My First Run Streak….So Far

As you may know from my Instagram posts, I have been keeping a run streak going since Thanksgiving Day.

Organized (?)/ Sponsored (?) / Marketed (?) by Runner’s World this run streak is intended to “to keep you running through the holiday season, and to bridge the gap between fall races and training for the spring.” The goal is simple: streakers have to run at least one mile per day, every day, starting on Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 24) and ending on New Year’s Day (Sunday, January 1).  The result is 39 consecutive days of running.

Currently I am on Day 30 and I am loving it! I have run 80 miles in this streak.  With 9 days to go I am curious to see how many more miles I can tack on to my total.

This is my first run streak.  I’ve learned several things along the way so far — but overall my experience has been very positive. Here are my thoughts and discoveries:

  1. The first two weeks were the hardest.  It took me a few days to get into the pattern of running everyday.  I felt tired and a little sore for the first few days, but as the number of runs started to pile up – I felt especially motivated to keep going.  If I had completed 10…11…then 12 days, why stop? I could keep going.  I didn’t want to throw away what I had started.
  2. Support is necessary.  Chris has been key in helping me keep my streak alive.  He takes daddy duty no problem when I decide to run solo and cheers me on when I head out the door with the Dualie for a stroller run.  He also listens to me talk non-stop about how I’m feeling or what my pace was for the day or what weird/funny things I saw along my run.  We all are busy in our own ways, but having a support system to help you juggle life along with a run streak will make things so much easier.
  3. Run first thing, whenever possible.  The key for me each day is to run as early in the day as possible.  Whether it’s getting out before the twins wake up, or with the running stroller during their morning nap – I like to get my run checked off my list ASAP to ensure it doesn’t get left off the daily schedule.
  4. One mile is enough to keep the streak alive. The hardest days are the busy days, or the days when you’re feeling exhausted.  But all it takes is one mile to keep the streak alive.  Running solo (sans stroller), I average a 9 or 10 minute mile pace.  So I wake up and get out the door as early as possible and tell myself, you’ll be home in 10 minutes.  Quick and dirty I get it over with then move on with the day.  The streak stays alive and all I’ve spent is 10 minutes of my day.
  5. Run streak uniform = athletic wear all day. During the run streak I think I’ve worn regular clothes like 3 times. Okay, real talk, since the twins have been born I’ve worn regular clothes during the day maybe like 10 times? so I guess this one isn’t unique to the run streak….but I’m going to claim it is to make myself feel better about sporting Lululemon and Athleta all day, everyday.
  6. No pressure! I’ve found since I’ve been streaking, that my runs have felt so carefree and easy….yet my paces have been getting faster (more on that below).  I find that since I know I’m going to be running the next day and the day after that, I don’t pressure myself to make every run great/fast.  If I am tired I say, “go easy – you’ll run tomorrow too.” It’s been great for my mental approach before each run.  It has been incredibly freeing to not run with a pace or distance goal (besides 1 mile) in mind – rather I’ve just said “GO RUN!”.
  7. The payoff has been huge – but be patient! Around day 20, I started to feel a difference.  Suddenly I felt lean and strong and FAST! My paces were dropping…. this week I ran 4 miles at a 9:07 min/mile pace (which is quick for me) and felt great  I’ve trained for 3 marathons in 2015 and don’t know if I ever had such a fast paced run. It will take time…like I said the first two weeks are tough, but I am really feeling the payoff.
  8. Be realistic. Be respectful.  I’ve learned doing a run streak doesn’t have to mean pounding my body and legs into the ground day after day after day.  If I ran 1 mile per day for 39 days – I’ll have run for the same amount of days in a row as someone who ran 6 miles per day for 39 days.  I’ve learned to do what feels comfortable for me. I would advise other new streakers to do the same.  Don’t overdo it.  Don’t push through an injury for the sake of the streak — it’s not worth permanent damage.  Don’t go out with the speed of Husain Bolt just because you’re only running 1 mile.  Do what you feel comfortable doing.  Respect your body, respect your limits.
  9. Have fun.  I’ve been having a blast and I’m realizing that’s what the run streak is about.  Without a race to train for or look ahead to, this has been a great way to get me up and out each day.  It’s been a puzzle figuring out what works for me.  It’s been a challenge finding clean leggings and a good sports bra each morning and has been a great laundry reminder/motivator.  Overall, the run streak has been wonderful for me because I’m having fun and enjoying myself.

Has anyone else out there been running with the #RWRunStreak2016? How have you felt? What have you learned? Is this your first run streak or are you a streaker for life?

What’s the longest run streak you’ve done?

Has anyone never done a run streak but always been curious? Feeling like you want to now?

Let me hear your thoughts!

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