Monday, July 1, 2013

Road To 200

The Road To 200…

The title may conjure up images of some epic battle between good and evil, the dark forces in conflict with the honorable protector.  Yet this Road to 200 is really a contest with me against the road.  I’m pretty detailed when it comes to keeping track of my running miles.  Over the years I’ve developed a rather intense excel spreadsheet to log all of my workouts into.  This spreadsheet calculates all runs by distance, week, month and year.  I track all of my race times, running streaks, personal best performances and even rest and injury recovery days.  This spreadsheet crunches numbers back and forth with all the power of Microsoft; it can even determine how many times I’ve run The Great Wall of China (2.04) as well as to The Moon and back (.05).

So why do all this besides wanting to know how many times I’ve circumnavigated the Earth, because in a numbers kind of way it’s fun.  And it is a major motivator to hit new goals or establish new training benchmarks.  This all brings me to the standard of miles per month.  The 100 mile standard was a very early goal and one that has become common place for me.  For the first year surpassing 100 miles a month was significant, today my monthly miles exceed this standard by routine.

A new standard is 200 miles per month.  The closest I have gotten to the next century mark was last December (2012) when I fell 22 miles short.  Going into June I had no real goal of surpassing 200 miles and in fact started off the month on a rest day.  Certainly any goal setting month would not begin with a gutter ball or a big goose egg.  But that is how this run toward 200 started for me.

The month of June started off with a travel day as Michele and I were headed to Myrtle Beach for a camping vacation.  We so enjoyed our time there and the pedestrian friendly campground led to a great week of running.  I logged 58 miles during the 8 days we were there and running everyday helped me keep off the vacation pounds but also birthed the idea of approaching 200 miles.

Every good thing must come to an end.  Upon getting back to the real world, outside challenges sprung up, obligations of life and a bad stretch of weather cost two more running days.  In a blink of an eye we were 15 days into the month and I was sitting at 97 miles.  At this point even with three off days in the books, the thought of setting a new goal sprang new life.  I’m not sure why or where this thought came from but almost overnight the goal became a fixture of my running motivation.  My routine 6 mile run grew into 7, 8 and 9 miles.  Planned medium distances turned into double digits.  9 days later, I had not missed a run…and my total sat at a near record 171 miles.  The road to 200 began to feel real and achievable.  I know to some 200 miles in a month is routine, but to this runner who averages 124 and who’s pervious best is 178…200 is a nice jump.

The final run toward this goal came on the road from Jamestown Settlement to Yorktown Battlefields, Virginia.  My 200 mile goal would be met on the Colonial Parkway where 200+ years ago our fore fathers fought for freedom.  This historic road is a road I’ve run a number of times training for the marathon distance.  And yet this road marked a new day in my running history.  It was at the 16th mile when I reached 200 miles for the month.  I was fortunate to share this run with George, a friend, and his daughter Rebecca. My son Anthony was crewing for us.  When I hit 200 miles our little pack was separated a bit so I gave a quiet fist pump to the sky and motored on.  I'm wearing George's 24 Hour Event shirt, his event got me into running Ultras.

The Road to 200 205 looked something like this:

Number of days run:  23 days
Avg. distance per run:  9 miles
Total:  206.6 miles
States Run In:  South Carolina, Virginia


  1. What an amazing achievement, Brian! I am like you having hit the 100 mile a month mark consistently reaching my highest total back in April (161.7) thanks to the 90 miles ran at the 24 hour run. You deserve a big thanks as I would not have reached this total without your invite to join the team. After reading your post, I am inspired to strive for that 200 mile month. I just choose to do it when it will be much cooler than it is now. I think with the summer heat and humidity, your reaching the 200 mile mark is so much more impressive. Congrats!

    1. Thank you Paul. There was a time 200 was not part of my goal list, but with runners like you, Steve S, Nathan and the Twitter running community I've been pushed onward. Brian

  2. This is amazing! I have never run a 200 mile month, which shocks most people. I've been close (194 I think)but never hit 200. Congrats on a huge accomplishment!

    1. Shocks me...but your FAST!


  3. Nicely done! I love tracking my mileage, is a self-motivator sometimes, knowing that I can add on miles if I just get out there!