Around this time last year, I set an extremely difficult target for myself. The target was to run 100 miles in the last 10 days of 2007. I didn't have to run 10 miles everyday, but had to achieve the overall target of 100 miles by the 31st of December. I had never tried something like that before. The even bigger problem was that I had not had any training for about two months; after my first full marathon on the 20th October, 2007, I had sort of gone into a very long rest phase, and had run only twice for a couple of miles.
Without any practice, achieving the 100 miles target seemed insurmountable - yet, I wanted to do it. So, I tried. I had to start a bit slow because of the lack of practice; first day, I ran 5.5 miles. But then I didn't have a lot of time to achieve my 100 miles - so, I pushed myself to do 12. 65 miles the next day. I did 10.8 on the third day. By the fourth day, however, it was so difficult and painful to run, that I managed 4 miles with great difficulty. On the fifth day, the number dropped to 3 miles. I thought the shorter run of fifth day may give me some more energy and strength to run longer the sixth day, but I could muster only 5 miles. To cut the long story short, I did not meet my target of 100 miles. My body was just too sore from the daily running; how much so ever I tried to push myself mentally, I just could not do it. On the 31st, I had to just console myself with 100 kilometers in 10 days - it was sad, but I had the satisfaction that I had tried my best.
It's the night of 21st December today. Difficult to say how I suddenly remembered my last year's 100 miles attempt on the very night from which there are exactly 10 days left of 2008. I feel a strong impulse to return with a vengence and try the 100 miles again this year. My preparedness is even poorer than last year. I haven't done any long distance running in several months. I guess it's completely foolish of me to torture myself again, when the hope of achieving the 100 miles is almost nil. However, as odd as it may sound, sometimes a stupid and meaningless goal is what the soul exactly needs.
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