Thursday, January 2, 2014

What I Learned From Completing a Running Challenge!

Run everyday from Thanksgiving Day until New Years per the Runner's World Holiday Streak Running Challenge?  Done!  Finished!  Fini!  I did it!

Here are the stats -- which sorta surprise me!
November (starting with Thanksgiving Day):  13 miles
December:  83 miles
January:  3 miles (just one day, of course)
Grand Total:  Exactly 99 miles!  (over 35 days!)

So what do I do from here?  I am still not 100% sure but I went for a short run this morning -- so maybe this isn't over yet!  But here are a few lessons that I know I have learned:

1.  I now look at 1 mile runs as "rest days."  I know this sort of sounds crazy at first (how is any running at all a "rest day"?) but if I am running everyday then this -- completing one mile -- is the least that I can get away with when doing a running streak.  And doing one mile is no big deal -- you can, indeed, fit it into a busy schedule.  One mile takes me about 11 or 12 minutes.  While vacationing in Arizona during the holidays, I had to do that one mile (with Jim speed walking next to me!) in jeans and moccasins because it was nearly the end of the day and I hadn't been able to get my run in before then.  But we were only out there for about 12 minutes.  Even though I was jogging in jeans it just taught me to try and get out there a little earlier when I know that I am in for a busy day.

2.  My body feels great.  I was a little bit afraid that running everyday was going to make my plantar problems come back or maybe even aggravate my left foot (which has, truth been told, been getting a little wonky at times).  But other than being a little sore sometimes, I feel fantastic at the end of this challenge.  I love that feeling of getting in a little exercise everyday.  It just feels good, right?  I wouldn't say that in 35 days I am running faster but I do think that my stamina is definitely moving in the right direction.

3.  No excuses.  I guess this goes back to point one, but I think it's possible to devote at least 12 minutes a day (one mile) to moving your butt.  Sometimes I would go to the gym and say to myself "Just one mile!" but then three miles later, I was still at it.  Now I realize that I don't have the pressure of kids and it was easier doing this challenge with school being out for a good portion of it, but I don't think that I am doing anything that I can't do once school starts again (or maybe I will be eating these words after the next week?)

4.  It takes two months to make something a habit.  OK, so I did this challenge for only 35 days but I was watching the news the other day at the gym while some newscaster was talking about how to make resolutions "stick" and some expert on the show said that it takes two months to make a habit a part of your regular life (ensuring that you will actually "stick" with it).  So I think for now I will continue with this streak and see what happens.  If I can do this, I can surely finish a dissertation, right?

1 comment:

  1. I just happened across RW Streaker and followed your link. Am thinking about an 'off season' streak challenge of my own now after reading this and another streaker story on the RW site. Good luck to me and best of luck to you and your endeavors! - Bong Libunao, Paranaque City, Philippines