One thousand miles. To anyone who travels, even moderately, it doesn’t sound like such a great distance. It’s half the distance between Dallas and Seattle. It’s less than the distance between Dallas and Atlanta.
It doesn’t take long to make a thousand mile flight. Driving a thousand miles is no more than a two-day drive. It’s not such a long distance.
But one thousand miles is a long walk. Breaking it in to small pieces doesn’t change that. It’s a long, long walk. I decided on March 6, 2012 that I would walk 1000 miles beyond my normal, daily, routine walking before the end of 2012.
When I set the goal, I calculated that I would need to average about three and one-third miles per day. That should be easily doable, I reckoned. At my typical pace, that amounted to just over 45 minutes per day. Piece of cake! Or so I thought. What didn’t register with me was that there would be days…lots of days…when the weather made walking deeply unattractive. And there would be days…lots of days…when I would have other obligations and couldn’t get out to walk. Or there would be places I would travel that argued against making the full three and one-third miles.
The solution was to do what I have done several times this year as I came to realize how far behind I was getting…walk much, much further when my feet would cooperate. Many days, I walked four, five, six, seven, or more miles.
The closer I got to my goal, the more acutely aware I became that 1000 miles is a long walk. On Christmas eve, I realized I had about seven days left and about ten miles to go. And then the temperature plunged and snow and ice interrupted my walks. Ten miles began to seem like a very, very long way. But, I got it done. As of this morning, I passed my 1000 mile goal. It feels good to have done it. I enjoy walking, though my knees and my ankles are no longer thrilled at the prospect of several miles per day.
According to RunKeeper, the iPhone app I used to track my time and distance, I spent 291 hours, 43 minutes, and 21 seconds to reach my goal, burning 135,273 calories in the process. I impressed myself! But lest I get too impressed, I need only consider my young friend who set a goal to bike 1013 miles by December 31…she achieved her goal before the end of July.