An enlightening streak

Since joining the #RWRunStreak late on Dec. 4, I’ve managed to run almost every day, missing two. I can’t believe it.

It’s so gratifying to complete a week like this – full of travel, bad weather, and Christmas:

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Yes, the runs are short, but it’s the effort of getting out there that really counts in this challenge.

With just two days left in the streak, I want to share some of the things I’ve learned:

  • Bad weather is not an excuse. This month has been filled with storm after storm and it really doesn’t matter, there is always a way you can run at least one mile (or 1.6 km, or about 10 minutes), whether it’s outside or on the treadmill. Also, I have surprised myself by running in very frigid temperatures (I think -12 C was the coldest, colder with the wind chill) with my simple running gear. Which brings me to my next point.
  • You only need one running outfit. I have run in my single pair of running tights for almost every outdoor run. Full disclosure, I have gone more than a week without washing them. Sometimes, like today, I have resorted to yoga pants, but they kick up a lot of slush and gunk. I have worn my trusty Nike Elements jacket, Lululemon Run Swiftly long sleeve shirt and if it’s really cold, another layer. I wear my bright blue Alex Coffin toque and slip my hands in the build in gloves in my shirts. That’s really all you need! Nothing fancy here! However, I have realized that if I knew I would be tackling longer distances in these conditions, I would want to invest in some sort of face mask for really cold runs, and some warmer tights. Also, maybe some Yak Trax.

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  • There is always a way to fit in a one-mile run. One day, in the photo above, I ran about 2 km to the post office during my lunch break to mail some Christmas cards. Another day, dreading a late night run after a long day of work, I ran from work to the bus stop in my street clothes (and parka!), then got off the bus early and ran the rest of the way home. One day when I was traveling immediately after work, I woke up a dreaded 1/2 hour earlier than usual and ran in the dark before going to the office. I felt horrible and groggy at first, but by the time I was done, I was ready to take on the day.
  • Running with friends is always better. Most of my runs for this challenge have been solo, as is the nature of this hectic time of year. But a few friends and I have set up a Facebook group to share our experiences and cheer each other on. It has been truly motivating. And it appears our group is going to keep active after the challenge! We are the Saint John Streakers if you want to join us.
  • It really is possible to keep exercising through the hustle-bustle of Christmastime. I’ve pranced through knee-deep snow and tip-toed over ice. I’ve sweat over treadmills and snuck in a few spinning classes, since, heck, I was already at the gym anyway. I definitely did not lose weight this Christmas, and I didn’t up my mileage from previous levels, but I didn’t lose any fitness either, and that’s pretty cool. You might even call it a Christmas miracle.
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April C

Writer, editor and mom in Saint John, NB.

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