My goal for 2016 is to walk, run, or cross country ski a combined 1,000 miles. A thousand miles seems monumental. It isn't. Divide 1,000 by 365 and it comes out to about 2.74 miles per day. That seems reasonable.

Breaking big goals into smaller ones helps. It is hard for most of us to envision 1,000 miles. The amount of hours a trucker works makes fitness a challenge. It doesn't make it impossible. As I always tell the Truckin' Runners face book group, “It isn't easy, but it is worth it.”. So now I have to come up with a plan.

I am signing up for the half marathon in Green Bay. The event is on May 22. That gives me a time definite challenge. My best half marathon time is 1:57:45. I am debating. Should I set a time goal? If I run 10 minute miles for the 13.1 mile distance my time would be 2 hours and 11 minutes. Breaking 2 hours would be great. Averaging 10 minute miles for the distance isn't easy. It does seem reasonable. So, in keeping with the “doable” spirit of the goals, 2:11 it is.

Reaching long term goals takes consistent effort. Going 10 miles one day and then taking a week off won't get it done. Training for the half will require a few double digit days. Rest days can improve performance. Maximizing race day performance requires a few rest days. Backing off, just a bit, of my maximum performance will help with consistency. Balance matters. My goal is to do at least 2 miles per day. There will be days when my motivation does not overcome the obstacles. When that happens, I will get it back together ASAP!

Motivation is important. You can't just run for the T shirt or finisher medals. T shirts are nice, I have a dresser full of old race shirts. Most of them don't fit. Weight loss is a motivating factor. It is a struggle for me. In 2014, I was doing really well with a meal program. When Roxanne (my wife) had her fall, everything changed. We were house bound together for about 6 weeks. I never got my act back together after that. That is completely my fault. It is time. We all face obstacles, especially in this industry, motivation has to be strong enough to overcome.

Heart disease is part of my family. It has taken my father and both of my brothers. Chuck had a fatal heart attack when he was 33. My dad had a fatal heart attack at 66. My brother George had a fatal heart attack last spring at age 66. In two weeks I will be 57. Not having a fatal heart attack is a pretty good motivating factor. I used to think that it would be cool to finish a marathon when I am 70. Yeah, it would be cool. Life has blessed me with 5 grand daughters. Dancing with them at their weddings is a goal.

Peer pressure helps. I will keep track of consecutive days with at least 2 miles, as well as a total distance for the year. I will share that with you.

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Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

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