Saturday, January 2, 2010

What's it all about this 1000 miles in a year venture?

If you're reading this blog post then you have either come across it because you know me as ChemSpiderman or you have happened across it based on some type of search about running. The blog title is 1000 miles in a year and is a declaration of my intent to clock a 1000 miles of running in the next year from Jan 1st 2010 until Jan 1st 2011. That's actually not that's only about 2.7 miles per day, about 20 miles per week. Not much compared to the people who are running their marathons and half-marathons on a fairly regular basis.
For me it's a good target. I've got a lot of reasons that I might fail and I'll cover them on the blog over the next few months as I face them as challenges.

Bottom line though the challenges include: 1) A very demanding job with about 60-70 hour work weeks at times 2) A beautiful wife and twin 7 year old boys that I like to spend my time with 3) A lot of additional distractions that I enjoy - writing (book chapters, scientific papers, blogs, poetry, other stuff..) 4) Age...45 years old and years of pushing my body through some interesting challenges 5) Injuries - multiple sustained in recent years and still nursing a calf/achilles issue from a run in San Francisco a few months ago. 6) Lots of travel that consumes a lot of time and gets in the way of a healthy lifestyle. 7) The wackiest diet you can imagine and one that dieticians say should have put me in the ground years ago!

That said these are all EXCUSES as to why I might fail. There's no reason that I cannot run 1000 miles in a year. In fact my original thought was 1500 miles...or even 2000 miles in a year but for the first time in a long time I decided to make it something achievable rather than something that I would overly obsess about and push too hard at. I wanted a stretch goal that would achieve a series of things for me: 1) Push me outside my comfort zone 2) Give me a fixed goal that would take a long time to achieve 3) Give me an opportunity to lead my kids by example that exercise is a good thing 4) Offer me the chance to run alongside my wife as she takes on her own running challenges as a new distance runner 5) Offer a physical advantage to a new distraction..getting fit 6) Give me a chance to interact with a new group of people outside of my present network of scientists and scientific bloggers.

I'll be using an iPod and Nike+ device (more about that later) to track my progress towards my goal. I'm on Nike+ at laying claim to my moniker from my job as host of ChemSpider, a website for chemists that was acquired by the Royal Society of Chemistry in June of 2009 after 2.5 years of going it alone.

I started running on New Years Day after a late evening that saw me head to bed at 2:30am after a party in our house. That night I clocked 5 miles on the treadmill close to midnight and capped it off with a 5km run on the treadmill at the YMCA in 29 mins. The challenge is underway and I'm excited, leery and concerned to see how it goes. I'll be tracking different stats and info as I gather them over the next few weeks and will start soon with weight, body measurements etc. This is going to be "fun"...right?


  1. Hello, Tony.
    I wish that you will successfully run your 1000 miles.
    Best wishes and
    Happy New Year!

  2. Well, those of us who admire your professional work have a vested interest in your well being so run, Antony, run!