Thursday, July 4, 2013

11:54 AM
My Final Run of the Streak
On Memorial Day, Runner's World Magazine posted a challenge to their Facebook Site:  

Run at least One Mile Every Day Between Memorial Day and Fourth of July.

Such continuous efforts are called "Streaks" and those that partake are called "Streakers". Streaking comes in many different forms (number of consecutive races, days run, miles logged, etc). I have never formally streaked at anything, although my record on working out most days is pretty good. But upon seeing this challenge, both seemingly small enough to manage (who can't fit in a mile?) and large enough to be notable (39 consecutive days of running!) I thought - what the heck - let's see if I can do this this thing!

Here now, 39 days later, I am please to say that I did it! I liberally applied the rule that one mile counted as a run, but I also threw in a half-marathon and other longer runs as my schedule allowed. Most of my runs happened at night, which was hard after a day full of work and kids, but also doable as the days lengthened into summer. My dog got more runs in the last 39 days than she had in the prior six months so she was pleased. 

Because running everyday necessarily replaced other fitness activities that I might otherwise do, I didn't finish the Streak feeling significantly more fit - but that was not really the point. The real benefit of the experience was internalizing the value of setting an intention and honoring it. It was the discipline of doing a specific activity every day for over a month, the rigor of developing and prioritizing a schedule that could accommodate my effort, and the practicing of self-acceptance when a run was shorter and slower than was "ideal".

Randomly, I did yoga two days in a row coincident with the start of my running streak. In a small voice inside my head I thought: well this feels nice, I wonder if I could also do a yoga streak wherein I do yoga for 20 minutes every day as well as run. But because I didn't say it OUT LOUD, because I didn't really commit to the effort internally or publicly, and let myself or anyone else hold me accountable, one day slipped into another and well maybe it can be yoga every other day morphed into have I done yoga this week? So it goes when intentions are made halfheartedly or without the self-confidence that you can affect something.

They Biked Slow - I Ran Fast
Below is Streaking Diary that I maintained during the course of the Streak. I ran a total of about 157 miles, or roughly 4 miles per day. On the whole  it was very doable. The first two weeks were the most difficult - just never taking a break from the running - but soon enough my body and legs adjusted and the weariness went away. I tried to vary the runs to be on trails, road, the treadmill, solo, with kids, with friends, fast, and slow. My favorite was a run along the Pacific Coast while my family biked along side. My most forced was a one-mile run I did around the block at 11 PM at night, just to fit it in. At this point now I feel like I could keep going on my Streak (i.e., I am not burned out on running) but at the same time I am both looking forward to ramping it up a little (I signed up for a half-marathon trail run next weekend) and also taking a break (a day here and there without running will feel just fine). The thing I am thinking about now is what intention I will set next - more on that to come....

