One reason I love tackling epic hikes is that I love accomplishing a goal. When I was running, I loved training for races. In fact, 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons were the only real way to get me motivated to get out of bed in the morning to pound the pavement. Last year when I heard about the 365 Mile Challenge, I knew it would be a great motivator to help me stay active.
To sign up or check out the challenge’s website, click here.
And it is a great motivator. It challenges you to obtain one human powered mile for every day of the year. Kayaking, hiking, running, cycling, and swimming all count toward you miles. And although you are encouraged to move every day of the year, you don’t have to do it that way.
For example last year, I drove to the Grand Canyon. So when I had 14-hour car rides, I did not obtain my mile. But while I was there, I hiked a lot to account for those missed days toward my goal of 365 miles.
It is really a great challenge. After you sign up, you join a private Facebook group with all the other participants. I loved seeing all the posts of the participants from all over the country. This was true especially in the early and late months of the year because people were snowshoeing and skiing. We don’t get a lot of snow in Arkansas, so I like to live vicariously through my northern friends.
It is also a great place to ask people for advice on issues that pertain to exercise and the outdoors. The group is really encouraging and a great place to make online friends. Those who sign up also have a chance to participate in several giveaways.
However, I hate to admit that I had many more missed days than just on my road trips.
And I also hate to admit I am not going to make my the goal for the 365 Mile Challenge. If I keep at my pace, I am going to end the year with a little more than 300 miles.
There were a lot of factors that contributed to this fail. The first problem I faced was I stared 2017 with an injured hiking buddy. My dog, Caddie, goes everywhere with me, and she tore her ACL right at the end of 2016. I do a lot of solo hiking, and with her out of commission, I was hesitant to go.
She was also my running buddy, and even ran 13.1 miles while I was training for a half marathon. I tried going without her, but it was just not the same. So I began riding my bike but got lazy there.
I still hiked when my friends wanted to go, but on my days off when I didn’t have anyone to go with, it was hard getting out the door without Caddie.
Finally around May, she healed enough to go on short walks and hikes. She will never be able to run again, so I have to do that without her.
For my post about signing up last year click here.
A back injury acquired sometime around August also hindered me from meeting my goal. One that has sidelined me for three months.
I just recently started hiking again. I did a few hikes, three to be exact, for the entire fall. Before I had been hiking one to two days a week.
In November I finally went to a physical therapist who diagnosed me with a SI joint dysfunction. Basically that is a joint in my pelvis and lower back that is out of whack. But hiking or any activity that involves rotation of the hips is not allowed until it heals.
And of course the other, and probably main reason I didn’t make my goal for the 365 Mile Challenge, is simply pure laziness. There were a lot of days where I chose to sleep in as long as possible instead of getting up and going for run.
Procrastination also got me on this one. In those beginning months, when I fell behind on my miles, I assumed I would be able to make them up later on in the year. But then I couldn’t.
I signed up for the 365 Mile Challenge for 2018, and this year I’m going to make those miles. I am going to get out of bed early to run or bike, and I’m not going to procrastinate.