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.