Streaking Diary
Day 1 (May 27, 2013) - 4 mile trail run. The run on which I decided to start the Streak.
Day 2 (May 28, 2013) - 4.5 mile loop from my office at lunch. Likely the last of such runs I will do from here as I am switching jobs this week.
Day 3 (May 29, 2013) - 1.5 mile treadmill run at the climbing gym.  I didn't expect to go so weak so soon, but you have to factor in the fact that I squeezed in this 10 minutes of running after two post-work cocktails and before climbing, with no dinner. I was loopy to say the least.
Day 4 (May 30, 2013) - 4 mile hill run in my neighborhood. Apparently this is the week of 4 milers. I really did not feel like running tonight - I was sore, tired and had already walked at least 3 miles today doing various things, but the streak is on. Once I actually got out the door the run actually ended up feeling pretty good and I feel better for having gotten outside, wind and darkness asideAnother case of not letting my mind overtake my body.
Day 5 (May 31, 2013) - 2 mile hill run in my neighborhood. Completely underwhelming performance this week - I think I'll just blame it on the fact that I am running a half-marathon tomorrow.
Day 6 (June 1, 2013) - Nitro Trail Half-MarathonSurprisingly good race, considering how I felt at the starting line. Placed first in my age group, and third overall.
Day 7 (June 2, 2013) - 2 mile hill run at Crissy Field. Lovely little recovery jog with my dog and my daughter (on her bike).
Day 8 (June 3, 2013) - 6 mile hill run along the Bay. Good enough to count, although I am still sore from Saturday's race.
Day 9 (June 4, 2013) - 3 miles at the local track. Threw in 5x400s to start incorporating in some speed work.
Day 10 (June 5, 2013) - 3 miles on the treadmill. Ran it with negative splits and a 2x400. Mixing it up a little and trying to get a little more from these short runs. My body is definitely feeling the impact of 10 days straight (not including the 4 days in a row I had run prior to starting this streak).
Day 11 (June 6, 2013) - 3 miles from my office at lunch. Did a short run with a coworker today. We have big intentions to make it a practice.
Day 12 (June 7, 2013) - 6+ miles fastish and hillyish with a friend. The miles fly by when you are chatting up a storm.
Day 13 (June 8, 2013) - 8.5 miles through the tidal marshes/wetlands. Two miles accompanied by my daughter on her bike - the remaining 6.5 as fast as I could go in order to meet up as soon as I could with my family at the pool.
Day 14 (June 9, 2013) - 3 mile coffee run in hills with the double stroller and the dog. I earned that latte and scone :)
Day 15 (June 10, 2013) - 2 mile fast as I could go run on wobbly legs after a hard spin class. phew!
Day 16 (June 11, 2013) - 3 miles at the local track. Threw in 100 push ups and 100 dips for fun.
Day 17 (June 12, 2013) - miles on my favorite running trail.
Day 18 (June 13, 2013) - mile around the block after working until 11 PM. I am not joking.
Day 19 (June 14, 2013) - 5 miles after spin class and a swim. Can you say BRICK?
Day 20 (June 15, 2013) - 7 miles, one with my daughter on her bike, 6 solo.
Day 21 (June 16, 2013) - 3 miles at the local track. 
Day 22 (June 17, 2013) - 1 mile at the local track. Don't judge - I was dealing with a sick kid, a mixed up pick up schedule and if it wasn't for the streak I wouldn't have even run this one mile.
Day 23 (June 18, 2013) - 3 miles at the local track. Threw in 4x400s to start incorporating in some speed work.
Day 24 (June 19, 2013) - 3.5 miles from my office at lunch.
Day 25 (June 20, 2013) - 4.5 mile hill run in my neighborhood. 
Day 26 (June 21, 2013) - 4 miles pushing my 50 lb 5 yo in the jogging stroller. 
Day 27 (June 22, 2013) - 7 mile hill run around Donner Lake. 
Day 28 (June 23, 2013) - 2 miles around the campground before the rain started. 
Day 29 (June 24, 2013) - 4 miles on the treadmill. Ran it with negative splits. 
Day 30 (June 25, 2013) - 3 miles pushing my 30 lb 3 yo in the jogging stroller. Was planning on doing 5, but the babysitter called to say she was locked out.
Day 31 (June 26, 2013) - 3.5 miles from my office sandwiched between meetings. Arrived to the second meeting a little sweaty, but happy.
Day 32 (June 27, 2013) - 3 miles from my office at lunch. Did a short run with a coworker today. We have a 50% track record at this point on our Thursday runs. Better than nothing.
Day 33 (June 28, 2013) - 5 miles pushing my 50 lb 5 yo in the jogging stroller. As we finished my daughter announced - that was so fun!
Day 34 (June 29, 2013) - 6 miles along the ocean while my family biked beside me. They biked slow and I ran fast.
Day 35 (June 30, 2013) - miles on a favorite running trail. Jumped in the pool right afterwards to cool off.
Day 36 (July 1, 2013) - miles on a favorite running trail. The finish line is in sight!
Day 37 (July 2, 2013) - 4.5 mile hill run in my neighborhood. Happy to see so many people out running and walking.
Day 38 (July 3, 2013) - 2 miles on a favorite running trail. Was planning to do more until the Ranger stopped me and rove me back to my car - Dang trail maintenance :(
Day 39 (July 4, 2013) - 3 miles as part of the Springville Duathlon. Hot, hot, hot!


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  1. what a huge accomplishment! hope you celebrated with a nice relaxing day OFF!