My run streak officially came to an end on the first of January, and for that I am thankful. I ran everyday for 39 days, and while my OCD brain wanted to push it to 40, my body said nahhh. I stopped at 39, took a day off, and resumed running the next day. I had wanted to try a run streak for some time, but I now know I am much more of a “listen to your body” kinda gal. I never want to feel like I have to do something, because that takes all the joy out of life. I’m glad I tried it, and I might even do it again next year, who knows.
What I do know is that I learned some things, and I am going to share those things right now.
1. Running everyday kept me disciplined. Overall I looked forward to not waking up and wondering if I wanted to run, but knowing I was going to run. Taking the thought work out of this was great for someone like me who struggles with decision fatigue and overthinking. I even ran one day on a treadmill with socks because I forgot my shoes. Would not recommend.
2. Running everyday helped my Christmas cookie addiction. I say this half joking, but in all reality I ate more treats last month than I can even remember. While my skin, and my brain didn’t love this, some of the sugary goodness was helpful the following morning giving me a surge of energy. I will also admit I didn’t think twice about anything I ate while doing the streak.
3. Running everyday reminded me that listening to music during a sport is a luxury. I spent the first 22 days of this streak running outside, which meant no music. I no longer run with music when I am alone outside because I need to be aware of my surroundings. I ran the last 12 days of this streak inside on a treadmill, and this meant all the music. I found myself falling down a rabbit hole of rap music I used to listen to when I was in high school.
It’s bad. It’s so, so bad.
The lyrics sound like they are written by a child half the time, and a corrupt human the other half. I cannot believe I used to listen to it, and yet…some of it was so nostalgic. A few songs made my running playlist, where they will stay and never see the light of day. Apologies to my mom for giving her a hard time when she wanted me to shut the trash off.
These two paragraphs belong on an Early Morning Confessions post, because this is indeed a confession.
4. Running everyday reminded me how much I love walking. Since ending the streak I have enjoyed a few runs, and a few walks. Duncan and I went to a nearby neighborhood with a network of trails leading us to a beautiful pond. We sat and savored the silence for a bit, something I need to do more of right now. My brain has been a fiasco of chaos and while running is helpful, I need to find more time to be still. I had a nice holiday season, but per usual I am thankful the holidays are over.
5. Running everyday showed me how strong my body is. Long time readers will know I used to be an avid runner in my early to mid twenties. I stopped because of some health issues for many years and believed running would be out of the cards for me. This streak showed me not only is running very much IN the cards, but that I can push a little harder than I thought I could.
6. Running everyday gave me an amazing outlet during a stressful season. With the holidays, trip planning, and me just being me, I often looked forward to running each day as a way to melt my mind into mush. It’s hard to stress about life when trying to focus on putting one foot in front of the other. I like to believe running is the reason I was so calm when my Houdini of a cat escaped out of my front door on Christmas night.
7. Running everyday sparked the old me and gave me the itch to run a race. I would love to run a half marathon again in my time, and while I sometimes worry the distance might be too much, the idea of having a bigger goal again excites me. My last half marathon was in 2014, and by this time running felt like a chore. I will never allow myself to get to that point again, and if I don’t want to run on any given day, I won’t. However, short term goals like a run streak or a half marathon make pushing myself temporarily far more rewarding.
8. Running everyday showed me that a mile, is a mile, is a mile. There were 2-3 days during this streak I truly did not want to run. I work a physical job and there were a few mornings I missed my run, meaning I had to run after I got home from work. These days I told myself “just one mile.” I always felt better after my mile (aside from one day I ate too many Christmas treats – the cramps were very real), and I knew running for ten minutes wasn’t going to kill me.
This is my favorite lesson of the entire streak, and something I have come to adopt over the past year. It doesn’t matter how long I go out for, or how fast I run for, I am moving my body and that is all that matters. On the flip side, I learned I much prefer running less days of the week, with longer mileage on the days I do run. 3-4 milers are my happy place, but when running everyday I was typically running 1-2 miles.
