Tomorrow I will most likely complete the self-imposed goal of running everyday between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, and for me, it will amount to thirty-five strait days of running. On five of those days, I ran only a mile, but for most of them I did a 5k. On two of the days, I did races. The longest run was a 10 mile trail run through most of Mendon Ponds. Other than that, I couldn’t tell you much more about total mileage. I used MapMyRun sparingly. Distance wasn’t really the point, and after my fall 50k and several other trail races, I didn’t want to think about distances.
There are probably many runners who’ve done something of this ilk, and I know several who have completed streaks of far lengthier calendar periods. So, I don’t see this as making me some kind of superhuman runner. It just gave me something to do in a period that can be heavy on the food, and before I start gearing up for what I think will be a big spring and summer of big runs and several lengthy races.
The streak did something funny to me mentally. About two weeks ago, I wondered how long I could streak for. Don’t get me wrong–I’m tired now and look forward to not running (probably for just a day or two). I thought, ‘I’ll just keep going. I can’t stop because then I have to start again at zero.’ My palms got a little sweaty and I felt slightly woozy. That’s when I decided I would go to New Years and then stop. There’s a kind of madness in this method.
It also kept me honest. I had to run every day, and unlike with training or prepping for other races, I couldn’t just say, “I better take a rest day to recover.” Instead, I had to run everyday. We’ve had some pretty crappy weather since the end of November. I also did thing I wouldn’t normally do. For example, I skipped the work Christmas party so I could run.
For all of those days, I’ve had a big pile of wet, smelly running clothes on the floor by my bed. I’m in sincere gratitude to my wife who did not touch or move them. Keeping them there was gross, but it was also necessary to keep me from playing the ‘Can’t Run All My Clothes Are In The Wash’ card. The clothes are looking forward to be cleaned.
I guess it’s easy in this day and age of running to jump at the big runs: Marine Corp Marathon, a Ragnar, Seneca Seven, Leadvillle, a race in every fifty states. All good stuff, and I’ve run long enough to know that the intrinsic, self-motivated runner often gets depleted and needs something to provoke and to stoke those fires. My streak was just that for this month.