Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Three Years of Streak Running

Mandatory Groucho pic before our nursing school race
Yesterday's run felt particularly clunky to me. My legs were heavy and I could feel my feet slapping the ground as I moved across the E. 26th St. Bridge. My legs did feel heavy, but a huge contributing factor to the clunky feeling is just the fact that I have big hobbit feet. Some days are better than others when you run every day. Some days are better than others when you don't run every day. It wasn't a bad run, but it wasn't my best. Days like yesterday make up the majority of my running days. Not particularly great and not particularly terrible. This is good because you can really appreciate it when you have a good day. And when you have a really bad day, you can appreciate the good ones even more. And of course, even the worst day of running is better than not being able to run at all when you have functional legs.

So after my run yesterday, I came home to log my run into my computer. My Garmin watch wirelessly sends the info into Garmin Training Center which is then uploaded to RunningAhead where I keep my entire history of running. While I was waiting for the info from the watch to send, I opened my e-mail. I received the following from Mark Washburne:
Hi Chip, 
On behalf of the United States Running Streak Association (USRSA), I want to congratulate you on completing your 3rd year of streak running! Great job! We would love to include an update on you and your running in our next newsletter of The Streak Registry. Please send update along with any changes in your streak running status in the last year to me.
For more information on USRSA, please visit our website at: http://www.runeveryday.com/ 
Please also visit us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=95577453452 
or at Yahoo groups at: http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/USRSA/
Good luck on another year of streak running!
Best wishes,Mark Washburne
Three years of running every day! Until yesterday when I read the above e-mail, I had forgotten about it. A few weeks ago, I vaguely remember remembering it. But I didn't remember it on the day. There was a question in The Streak Registry, the official quarterly publication of The United States Running Streak Association, Inc., that asked when one's streak year becomes official - the day before you started or the day that you started. To me, I guess it makes sense that it would be the day before you started because that would be one's 365th day of running. Either way, today was my 1,096th day of running - 3.001 days according to the Active USA Streak List. I'm number 257 and Christy is 254 as of today.

So how does someone run every day? Isn't it tough on the bones, joints, and muscles? Well...yes...it is. There's definitely give and take with running every day. Things that are taken from me are in the forms of sleep and soreness. Some days, it's hard to find time for even the obligatory mile. When I work three 12 hour shifts, especially on the third day, it's really tough to muster up the energy to move for a mile. When I put in a hard run or a long run, I'm expectedly sore and tired the next day. Most runners will embrace their next day of rest. But for a streak runner, a slow mile is a rest day.

But being a streak runner gives more than it takes. The number one thing that it gives me is consistency. It's been my observation that people jump on the running bandwagon for one of three reasons (in no particular order): 1.) new year's resolution 2.) lose weight 3.) the idea of racing. Just like going to the gym, new year's resolutions die hard. People fall off the bandwagon because they didn't approach it with the mindset of making a lifestyle change and because it's near impossible for most people to start running for the first time ever when it's cold outside. Much like the gym scene, the roads and trails are back to normal by February 1st. People tend to not realize that running and most other forms of exercise done by people who are not training to be Olympians does very little for weight loss...especially if not done consistently. Neglecting diet and quantity of food makes running almost useless if one's goal is weight loss. And then, the idea of racing or being a runner. Plenty of people like the idea of being a runner, but don't want to put in the work for it. Having all the fancy clothes or toys for golfing or fishing doesn't make someone a golfer or a fisherman. Fisherperson? Being a streak runner brings consistency to my craft, and it allows me to not dread doing it.

It also gives me, even if only for a few minutes each day, a way to let go of everything else and just move. freely. We spend a lot of time in front of computers at work. Lots of time inside. When working days, it's rare to see the sun because we get there before the sun comes up and leave after it's set. Running every day lets me break out of the 5'9" tall by 20" wide bubble and stretch myself in forward motion. I usually run before work to pump myself up before the day...or night. In my current situation, it's nights.

Since starting on February 28th, 2009, I've run 3,014.5 miles. Amount of time spent running: 405 hours, 2 minutes, 49 seconds. Naturally, my next goal will be to reach four years. But really, my long term goal is to reach five years. Why? On the active streak list, if you've been a run streaker for less than five years, you're considered a Neophyte. Once you've reached five years, and up through ten years, you fall into the category of The Proficient. It's always good to have a goal.

I wish everyone currently with an active streak and anyone working on their initial streak happy running.


Post a Comment