Either way, getting outside with some air on my face, regardless of how long is a treat I cherish.
I’m not one for big “new year” goals or changes. I’m more of the mindset that small, manageable changes can and should be made at all times of our life rather than one time at the beginning of a year. I do however want to use this time of my life to really focus on my mental health and finding more ways to destress and calm down. I continue to get worked up over things that perhaps don’t need extra anxiety energy, and it’s strongly affecting my life.
Running will continue to be one of these main outlets for me.
I enjoy the ongoing journey of listening to my body and trusting what it tells me. For example, there are certain times in my cycle that running is not the best option for me, and that’s perfectly OK. I am thankful I have the ability to choose to run (and walk, and bike, and hike) when I know many people do not. I can safely say I will never take these abilities for granted. Thanks for following along, and I look forward to more movements and more adventures as this year unfolds.
Q: Did you have a good New Years Eve? I was in bed by 10.
38 thoughts on “End Streak”
Running (and hiking and walking and biking) is not about the body; it’s about the brain. Without my daily ride, I get fidgety and stressed. Flogini, a friend who is very woo woo, called my bike commute my meditation and she was so right. Listen to your brain. When it says, I feel crabby and cuddy, take it for a run/ride/hike/walk. Or even swim some laps. Same benefit, different vibe.
In my running days, my best runs would come on days when I felt irritable and unmotivated.
I’m all about the woo woo, for the most part. I would agree wholeheartedly with your comment. I love this aspect of life, the growing and learning and changing parts. I would have never imagined I would be at a place where exercise was nearly exclusively for my brain. When I am on my bike it is absolutely meditative, and what I miss most about living in the Alps. Near the end of my time there I felt anxious and sad more than usual, but my bike was my happy place.
Good work Britt, well done. I think once running (or anything actually) becomes something you want to do, rather than HAVE to do, then it all falls into place and becomes a part of your life. In my case I love being outdoors and in touch with nature as an antidote to a mainly indoors existence.
Amen. I can tell when I have been inside too long for the day, and I get restless and irritable. It’s been a struggle for my homebody of a partner at times, but my soul NEEDS to be outside.
Great post Brittany! 👏👏👌👌 I love running myself, got back into it last year (February on) after years away from it! 😁❤️🏃♂️ I’ve worked my way from 2 days a week to 4 days per week running 5-6 miles. I’ve found having recovery days is very important. So fair play to ya for doing it every day! 👍👏😁
I agree about having recovery days! It makes the runs more enjoyable for me too. I enjoyed the streak, but am enjoying the on and off runs more! Running 5-6 miles four days a week is impressive!
Definitely makes it much more enjoyable! 👍😁 Thanks very much! 🙏😊 Was going great guns until I got swelling on my left foot and had to take a week off running in December. Then as soon as I’d recovered from that I got the flu day after Stephen’s/Boxing Day and only just starting back running yesterday. But it was shorter due to a cough.
OH MAN! I’m sorry you had to go through that, but the beauty of running is that we can always come back to it. You’ll be back to your before shape in no time. I love that running allows us to continually challenge ourselves and grow over and over again.
Flu was the toughest I must admit. But maybe it was my body’s way of saying “slow down Ken”. 😁😛 Ah yeh, running is always there for ya. I look forward to it as it gives me great focus and energy!
Happy New Year!
I urban/suburban hike, myself, and leave the music and audiobooks at home. Hearing birds, wind, creek water tumbling is the soul part of exercise for me.
Music is for the treadmill at the Y; the mechanical roll of the ‘mill, people groaning ad painting, the clink of weights hitting the floor or the end of their weight cable on a machine need to be masked by Lizzo, Fleetwood Mac, and Lenny Kravatz. 🐧🙂
I love a good urban hike, I don’t do it enough! I agree the sounds of nature are so soothing for the soul. I audibly laughed at the comments about the gym. I used to have a Y membership, but I would use it for group classes like spin and yoga. Oh, and the sauna…man I miss that.
