Challenging myself with the 365 Mile Challenge

At the beginning of the year I was looking for a new way to challenge myself. With the help of Hike Like a Woman I learned of the 365 Mile Challenge. When reading the requirements of this challenge I thought it would be easy to get in 365 miles within the year. I walk and hike a lot, and when we have snow I cross country ski. The requirements of the challenge is do to 365 self propelled miles either walking, hiking, running, bike riding, paddling, snowshoeing or cross country skiing. My daughter, eight at the time, wanted join the challenge with me. We printed off two of the tracking sheets and off we went.

I was also able to convinced some of my friends to join the challenge with me for extra support and motivation. My husband would join us when we could, but he did not do the challenge, maybe next year. My daughter and I started out strong hiking, walking and skiing whenever we could. Excited when we could fill in another bubble. The challenge pushed us to find more trails to explore so we would not get bored easy.

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In the winter months we cross country skied when we had enough snow. A couple times we had to jump on the treadmill as the below zero temps were too much to be outside. If you have to do indoor miles you can, but the true goal of the challenge is to get people moving outside more.

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During the spring our hiking was put on hold a little due to spring sports and tasks around the house, but were still able to get in some miles.

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Summer rolled around and even though we went on a lot of adventures with some beautiful views, they did not add up to a lot of miles like I thought they would. We were at least able to continue to fill in the circles.

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Towards the end of the summer I started a new job that allowed me to be home earlier during day. Many days after school we would get on our sneakers and go for a couple mile walk. This has become on of my favorite times of day because this is when my daughter and I would talk about all various things. As my daughter gets older I worry that she will not want to continue to talk to me. Thanks to this challenge it has pushed us to get outside after school and work given us some much needed mother daughter time.

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We were able to have some friends join us on the trail, which is always fun.

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Now we are in the last week of December and we have about 10 miles to go. We are both motivated to finish strong and continue our afternoon and weekend hikes. Almost all of our miles have been from hiking and walking and in the winter cross country skiing when we had snow. A few of them have been from bike riding, which you get your miles faster if you ride bike more, note to self for next year.

If you are looking for a challenge for yourself, you and a friend or your family this is such a great challenge. If you are not sure you can do the full 365 Mile Challenge there are several mini challenges throughout the year that you can try. Even though I love being outside and explore new trails, the best part of the challenge was the time that my daughter and I have spent together. I hope we can continue doing these type of challenges together with years to come or at least through her teenage years.

Update: On December 31st my daughter, a friend and I finished the 365 Mile Challenge. We were very excited to fill in those last circles.

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