Ah, December. The month I ran the Strides Run Streak and killed it!
I never for one second ever thought I would make it the full month. Even with the only requirement being "a minimum one mile of forward motion". I figured I would end up quitting and leaving it at that.
Then I made it 5 days. Then 10. At tend days, I nearly talked myself out of it, but I decided to do it anyway. By 15, I had made it halfway. At 20, I was tired, but I knew if I quit then, my Runner Girls would never let me live it down. So I kept going. 31 days. Actually - it was more like 33 days since I ended up starting November 28.
33 days of running. and here's what I learned...
1) One mile a day isn't much. 1.6K and done. Somedays that's all you have to do - most days you'll do more.
- 9 days, I only logged that minimum mile. Most of those days were actually 2k. I think I only had one that was 1.85k (so, still more than a mile really).
- 6 days I did 3k.
- The rest I did at least 4.5.
2) A Streak is a good time to find peace with one's treadmill
My treadmill and I have had a difficult relationship in the almost 2 years since it entered my life. I am happy to have it, but I didn't go to it easily. Having such a miserably cold December made me rely on it much more than I expected. In fact - only a handful of my streak runs were completed outside. I learned that if I go fast on the treadmill - I loathe it - but if I slow my pace - I can actually enjoy it. Plus - it lets me indulge in geeky pleasures like Doctor Who and there's nothing wrong with that. My treadmill and I are almost friends nowadays.
3) It is possible to heal during a streak
My calf had been giving me a considerable amount of grief, going into December. It really hurt to run. Some days it was hurting to get out of bed. I had hubby massage it a couple of times at the start of the streak but then I let the streak do the rest. By the end of the month - the tightness was gone. By slowing my pace down and concentrating on listening to my body - my calf had come further than months of rolling it had achieved.
I am not kidding myself that it is completely healed, but in December, I saw greater progress with it than I have in all of the months since July. It made me realize that slow and easy needs to be my strategy for the rest of winter. No speeding. Just slow and heal and be strong and pain free for my marathon. THAT is an idea I can throw myself fully into!
4) You can run your highest mileage month of the year by doing a mile-a-day streak
Yep - I ran my highest mileage month of 2013 in December. Even having run Goofy in January.
5) A mile is a mile no matter how long it takes
Just keep moving forward. It is okay to walk. And if you can involve your family - you'll find it easier to get that forward motion in everyday. That's how I got my 2k in on Christmas day - we took a post-dinner walk as a family. It was a nice way to wind down after the excitement of the day and the girlies got to see fireworks since some redneck was setting them of fin their backyard along the way.
Would I do another streak? You betcha. It was a great way to keep me moving. It also helped me win my Diet Bet, since I was spending my evenings on the treadmill instead of snacking in front of reruns. I don't think I'll do another one over CHRISTMAS since that is a really busy time of year for our family, and definitely not right after a month of Nanowrimo...but I would definitely do it again. Maybe a July run streak or something. Sounds like it might be a good way to recover from a marathon... #foodforthought.