This was quite a year for me. I ran for 365 days straight. I have never done something every single day for an entire year that wasn’t required to keep me alive: eating, sleeping, drinking, etc. I thought I’d take you through my journey today.
I ran my first 2 half marathons within 4 months of each other and I was really not loving running. I exercised some and ran a little, but I had truly fallen out of love with running and it made me sad.
In November 2016 I joined a Facebook challenge through Fellow Flowers that involved 30 minutes of intentional movement every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. It was a 40 day challenge intended to help keep my sanity through the busy holiday season. And I did it. I moved my body by doing tabatas, doing yoga, stretching, dancing, and some running. By the end of the challenge, I was back. I fell back in love with running and it made me so happy to enjoy it again! This challenge was most definitely the catalyst for me being an “every day” exerciser. I figured out how to carve out 30 minutes each day, even on the busiest days during this busy season. I got up early and exercised before busy days. I played basketball or soccer with my kids. I stretched while watching holiday movies. I found a yoga app I loved, Down Dog, and did it after the boys’ bedtime. I went for a walk when my back was sore from bending over wrapping presents. I committed to the challenge and this competitive girl does not give up when I’ve committed.
So, when my January Fun Run Box came and the challenge was to run at least 1 mile every day, I was ready. I knew that I could do it every day. I am not the fastest runner out there, but I could carve out 10 minutes every day to run a mile. I had no problem running more than one mile, remember, I fell back in love with running! I was loving it! Every minute! On the advice of a friend who had done a holiday run streak, I tried to run 1 mile every other day and increase my distance to 2.5-3 miles on the other days. I committed to the challenge and this competitive girl does not give up when I’ve committed.
Next up, February 1st. Why stop here? I ran, and then I ran again, and then I kept on running. Declare It Day was February 4th and I needed a goal to declare. Something that would really push me. I decided that this was going to run 1017 km this year. In 2016, I joined a challenge to run 1000 km and only ran 887 km. Remember, I fell out of love with running. Well, this year I was doing it. I wasn’t going to give up again. You probably get it now, competitive, commit, don’t give up…
The best way I could figure out to make sure I ran 1017 km was to run every day. So I did. I kept running. It wasn’t all smiles and happy runs. My legs are sore most days, good sore, but still sore. There were a few weeks when I only ran 1 mile per day for the whole week to give my body a rest. Here are the big 3 days:
I added some virtual runs and challenges in to keep my motivation up and I ran them with the encouragement of my best girlfriends. I ran a virtual Fellow Flowers Joy run. I ran three Zooma runs virtually, Annapolis, Cape Cod, and Florida. I did 3 Zooma challenges, Summer Fun, Holiday, and RunLove. I did 31 days of Skirt Sports in July, an Instagram (@sunnyscp) challenge to show 31 different activities in your skirts. They happen to be my favorite running bottom so this was not a problem at all.
Then came the big day. I had big plans for New Years Eve. The girls and I were going to meet at the high school track and I was going to run 3.65 miles for 365 days. Then we’d celebrate with some champagne and rest up for a party that night. Mother Nature had a much different plan in mind. It was FREEZING, as in the high was 23 degrees. The sun didn’t come out and it was windy. So we changed plans and met at the Merritt, our local gym. I don’t belong but they were kind enough to let me run for free that day since it was such a big day. Then we celebrated with mani/pedis together and my feet were so happy! Here we are on the treadmill and after our run.
Today, on Run Streak Day 373, Jeff and I have a joke going about how long I am going to talk about/prepare to run before I actually get outside or down to the treadmill and actually run. The joke is pretty much a daily occurrence. Jeff, Jack, and Luke have been so supportive. The boys don’t mind giving up 10 or 15 minutes of outside time after school so I can hit the treadmill when I don’t want to run after their bedtime. This fall I decided that Monday was track day. Every Monday after school, we headed over to the high school track and I ran while they ran, skipped, walked, and played. Those three were my biggest cheerleaders! They encouraged me, adjusted our schedule so I could make my run happen, pitched in so I could get a run in every single day.
So the big question is how long? and what’s next? I’m not sure how long. I can’t really think of a reason to stop running every day. I have a treadmill in my basement and can always seem to find a way to carve out 10 minutes to run that mile. What’s next? Well, I’d like to run another half marathon this year. I’m not sure which one, but it’s on my agenda for the year. I have another Fellow Flowers virtual run this month with Jamie. I’d like to get to an actual Zooma race because Fellow Flowers and Zooma are teaming up and they are my 2 favorite running groups!!
So, if you need me, I’ll be running or more likely talking about how I still need to run today and trying to decide how far I’m going to run.
Please feel free to ask any questions or share any running advice in the comments!