2016 Running goal: Accomplished (with tunes)

Back at the beginning of the year, I decided to set a goal to run 1,000 miles this year. At under 20 miles a week, that may not be really ambitious to some people, but you need to understand a few things about me and running.

For most of my life, I've played sprint sports, like baseball and tennis and racquetball. I'm not a power hitter, so the most I ever really had to run in baseball was 180 feet (home plate to first base to second base). A tennis court is about 39 feet from one corner of the baseline to the opposite corner at the net. Racquetball is played in a 20-by-40-foot room, and since the ball bounces off the wall, you never have to run the full diagonal.

Before I signed up for that half-marathon last year, I'd only run longer than a 5K (about 3.1 miles) a handful of times. I also turned 40 this year, and I promise I am not getting faster and more agile as I get older; nor are my knees turning back the clock.

Until I was 38, I had maybe run a 20-mile week once, ever.

So that's me and running.

Why set the goal? Well, I wanted a reason to keep running. I think it's now ingrained in me enough that I'll keep doing it as long as my body allows, but I could have easily stopped after that half marathon last year. I can't say I enjoyed much of that training at all.

My goal-crossing run Monday was different, though. Instead of holding on to some 3-hour podcast so that I'd have something to listen to, I put my trust in iTunes to shuffle my way through 11.3 miles. I may have danced a little bit. It was cold and raining, but I smiled a lot. I made sure to run by some of my favorite downtown spots, like the fountain in Forsyth Park, the armillary in Troup Square and Monterey Square.

I stopped off where my wife was working to give her a kiss.

I also wanted to see if I could set a realistic goal for a whole year. It took me 354 days to get there. It's a leap year, so that's just about 97% of the year it took me to get to 100% of my goal. I'm going to say that was exactly the right number of miles to shoot for, if you're me.

I tweaked a calf during a race earlier this year, and it's been bothering me for a while. It flared up around mile eight, but I wasn't going to let it stop me from getting to where I wanted to be. I'm sure it'll bother me for a good while, so I might be looking at bicycles and elliptical machines for a couple of weeks to get it some rest.

I'll share with you some tunes from my run, because who doesn't love a little music in their life?

1. Jane's Addiction's cover of The Grateful Dead's "Ripple" — this one got me out the door and down to the pavement.

2. Asylum Street Spankers, "Monkey Rag" — I might have been dancing up Habersham Street. OK, I totally was. Bonus, this animation is adorable.

3. Bruce Springsteen, "Thunder Road" — This came on about halfway. If you thought you saw some crazy dude grinning and saying good morning while running down West Bay Street, this was in my ears.

4. Edesio Alejandro, "El Sopon de Yuya" — Yeah, so I was doing the rumba (badly) in the bike lane. So?

5. Gooselove & Antara, "Change With Me" — You know how some artists are formative in your life for the eight months you really needed them and then they disappear, only to show up in your earholes 15 years later?

6. Willie Nile, "History 101" — This is the song that was playing when I hit my thousand-mile mark.

Honorable Mention: Ellis Hooks, "Uncomplicated" — This came on as I turned toward home. It's one of my faves, but I can't find a video, so here's an excerpt at Shazam.

OK...it's almost 2017. What are you up to for the year?

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