The 300th day of my running streak came on our last morning in Rome. I ran a mile around the parking lot of our hotel before boarding the bus for the airport. Running daily in Italy was the biggest challenge in my running streak so far. It meant running a mile on the night of our arrival after being awake for more than 30 hours and it also meant rising around five each morning to run when the bed felt oh-so-good after days of climbing domes, biking around medieval walls, and struggling with the crowded streets of Rome. I often had company, though, and there’s nothing quite like running through the streets of Florence before dawn.
Because this hundred days of the streak fell mostly during the summer, I was able to up my mileage considerably. I ran 408 miles for a total of 1,058 miles so far. That means I averaged 4 miles a day during this hundred days and have averaged about 3.5 miles a day over the entire streak. I ran mostly outside, learning to deal with humidity and getting better and better at running hills. I’m regularly run/walking a 3:1 now outside and a 4:1 on the treadmill. For a while I was trying to stop walking completely, but my shins and feet complained a lot. I have accepted the fact that the run/walk is what I have to do if I am going to stay healthy and avoid injury. I added interval training back into the mix. I run three minutes at a normal pace, do a one minute sprint, and then walk one minute to recover before starting all over again. My longest distance was 13.1 miles, and a few days I ran the minimum–covering just one mile.
I got new shoes, ran in some new places, and finally reached my weight goal. I have lost 75 pounds in two years. It’s kind of difficult to explain the difference this has made in my life. I noticed it most on the Italy trip. I used to hobble back to the hotel at the end of the day. My feet were so sore that I wondered how I would go out again the next day. This year my feet never gave me single problem. In the past, I slept poorly on the hard mattresses and suffered through the plane ride in the narrow coach seats. This year I slept like a log and, though I would not want to get on another eight hour flight tomorrow, the flights were not bad at all.
I am thankful and content. My plan is to run outside as much as possible until it gets too cold in the mornings for my asthmatic lungs to function. Then I will try to get outside on weekday afternoons and weekends. I don’t want to lose the strength I’ve gained from running on the road. I haven’t decided what’s next. I want to run a half-marathon at some point, but mostly I just want to run. I am very, very thankful that running allows me easy access to views like this one.