I’m sure you’re asking yourself, how does one get to 40,000 miles … on foot? I’ll show you my math if you show me yours. My calculations begin at the ripe old walking age of 11 months, three months after my brother’s highly competitive 8 month mark. So from 0-11, years that is, I gave myself 1,000 miles total. I was a pretty active kid, a part of the sandlot generation so I feel like 1,000 is a pretty conservative number.
From 12-21, I wrestled … from junior high to high school and into college. Running was a natural part of the program, from preseason running to the pre-practice two to three miles to the weight-loss running months. Let’s just agree there was a great deal of running. Again, playing it conservatively, I gave myself 500 miles (or 10 a week) a year for six years (during jr high and hs) and 750 a year during college when half-marathon mountain runs were part of the conditioning program for a top 10 wrestling program. One of those years was a redshirt, knee-ending season so I zeroed out that year. Subtotal … 3,000 + 2,250 + the original 1,000. That’s 6,250 at 21. Once I was able to rid myself of wrestling, I moved into my running and mini-triathlon years, culminating with a Boston Marathon qualifying time at 28. From 21 to 30, I averaged about 750 a year or 7,500 miles.
From 31-40, I raced competitively, but trained poorly, averaging more like 500 a year or 5,000 miles. So at 40, I was at 18,750. From 41 to 46, I continued to limp along at 500 miles a year with one year zeroed out for my second knee surgery. That put me at 20,750. Then I found Ragnar and ultra relays. Now, I’m conservatively averaging 1,500 a year and I intend to continue that pace until I’m 55. Of course, I’m into the forecasting years now, planning to add 12,000 miles over the next eight years which would put me at 32,750. See how quickly the miles add up.
From 56-60, I acknowledge there will be some slowness in my step so I’m dropping my forecast to 1,000 miles a year or 5,000 total. From 60-80, my goal is simple … 500 miles a year or 8,000 miles, taking into consideration some injury riddled periods for a loss of 2,000 miles. That puts me at 45,750 which is well above my 40,000 miles. I’m giving myself a 5% error rate or 2,250 and offering some flexibility in those later years. With that said, I do not intend to stop running at 80, nor do I believe that 40,000 is out of reach. Not so secretly, I’m shooting for 50,000.