The sauna – totally!
My favorite quote: Either way, getting outside with some air on my face, regardless of how long is a treat I cherish.
Also – love having a pre-set plan so no thinking required.
One thing I disagree with — for me, and maybe I’m unique in this, a good dose of the outdoors is often my best thinking time. The rhythm, the air, no gadgets or dishes to distract, just me and the Great PNW!
I think you’re right! When I am outside I have zero distractions. No music when outside. I use this time for thinking too, and often it’s one of the few things that can calm down my mind when it’s overactive. Which is almost daily. LOL
When I am on a treadmill however, I need all the music.
I have always hated running (I love swimming, biking, hiking… but not running), but I set a goal for myself to walk 1800 miles this year and I have realized that in order to fit all the walking into my day I have to run at least some of it. It’s actually been… not bad. By the time I decided to add running into the mix, I was ready for the increase in pace. I’ve also found I can do some of my work on a tablet while walking at a slower pace on the treadmill- multi tasking!
I hope you have a very happy New Year with much to appreciate and to look forward to 🙂
This is wonderful! What a great goal you have set, and I loveeee to walk on my treadmill while doing other tasks. Usually it’s computer work for me, but what a great way to get some miles in.
This was so motivating and encouraging to me! I used to run, but I honestly haven’t had a good routine since I had the kiddos. One knee injury and lots of exhaustion later, I definitely am in the worst shape of my life. There’s my confession! Ha, ha! BUT my goal for this year is to take care of myself again, and running is very much going to be a part of that. I know it’s not going to be pretty, and it will be very hard. But I look forward to starting! I had planned to start this week, but priority #1 for me was getting enough sleep (or as close to that as possible). Already, with going to bed early enough, I feel more rested!
I can only imagine trying to juggle your own health on top of a family. That is no easy feat. I am certain you will find a good balance for yourself, and just remember taking the time for yourself is NEVER selfish! When I started running again it was not pretty either. It was slow (I’m still slow, but it was even slower), and my distance was short, but I just kept showing up. Sleep is definitely the first step I would say. Without sleep we are nothing!!
YES, so true! I’ve really been focusing this week on getting enough sleep, and I’m already starting to feel a lot better. I never would have started with this in the past, but it’s so true… you can’t be strong in your workouts if you’re starting from a place of exhaustion.
Grace @ Cultural Life
Running sounds like such a great outlet! I admire your motivation and persistence with it. I’ve come to accept that running is not for me (right now, but maybe in the future) due to an old knee injury that still causes pain. But other forms of movement — Pilates, yoga, hiking — bring me joy and help to manage my anxiety that sometimes flares up. Sending solidarity and encouragement!
Knee injuries are no joke. My partner has one, and it’s so hard to watch him struggle endlessly. I wish everyday that he could run and hike without worry, I am sorry you are having knee pains as well. It doesn’t matter how we move our bodies, it just matters that we move them!
Grace @ Cultural Life
Thank you. I’ve been waiting to be referred for an MRI scan and got an appointment sorted today, so hopefully I can get a proper diagnosis after an inconclusive MRI a few years ago. Sorry to hear your partner also has one. Knees are so complex!
I forgot to mention in my comment. My partner’s a runner (currently training for his first marathon) and he recently got some headphones that don’t go in your ears, so he can listen to music / audiobooks and still be aware of traffic, noise etc. while running. I tried them and it’s astonishing how they work! Thought I’d mention just in case it was of interest to you.
Funny you say that, I recently looked into buying a pair of Shokz headphones which are similar to what you describe. Just have to pull the trigger!
Good luck with the MRI stuff, I had to fight to get approved for one for my back. It’s ridiculous.
Grace @ Cultural Life
That’s a coincidence! He has the Shokz ones and is happy with them. I think he got the previous model as it was cheaper than their newest one and has almost all the same features.
