Man v Dog

“It is better to conquer yourself, than to win a thousand battles” – Buddha

The Challenge:

To run 2,017 miles between 1 January and 31 December 2017.

The Why

The rather annoying experience of having to abandon my 2016 run made me determined that any future miles would never again feel “wasted”. As I slowly dragged my injured frame to Balmaha, I began cooking up a year-long plan to run 2.017 miles throughout the whole of 2017.

Training started in August and I was careful to build up the miles again gradually. Everything was going as intended and then at the start of December 2016 – BOOM! – everything went wrong.

It was big. And it changed everything.

Fixing myself took a lot of effort, a lot of pain and a lot of time.  I’d pretty much lost a quarter of the year before I was even ready to start.  But no matter, I’d lost far more important things besides that.

The Story

I could have come up with something else to do, but instead I was determined to at least try to complete the challenge. silhouette image of a black dog

I framed my entire 2017 challenge as a race between myself and the Black Dog – a physical representation of the mental fight that is depression.

The whole year was really just one big metaphor – me against my demons.

I lost.

The dog won the race.

But at least I lived to fight another day.

The Details

Monthly Totals (Man)
At Month End Miles
Jan 74
Feb 61
Mar 36
Apr 194
May 192
Jun 171
Jul 14
Aug 84
Sep 230
Oct 123
Nov 171
Dec 10
2017 Totals
Total Miles
Total Miles
(Man vs. Dog)
74 168 -94
135 336 -201
171 504 -333
365 672 -307
557 840 -283
728 1,008 -280
742 1,176 -434
826 1,344 -518
1,056 1,512 -456
1,179 1,680 -501
1,350 1,848 -498
1,360 2,017 -657

*the Black Dog runs slightly more than 168 miles every month, without fail.
This is helped by the fact that he doesn’t have a full-time job, and has no
other responsibilities whatsoever to worry about. I hate that dog!

The Cause

Throughout 2017, I ran various running challenges to try and help me reach my goal. While I didn’t succeed, I was pleased to raise over £1,000 for The Archie Foundation thanks to the generosity of some truly wonderful people.

The Archie Foundation makes a huge difference to the lives of sick children here in the North of Scotland.

To you all: a sincere thank you.

Image link to The Archie Foundation

Watch the video below to find out more about The Archie Foundation and their work:

Literary companion
Description of a Struggle and Other Stories
Description of a Struggle
and Other Stories

by Franz Kafka