December 31st, 2016 marked my last run of 2016; my last “mile a day”; my last day of consecutively putting on the running shoes and getting it done.
30,049 ft elevation climbed.
164 Hours and 26 Minutes.
3 Pairs of Shoes.
2 Doctor Visits.
4 Pulled Muscles.
For my last day running in 2016, my last challenge day, I decided to run to the top of Mount Diablo. A 3500 foot climb in less than 8 miles. Stewart followed me on his mountain bike acting as my support and motivator, while my dad followed halfway to the top before turning around to the grab the car. There was no way my IT band and knee would handle the descent.
The first 4 miles were familiar. The single track following at an easy elevation alongside the mountain, before hitting the fire road for 4 miles of unforgiving terrain. It was never ending. There were moments where my legs physically could not move faster, walking was faster. With my head down, I sucked it up and kept moving up. People hike this mountain all the day, how could running it be any different?
With less than 1.5 miles to go, I could see the summit. It looked so close but how was I so far down. I told Stewart I wanted to quit, it wasn’t worth it. My IT band was hurting and my knees complaining. The trail turned to the road, just a few hundred feet. I could see the summit, a view I’ve only approached via bike. I did it. We did it. Mission complete. 366 days of running done.
Except, I couldn’t end my last day being so close to 10 miles….so down the mountain we went to find my dad and the car. Only 1.5 more miles. Done.
Will I do the challenge again? No.
Why not? Because I want to focus on cycling again and get back into the water. Unfortunately, this isn’t ideal when you are trying to do other sports. If I was just a runner then I could make this work….
New Challenge for 2017? Heal.