (read: run/walks) are done on a treadmill—and on Monday Nights with Harlem Run!
Joining the UA You Vs. The Year Challenge has been challenging, but extremely motivating for me. I challenge all of YOU to go out there and get your miles/kilometers in. Make up your own routes. Motivate yourself. And come out on Monday nights!