One of my big goals this year was to run 1,000 miles. As of yesterday, I’ve done it!
Running has been especially important to me because of coronavirus stresses and living in a foreign country. I find it really helpful as a grounding technique—it forces me to be immersed in the physical world and be aware of physical discomforts. Having an ambitious and achievable goal also helps keep me positive and stick to a regular running schedule.
My favorite part of running is exploration. In a new city, running lets me see the sights and tour the area without a plan or obligation. In my current city, I end up finding all sorts of hidden treasures and trails that most people never see. I usually open up a map in my area and try to connect the green areas using Strava’s global heatmap.
Some highlights include seeing the old town and some local parks in Gdansk, exploring several national parks, a snowy night run in Slovakia, and seeing castles along Szlak Orlich Gniazd (the Trail of the Eagle’s Nests). On the other hand, I’ve had some not-so-fun runs, including 10 kilometers on the same 0.2km stretch of cobble in my apartment complex during coronavirus lockdown, some smoggy morning winter runs, and my longest and farthest run to date—28 miles for my 28th birthday over 4 hours and 20 minutes. Aisha’s cheered me along from her bike for most of the long ones in her self-designated role as “sheepdog.”
Another aspect I enjoy is tracking statistics. I’ve used Strava for the last couple of years to store my historical running information. Throughout my 1,000 miles, I’ve spent almost six full days moving, climbed 54,775 feet (almost twice the height of Mount Everest), and burned an extra 114,267 calories (around 60 days worth of food for the average person).
You can see more data here.