“Success isn’t how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started.” – Steve Prefontaine
50 marathon routes in 50 states in 50 weeks. 25 marathon routes run by myself with limited support, no competitive edge, and no medal – just the self satisfaction the comes with completing a worthy task. Just over 34,000 miles driving around the country and 2 flights, one to Hawaii, one to Alaska have given me views of our country you couldn’t believe. I ran just under 1900 miles for the year, averaging a little more than 38 miles a week? I feel great. I feel accomplished. I feel on top of the world.
Even with all these amazing experiences, I still get asked many of the same questions. I thought today I would address the most common things people ask.
1. How are your knees?
The #1 question every time. This is a persistent myth about running – running ruins the knees. I believe I have seriously disproven this (even if you want to ignore all the medical and scientific research that does so). Even overweight, even undertrained, even with poor form my knees, hips, and assorted running parts survived intact. That doesn’t mean I’m not tired and worn, but a couple weeks of recovery have worked wonders.
2. Seriously, how are you?
Sorry, I’ve answered the knees questions so many times it feels kinda fake. Really though, I’m good. I damaged both of my knee caps this year in stupid accidents (not from running). My feet are always a little sore. Certain parts of my body are stronger than ever. Other parts feel strained and weak. I’ve been really tired since I stopped running but that has gotten better over the last week.
3. What was your favorite race?
I maintain the two most beautiful marathons in America are Big Sur and MDI. The California coast has drama; the Maine coast has more consistent breathtaking views.
4. Who was your favorite host?
I could never pick a single host as my favorite. I’ve had so many amazing experiences with individual hosts – great runs, beautiful tours, rope dojos, moonlit kayaks, backyard barbecues.
5. Are you writing a book?
Yes. Tentatively titled 51 Lefts Make A Right, I plan to have the book published this year. I’m focusing on the lessons I learned this year and the stories that affected me most.
6. Are you going to keep running?
OF COURSE! The marathon is still my favorite distance, but I plan on spending some more time building strength and speed and I believe rest is a major component of that training. I expect to run 10-20 marathons in 2017.
7. How did you do it?
I just said I was going to do it and I did. I didn’t do it fast (though I got pretty fast for me at one point). It wasn’t perfect. I just put one foot in front of the other and didn’t quit. Sure, I run/walk. I stretched and did roller exercises. Ice baths were a key component for much of the year. I got massages. I was also supported by a ton of positive intentions and prayers and remote reiki. However, at the end of the day, I laced up my sneakers each weekend and didn’t stop until I was done.
8. What have you learned?
Read the book!!! Ok, #1 lesson – run the mile you are in. Be present and aware in that mile. Do your best in that mile. Accept the people and conditions in that mile.
9. What was your biggest surprise?
I will say the biggest surprise this year was when my friend and UWP Castmate Dan Hickey culled Karen Flint and Angel Alvarez into a mini cast reunion and cheered me on at the Atlantic City marathon. There were so many twists to the plot, I was left always guessing and it truly came as a huge surprise in the end.
Europe! I will be coordinating international race series all over the globe and first off will be across the pond. Updates will roll out soon!