Thank you. I hope you managed to get an MRI and the right treatment for your back.
I have heard great things about the Shokz! Thank you for sharing.
The irony with my back is that by the time I was approved (a full year after my injury) I didn’t need it anymore. Well, perhaps I should have still gotten one, but I chose PT instead and that worked wonders. And time. Just letting the discs slowly slip back into place.
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and findings – so far I refused to do any daily run streak goals because I know my body needs proper recovery time and I never ever want running to become a chore I have to tick off every day. But I make it a point to go outside every day as I just love the outdoors.
I am so happy to read you found back to running as it is one of the best stress relief options.
As I am currently going through one of the toughest spots in my life so far, you saying “I continue to get worked up over things that perhaps don’t need extra anxiety energy, and it’s strongly affecting my life.” strongly resonated with me. Thanks for that outspoken confession – it reminded me to add mindful periods into my day again. We’re no good to no one if we’re constantly worked up, angry and anxious even if we do have our reasons.
Stay calm and continue running! 🙂
I think you’re wise to let your body recover. I know for my that’s imperative as well. Going outside regardless of what we do is the key takeaway I think.
I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a tough time, these seasons are never fun to be in, but I know you will come out on the other side with wisdom and strength. Until then, running awaits. Sending you love. I know we don’t know each other, but if you ever need to vent I am only an e-mail away!
Yay for running!!! Haha I have so many rap songs on my plays list and the lyrics are obscene… But I justify it cause it helps me run fast when I need it 😂!!
RIGHT!? Ok I sorta thought I was crazy with my logic, but it genuinely makes me run harder sometimes. LOLOL.
I’m so proud of you, Brittany!!! It takes a lot to stick with a goal, especially a physical one like running during the chilly winter months, and it’s inspiring to hear more about what you learned through your streak. You’re absolutely amazing and incredible!!
When I used to run, I didn’t listen to music while running outdoors either. I’m probably pretty weird (and a-okay with that!), but I actually preferred it that way. I enjoyed letting my feet and thoughts wander in silence… And the ex-marching-band-geek in me NEEDED to run to the beat of any song, which made running while listening to music way too stressful. 😂
So happy for you that you’re able to run again — and enjoy it too!! And finally… You have the cutest eyeballs ever! 😉
I definitely know what you mean about running to the beat, when I am on a treadmill 9 times out of 10 I will do that. Sometimes it’s nice because I go faster, but overall that’s not my goal so I have to remind myself to chill out!!
I tell you what, there was one day with the deep snow and ice I chose to run on a field by my house to avoid slipping…it was the hardest mile of my life. I could have quit right then and there. Running on grass covered in snow is like molasses. LOL
Thank you for the encouragement. ❤
Man… Running on snowy grass sounds even harder than running on sand on the beach. I have no clue how people can do that (willingly! and enjoy it!) AND still get decent mile times too. I can barely walk on the sand without falling over — so needless to say, I’m even more impressed by your run through the snowy grass! You’re an inspiration, Brittany!! ♡
LOL I am with you about the sand. That is a miserable time. I remember the last time I ran on the beach, and it was awful. The calf pain was REAL.
YES!!! So, so bad… I learned my lesson and now basically give up after about 4 strides. So not worth it! 😜
We had a good New Years. We got to visit with my son and daughter-in-law for the week. LOTS of rain.
How about you?
That sounds lovely. I had a bit of a stressful NYE morning, Duncan was having some pretty horrific tooth pain, which has thankfully since been fixed. So that meant for NYE evening I was asleep EARLY. Made a nice dinner with Duncan, and slept!
Hope Duncan feels better and enjoy your New Years.
Thanks for such enjoyable from the heart blogposts. I know it’s early but HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM one 2/15 to another. Kim🎈
Thank you Kim!! I just saw this, what a sweet comment! Happy BELATED 2/15 to you. I hope your day was lovely.