According to my running diary, a spiral bound notebook with anarchically formatted notes in pencil, I have just reached my initial 1000km of logged runs. I started this diary when I bought my first, and as it's now turned out, my only pair of running shoes at the beginning of October last year.
My very first run was a couple of months earlier, at the start of August, when I set out for an 'easy jog' from which I returned fifteen minutes later, breathless, exhausted and tragically dismayed at how far I'd fallen into sluggish middle age. Through August and September I plodded and gasped my way around the local streets twice a week as part of a beginner's triathlon training program. My mood would swing from doom-laden pessimism, through amused self-ridicule, to occasional short spikes of now or never, who dares wins, stubborn and slightly desperate determination. I was running from the familiar, but no longer bearable shadow of the Black Dog towards some new, better, but as yet wholly unknown way of living life.
I didn't record how far I ran in those first couple of months, partly because my sessions were based on time rather than distance, and partly because my sole focus was the triathlon at the end of October and it didn't really occur to me to think past that. In any event my total distance covered must have been miniscule. But somehow, buying a brand new pair of running shoes seemed to symbolize how important the whole effort had become. It was the beginning of something new. Hence the diary.
For me, reaching the end of my first year of running and my first 1000km, marks something special. It means that for once I've stuck with something long enough to feel that I've truly started.