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Part 2: We Did It! 2015 Miles Team Member Brandi

Part 2 of a 3 part series: We Did It! 2015 Miles in 2015. In this article team member Brandi Jones  shares what running in this challenge was like for her. Personally, I am so proud of her! She was the only team member to consistently reach her monthly miles goal every single month of 2015. To reach this goal she sacrificed other activities she enjoys, like biking, and somehow logged all of these miles without training for or running in any organized races. Truly commendable! Look for part 3 on Friday by team member Kate Bowers.
I can’t believe it’s over. It seems like the older you get the faster the years go by. December was actually a good month to run outside. We had unseasonably warm weather for Northern Iowa. Averaging around 40 degrees, I was able to get more outside miles. Unfortunately the bad (good) thing about Iowa in December….deer season. I was reminded this when I went to run out of town and the sound of gun shots brought me right back in. If you run every street in my town you get around 9 miles, this is repeating some streets also, so needless to say it helps to change things up a little.
Here’s my stats for the last 365 days. For not racing or training for anything, I’m very happy with my numbers. Thanks to MapMyRun I was able to easily look back through my yearly total. Keep in mind I’m not the 100-140 pound runner. If you're familiar with triathlons…I’m considered an Athena.
      ·         The longest I went without running was 7 days.
·         I ran 216 days.
·         I logged 725.55 miles. My goal set in January was 672.
·         141.87 miles on the treadmill.
·         583.68 miles on the pavement.
·         I averaged 3.36 miles each time I ran.
·         My longest run on a treadmill was 11.06 miles.
·         My longest run outside was 10.01 miles.
·         Fastest 5K – 30.50
·         Fastest 10k – 1:05:27
·         Fastest Mile- 9:53
·         I achieved each monthly mileage goal I set.  This I am very proud of, it sounds like a simple           task but is a ton more challenging than you think.
·         Money spent on registrations $0 – Free year victory!
 Some people make commitments and fall short, some don’t make commitments at all, some make long term, some short. They say it takes 16 weeks continuously doing something to make it a habit or lifestyle.  I am so happy and proud that what I set out to do 12 months ago, I was able to complete. My body held up. I’m not going to lie it was a mental battle to keep pushing thru the aches and pains, the rain, and the cold.

 When I decided 2015 was going to be my year free of racing, it was a welcoming site to see that Traci wanted to do this challenge. Also with Kate joining in it make the mileage total seem feasible. It was a way to challenge myself yet stay true to my “free year.” I can tell you it was very challenging not to race. I missed it.  I missed the running community. Thankfully I was able to volunteer at a few races to fill the void.
This year I have enjoyed helping some of my friends train for races and others who just wanting to start running. They are proof if you truly commit you can succeed.  I get just as much joy from seeing them accomplish their best as I do from myself.  I’m so thankful they helped me in completing some of my monthly miles. A great support person/group is key in reaching any goal. Just a positive word or a challenge can be the one thing that helps someone else push that extra mile. Every person has it in them to help others and themselves. The majority of the time the thoughts going thru your own mind when pushing through a hard run or workout; are the same they are thinking: Be positive – Stay positive.

 About a week ago I found out one of my friends was doing her own 2015 miles in 2015. Yes, all by herself! She did it by using her daily steps. She would walk/run around 3 miles each day, plus stay active thru the day to get steps in. Keep in mind this is an amazing personal goal as you would need to average around 168 miles a month or 5 miles a day. She did come up a little short, but what an outstanding commitment. Have I mentioned this lady is 64 years young!  So to everyone out there who thinks it’s too late to change your habits and start a healthier lifestyle. This lady will prove you wrong!
 Now, the big question…Will I do this again? Maybe in the future, but not in 2016. I enjoyed this challenge, but it took a lot of time away from other things I enjoy, like biking. In a normal week this year I would run and/or walk 3-4 days a week and do a boot camp twice a week. This is on top of a 40+ hour job. So, I would have 1 or 2 days of rest which I needed. I did get a couple of bike rides in and a few days of RAGBRAII but I can’t wait to do more in 2016. Plus I missed the mud and novelty runs. Who knows maybe another triathlon. My possibilities are endless. As long as my body holds up, my mind is strong I know I can accomplish it.
These wonderful ladies joined me for my final miles!
I’m so proud of Traci for pushing through and completing back to back ½ marathons, also to her family members for joining in. Fitness and achieving goals has so many happy endorphins. I wish everyone that is struggling or is in a rut would take a challenge, move out of your comfort zone, find support within your family, friends or community. Stop making excuses and do the thing that scares you!

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