Sunday, December 30, 2012


As of today, I have run 39 days in a row. Some runs were, well, minimal: a mile or two, often on the treadmill, often at night, just to get them in. Many featured tired legs, a picky knee, and/or a tight hamstring. A few were perfect. Hopefully the lessons I've learned this past month, and there have been several, will stay with me.

I've learned that my legs don't really mind running every day. It's just not that big of a deal, at least with the distances I've been covering. I can see if you're doing hard workouts and very long runs why you'd need a rest day, but not for maintenance (for me). After Tuesday I won't continue the streak, but I will run 5-6 days a week.

I found it easier to run when I had to do it. In the past I've used kids, family, church, work, etc. as an excuse, but they really aren't barriers if you have motivation (and perhaps a treadmill).  Once I had the goal, I simply made the time. Really, make isn't the right verb here. The time is already there- I choose how to allocate it. Ten minutes, or even an hour, isn't that much when it replaces time in front of the television or sleeping in the morning. Sleep is great, but I feel so much more awake after an early-morning run than I do with those extra minutes of sleep.

I got faster running every day, and my mileage increased. Neither of these things occurred on purpose; rather, they came naturally out of more running. Again, that is different if you're already running a lot or hard. In those cases, you run the risk of overtraining, which can make you slower, tired, and contrary. As 2013 begins, getting faster and going farther will probably require more rest. 

Streaking teaches my son that exercise is a permanent, important reality. I love that he now asks me, "have you run today, Mama?" or "are you gonna run now?" I model for him how to be active, not out of shame, mania, or requirement, but just because it's what healthy people do.

I have two more days left to fulfill my goal of streaking from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. Tomorrow I'll run easy, hopefully outside. Tuesday, the first day of 2013, I'll run the Resolution Run 5k. It's so good to start the year running with other people.  As often as I run solo these days, for me running is fundamentally a social sport. I run faster and happier with others.


  1. So true that we model for our kids. Great that your teaching your son to make exercise part of his life. Awesome job on the consistent running. and for making it a priority. Running is mostly a solo thing for me. I think I like it better that way. :) Good luck at that 5k and finishing up strong!

  2. Thanks, Amanda! I don't mind solo until I talk to or see pictures of my running buddies.