Every Mile Matters

by Perry Newburn

When I put my hand up to write this I thought “this should be straight forward,” but the more I thought about it – yes dangerous this thinking lark – the harder it became. So where to start?

I’ve written about my battles with addiction in the past but this point really stands out. What was a huge factor in helping me overcome the “ battle”? It was of course exercise. I started to run again, play sport, and generally started to crawl my way back into the land of living. I didn’t realize it at the time – I certainly do now – but the effect any form of exercise has, in a positive way, on peoples mental wellness is huge. After a bad day at work, on the home front, if there is a chance to go for a walk, bike or run take it as a lot (well most) of the perceived problems just seem to fade away. I remember talking to a running mate once and he explained that on getting home after “ 1 of those days “ his wife wanted to sit down and catch up on the day. He stated he would like to go for a run first of which she agreed. On arriving back he stated he was in a much better frame of mind and thoroughly enjoyed the “ togetherness” time.

Hence why I have a huge advocate for the positive effect that any form of exercise has on peoples mental wellness. On my run around NZ (5000 km in 70 days) where I was running for the Mental Health Foundation of NZ I also used the opportunity to advocate for this as much as possible. So yes miles do matter when it comes to people’s mental wellness.

Let’s fast forward in time to when I joined the Moon Joggers at the start of 2013. I had just come off my NZ run a couple of months prior and had set a goal of running around our Lake Taupo (a distance of 155 km’s), not just once but twice so I needed to keep the mileage up with a balance between recovery and training – yes every mile matters. Also I had never kept a tally of how many miles/km’s I ran each week so I also set a goal of running 100 miles per week for the year. The support of this group has been huge in helping me meet targets, set goals that are at least close to being achievable plus above all else – TO HAVE FUN. Just a point here – I believe setting goals are so important as they are something to strive towards but at the end of the day if they are not reached (and there are often lots of reasons why ) we learn from them and gain immensely in the process. So yes with setting goals and then looking at what sort of training is necessary every mile matters to help you get there.

At about this time I set the goal of Running Across America in the shortest time possible so again every mile that was gained in the training process (18 months and approximately 12000 miles) to help me achieve this mattered.

On arriving back from the states I found out that I had a nasty little virus and am on 24 weeks of a nasty combination of medications of which I am now about half way through. So for me, again, every mile matters and it pretty well reverts back to why I originally got back into running – yes my mental wellness. Initially I thought I would be lucky to get 2-300 miles per month but actually managed 425 miles in January- yes my stubbornness does help!!! My regime at present is: 6am – 8 km mainly walk which helps immensely in clearing the brain fogginess and tiredness out of the body; 1030am – approximately a 15 km mainly run. Weekends I am now managing a longer run of approximately 30 km’s. So again every mile does matter as it is helping me keep a balance – mentally – on things. The beauty is – all going well – I will be back much stronger and with a lot more energy.

So everyone, keep enjoying your exercise, keep having fun and above all else look after yourselves.


The Real Forrest Gump

Find out more about Perry Newburn and his epic RUN ACROSS AMERICA here.


*If you have not signed up to join Moon Joggers on their current mission: MEET ME ON MARS 2015 (one of the paid registration options) do so now and you’ll be able to save 25% on our virtual races in 2015! Sign up NOW! (Use code SAVE10 to save $10 on Meet Me on Mars)



This entry was posted in 5k across the usa, every mile matters, Finding the Positive, Found Myself Running, goperrygo, Guest Post, Lessons learned from running, Moon Joggers, motivation, New Zealand Runner, Over 60 And Still Running, overcoming addiction, Perry Newburn, Running in New Zealand, the real forrest gump, Ultra Marathon Runner. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.