Saturday, November 19, 2011

Nine-hundred ninety eight, nine-hundred ninety-nine...

United States Running
Streak Association Logo
...One thousand days ago, I took the first steps (literally) to be in a club that offers no tangible incentive, doesn't have very many members, and that you actually have to pay for if you want their quarterly publication. As of today, there are 304 active, certified running streaks on the scrolls of the United States Running Streak Association.

The official definition of a running streak, as adopted by the United States Running Streak Association, Inc., is to run at least one continuous mile within each calendar day under one's own body power (without the utilization of any type of health or mechanical aid other than prosthetic devices). Running under one's own body power can occur on either the roads, a track, over hill and dale, or on a treadmill. Running cannot occur through the use of canes, crutches or banisters, or reliance on pools or aquatic devices to create artificial buoyancy.

First Streak Entry: 28 FEB 2009
I started my streak on February 28th, 2009. We were still in our prerequisite nursing courses, so I don't think I fully appreciated then the adjustments I'd be needing to make once nursing school started. Forty days earlier, I had surgery on my right shoulder. I went to Tyler, TX for a surgery follow-up on February 27th. I asked if I could exercise again. The surgeon said that I could as long as I wasn't doing any throwing or contact sports. I've never really liked those sports anyway. I just wanted to run. And so it was, the next day, I one...2.27 miles.

Since day one of my streak, I have run 2,738.1 miles totaling 381 hours, 6 minutes, and 5 seconds of time, completed 48 races (including today's Turkey Trot), and "worn down the rubber, molecule by molecule", of 10 different pairs of Brooks running shoes. I'm proud (and fortunate) to say that every Run Happy step of my streak has been in a pair of Brooks running shoes.

Official Membership Card and Club Sticker
So much has happened since I started the streak. I applied for, was accepted into, and finished nursing school. I became an RRCA Certified Running Coach and a member of the Brooks ID Program. I ran my PR half marathon time and became a commissioned officer in the United States Navy. My wife and I moved to Virginia, and I started working as a pediatric nurse at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. Lots of events have happened over lots of miles of streaking.

Today, I ran my 48th race as a streaker, my second in Virginia, and my first as a new member of the Tidewater Striders. It took a little while, but we finally broke down and joined a running club. It's a lot bigger than LAPS and will likely be a different experience all together, but change is good. (I do miss my LAPS family though.) Only two days after we signed up, they sent us a sticker and a membership card in the mail. Looking forward to the next three years of running with and meeting other Tidewater Striders.

What do I have to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day. In addition to my wonderful wife, spectacular family, the best friends in the world, and an awesome job, I'm thankful for my health. Is that cliché? Yes. However, last Thanksgiving, while at the dinner table that evening with my family in Louisiana, I had the worst pain I'm ever felt in my stomach. Christy and my dad went with me to the emergency room in Bossier. Turned out, I had a stomach ulcer. My 2010 Thanksgiving morning mile was 12:09 and I felt like I was going to die. That was the closest I had come to ending my running streak. One year later to the day, it's Thanksgiving Day again, I feel fine, I ran a 10K race, and it's my 1,000th consecutive day. Much to be thankful for.

So...what does one do after 1,000 days of running? Get ready for tomorrow at 4:15am.

Day 1,001...


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