#RunPhD: I would run 1,200 miles, and I would (not) run 1,200 more.

According to the good folks at The Measure of Things, here are a few things that are the same distance as 1,200 miles:

  • One-two-hundredth as long as the distance from Earth to the Moon
  • It’s about one-fifth as long as The Great Wall of China (total).
  • It’s about three-fifths as long as The Oregon Trail.
  • It’s about four-and-a-half times as long as The Grand Canyon.
  • It’s about 200 times as tall as Mount Everest.
  • It’s about 1,500,000,000,000,000 times as long as a Glucose Molecule.

There are many more comparisons on the list, but long website short: it’s far.

And since one of my goals for 2019 is to run 1,200 miles, I have come to a very significant and crystal clear conclusion: this is going to take a freaking long time.

Looking at the spreadsheet my friend Beth created for me, the screen is filled with empty cells waiting for numbers to be added into them. As I write this on the fourth day of the year, I’ve added a few digits already, but they make up such a tiny corner that it’s easy to miss them. 365 days of starting lines are there, in black and white, waiting. I’ve been telling myself that there’s a reason this is a year-long challenge and that it’ll feel more do-able once I get to 100 miles, and even better at 600. And I remind myself that it is not about speed this year, it is about distance. Those miles can include sprinting, running, walking, hiking, or whatever speed works to get one foot in front of the other.

Each time I’ve participated in a race, I overthink all of the “what ifs” that could keep me from the finish line. I might do that for hours, days, or weeks depending on the distance of the race (months if it’s a marathon because those are long!). This year has too many starting lines to overthink so instead I’ll be learning about what it takes to make today the best day possible. Some days that will mean a 7-mile run at 6am with Kira, some days it will mean a neighborhood walk before sunset, and some days it will mean nothing at all because that’s okay too.

365 starting lines and one big finish line. Okay. Okay. What’s next?

I’ve survived 12 marathons and one Ph.D. program. So…now what? I’ve learned through the journeys that it’s not about intelligence, speed, magic beans, or waiting for it to get easy. It’s about strength and perseverance. This year’s blog series will be about #WhatsNext after crossing some major finish lines, and preparing for new starting lines as a runner and a (not that kind of) doctor. I am #RunPhD.

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