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Running Streak

I started a running streak.

No, no, this has nothing to do with that naked running business.

A running streak is defined by USRSA as running
at least one continuous mile within each calendar day under one's own body power.

The concept has been ricocheting around my head since the dedicated Bill G. logged over 1,000 consecutive days in his running streak.
Pretty impressive, you say? Turns out there's an Official Running Streak List of folks that have been running for decades.

Recently my Twitter pal quotidianlight lamented falling asleep and breaking her streak, and I found myself tweeting my declaration to start one. It was partly out of solidarity and partly to satisfy my own curiosity.

You see, I've never been an everyday runner. I'm a big fan of rest days and cross-training days with no running whatsoever.

Fact: I've never toed the start line of a race even slightly over-trained.

Looking back at the past six months on my calendar, I never ran more than five times a week - and that only happened twice! Typical weeks show I ran just three days, and there are a few two-day weeks in there.

Currently the streak stands at 19 days. It seems a bit premature to make many observations, but what the hell, it's my blog and it's all about me. So far my legs have felt pretty good and no more tired than in any typical week. I find they seem to get into gear more quickly, in fact.

Luckily I broke down and joined Daily Mile. What a great tool for runners! It's darn motivating to see your bar graph in vivid color representing the miles you did each day, and there are lots of supportive folks chiming in with encouragement.

What I hope to accomplish through this new experiment:

  • run more consistently
  • increase my mileage
  • accomplish a concrete daily goal

I started the streak without any specific number goal in mind. I'm determined to hang on long enough to make it respectable. It takes 21 days to form a habit, so I'm interested to see if that holds true. After that, who knows?

And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going for my daily run!

A Wintry Run or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Cold

I took a semester of German in high school. I loved how many of the words were similar to English, like schwimmen (swimming) and trinken (drinking). Kalt means cold, but you don't say "Ich bin kalt" when January weather hits - that translates as "I am frigid."

Well, it's damn kalt here, and has been for an unusually long stretch. Not only is it cold, but there are gusting winds of up to 50 mph. I wimped out on not one but three! runs this past weekend. I can't say I regret it.

But I've been forced to get out to walk dogs three nights this cold and blustery week, and bike or run two miles to get there. And, no matter how much I dreaded it, when I got out there and dressed properly, I felt a certain sense of triumph that I wasn't huddled inside, but could enjoy the wintry weather in spite of its mean-spirited, biting cold.

Saturday, Tom had invited friends for a run in Rock Creek Park. The forecast was foreboding - windchill in the teens and blustery. I wasn't looking forward to it after walking six blocks the morning before when I was forced by the biting wind to duck into coffee shops every two blocks.

Was I glad I didn't wimp out. The expected handful of runners quickly became a gaggle of fifteen! Instantly it was a party atmosphere. Outside, the sun shone brightly. We chattered happily as we started up the street. The previous morning's dusting of snow, still glistening white, made for a beautiful scene. When we entered the woods the wind was hardly noticeable. The inch of powdery snow on the trails made them runnable except for a few sections where the ice beneath was exposed.

My only regret was that I didn't bring my camera and only had my Blackberry to record images of that glorious day.

So get out there, get past your dread of the chill of winter, and enjoy the magical scene it presents, if only to spite that bitter Old Man Winter.