I got up on Thanksgiving morning thinking I would probably not get to run. With all the cooking and visiting and eating that was going to go on, and with my son home from college and sleeping in the room where my treadmill resides, I didn’t think there would a chance for a run. I told myself I’d take a little walk in the afternoon. Then I did it: I checked Facebook, and I learned about The Streak.
When I first started running in the spring I asked for advice from my Facebook friends who run. One of them told me to like the Runner’s World page. That was one of the most helpful ideas ever! I learn something new almost every day and the inspiration posted on the page has gotten me out the door many a time. On Thanksgiving morning I saw a post announcing the Runner’s World Winter Run Streak. The idea is to run at least a mile every single day from Thanksgiving through New Years Day. This year it means thirty-six daily runs in a row. I knew I had to try it. I clicked on the link and was thrilled to find that I met the criteria for those who should participate. Me: a qualified run streaker! How did this happen?
That night after things settled down, I slipped into my son’s room and did two miles. I had pulled a muscle in my back wrestling the turkey into its cooking bag, but I was determined and ran through the pain for the first week. There has only been one day, a Sunday, that I’ve run the minimum. Most days I do around four miles. Because of my cold-induced asthma I am not supposed to be outside for more than ten minutes in temps under 55 degrees, so most of my runs have been on the treadmill. Two days this week, however, thanks to Christmas break and warmer temperatures, I was able to run outside in the afternoon. I was a little nervous because I haven’t run hills since October. (The incline feature on my treadmill is kaput!) What I found, however, is that I have gotten stronger. Hills were not a big deal. I did three miles and felt like going further, but I didn’t because I was worried about injury from running too much on the black top. Today I went out again and even tried a new route. Again, I felt good running a little more than 5K.
I decided when I began the streak that I would be happy just to maintain my weight and fitness through the holidays, but when I weighed today, I found that I’d actually lost a pound! It’s a lot easier to resist the holiday sweets when I’ve put in the miles. I find myself looking forward to my daily runs. They are a constant in my otherwise chaotic holiday world. I’m not nearly as stressed as I usually am this time of year, and I’m actually managing my time a lot better than I have in the past. Running focuses and calms me.
While I am focused on finishing the challenge and completing the thirty-six days, I must admit that I’m considering an extension–just how far I can go with it. A year ago I would never have believed this was possible for me. Who starts running at fifty-six? Now, at fifty-seven, I don’t want to stop.