What did my run streak teach me?
For the first time in my life, I have successfully completed a run streak of more than 30 days. Starting on Thanksgiving day, I have run at least one mile, finishing today, New Year’s Day. I averaged almost 17 miles per week. I’ve certainly had weeks with more mileage overall, but the consistency of the run streak was rewarding. Here’s what I learned:
- Daily runs won’t kill me. I really feared it would make me more prone to injury. I think keeping the overall mileage low was key for this for me, as was having a good running base to begin with.
- My brain enjoyed the daily meditation time. Like most runners, I use the time on my feet to sort out all kinds of life’s issues. A daily dose of blowing off steam was hugely beneficial. My mood has been happier overall in the past month.
- Although my actual running pace is not much faster, I’m able to avoid walk breaks for my 3-6 mile runs at this point, making me faster overall. This marks a significant improvement in my overall cardiopulmonary endurance, and it’s another sign of progress from being sick in August with a presumptive case of Covid. But I’m still hugely frustrated that I’m slow. I see speed work in my future…
- I have mental blocks on some of my most common running routes where I almost always take a walk break. Pushing through my shorter runs to keep going has helped me overcome a few of those places where my brain begs to walk.
- Running in the dark can be fun. I haven’t really run pre-dawn or post dusk in quite some time. When I worked full time, I would definitely meet friends in the pre-dawn hours to fit in my longer midweek marathon training runs, but these were in the summer. In the winter months, I never found the need to do this, and would often use the lack of sunlight as an excuse to not run. I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed having a Noxgear vest to stay visible during my night runs.
- Knowing I’m going to run takes the planning out of my workouts. Sometimes I would go to the gym, do some piddly cardio, and then lack direction with whatever strength training I was going to do besides my basic planned olympic lift. But going into my day with the intention of running at some point kept me focused on that run streak goal.
I’m glad that I shared that I was doing this. Sending the goal into the universe held me accountable to achieve it. If you follow me on Instagram, you may be tired of my daily running posts! I mean, if you didn’t post about your run, did it really happen? Ha!
Is a run streak for everyone? Maybe not. But it was a fun goal to check off the bucket list, and I’ve proven a little something to myself about discipline. 37 days, but it’s done! What’s next? I hope to get back to some olympic weight lifting now that my streak is over. I’ll stick to my winter running schedule until half marathon training begins in a few weeks! I’ve got the Sports Backers Half Marathon in March and the Blue Ridge Half Marathon in April on the calendar. Thanks to Runner’s World Magazine for the inspiration!
Happy New Year! Have you ever completed a run streak? If so, what did you learn about yourself? I’d love to hear about it! As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.