I am the kind of person who thrives on lists and order. If I write something down, I’m twice as likely to get it done. If I declare I’m going to do something, I keep my word.
The December Run Streak was a perfect challenge for me. It kept me running through a month full up highs and lows, Christmas craziness, travel, and rich, delectable food. Once I committed on Dec. 1, I felt compelled to follow through.
The challenge was simple: run a minimum of one mile (or 1.6 km) every day. Now that I have a treadmill it was next to impossible to miss a day. Now, believe me, there were days when I felt like I had absolutely no time to fit it in. With busy work days (especially at the beginning of the month), followed by caring for a sick/cranky/teething toddler who decided to stop sleeping through the night, followed by a five-day trip to Ontario, this challenge was tough. But aside from one missed day, my last day of work at the Telegraph-Journal, Dec. 11 (I just didn’t have it in me), I am proud to say I ran every day this month! I plan to cap it off with 10 km on Dec. 31.
This is not the first time “streaking.” I did a similar challenge in 2013. At the time, I was in my first trimester of pregnancy and it helped me get through that general “blah” feeling those early weeks can bring. I didn’t have a treadmill at the time but I also didn’t have a baby.
A few highlights/observations of this run streak:
- I will have surpassed my September mileage by the end of this month at 95 km – that’s more than when I was training for a half-marathon!
- Most days I only ran one or two miles. I tried to run 5 km at least a couple times a week. It doesn’t take long to add up.
- I forced myself to run even if it was late. I ran as late as 11:30 p.m. one night after visiting with a friend at my parents’ farm. I told her as she was leaving that I wouldn’t do my run. She coaxed me into it. The air was so mild and it was pitch black. It was so peaceful. I’m so glad I did it.
- There is something so fulfilling about capping off a stressful or awesome day with a brief jolt of running energy.
- I know I ate wayyy more calories than I burned this month, and I suspect I’m up a couple pounds. But this challenge made it at least a little more of a guilt-free holiday.
- What a great way to maintain a base of mileage before training for my next race.
I totally recommend taking on a challenge like this. And it doesn’t have to be running. It can be walking, planks, burpees, eating veggies, drinking water. Make a goal and do it every day. It only takes 10 minutes, and every little bit counts.