Happy first day of 2014 and happy last day of the Holiday Run Streak!!! I managed to run at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. Here are 5 things I learned.
- It’s not so bad running in cold weather. With the proper gear, I learned that even 9 miles in 20-degree snow is totally do-able. The hardest thing to run on is ice, and I still don’t have a great solution to that, but usually you can find some surface without ice (grass or city sidewalks) for a short outdoor winter run.
- It’s probably easier to do a run streak in cold weather than hot. Since this is my first Run Streak, I can’t speak to streaking in the summer, but I do know it’s a lot easier and quicker to pull on tights and a jacket than it is to slather on sunblock, plus in cold weather you don’t (necessarily) come home drenched in sweat, and you can run any time of day without fear of heatstroke.
- Even on busy days, it’s possible to squeeze in a 12 minute run. I definitely abused the 1-mile minimum, only running more than 1 mile on 2 days out of 35, but that was mostly because of my knee pain, not because of time. However, even on days where I was travelling for 12 hours, I managed to squeeze in that 1 mile.
- On short runs, gear & route matter less and less. I used to religiously apply anti-chafe on my feet before every run, but now I haven’t used it for a month. I ran in eyeglasses for the first (few) times, and even though it made my eyes water, for one mile it was fine. I’ve run in terrible tights that sag with every step and socks so thin you could almost see through them, but it didn’t matter because it was only for 12 minutes. Concrete sidewalks and even waiting for lights at intersections aren’t so bad for a short run. As a gear junkie and Central Park devotee, this was actually an eye-opener for me. The best part of the Run Streak is that it’s made me less rigid about both gear and route. I hope to hold onto this simplification of running into the future.
- You can be really lazy even running every day. I started this challenge because I thought it would get me running more during the yucky winter weather and the busy holiday season. I also thought I’d learn something (as you almost always do when you try new things), and I thought I might improve my fitness and reduce my procrastination habit. Well, I certainly learned things, but one of the things I learned was that I can be incredibly lazy even when I run every day. I still procrastinated my runs, and since I only ran one mile each day, I probably ran fewer miles than I would have had I not done the streak and stuck to my “standard” training of a couple 3-mile runs plus one longer run per week. I also totally dropped any and all cross-training, and haven’t done a push-up or plank since before Thanksgiving. I also almost entirely stopped warming up before running, and I don’t stretch after anymore, either. I’m pretty sure I’m less fit now than I was before Thanksgiving, but I might have gotten less fit regardless of attempting the streak, anyway. Either way, ending the streak means I’m going to have to pay more attention to my training and belatedly get ready for my next marathon (only 8 weeks away!).
I was more than ready for the end of my first ever RWRunStreak, since I was still just knocking out the one mile and my knee is still acting up, plus I felt I wasn’t getting as much out of it as I was in the beginning. But now that it’s over, I’m sure I’ll miss it just a tiny bit. Does that mean I’ll be out running this Thursday or Friday when a big snowstorm is expected? No way. I will happily sit on my couch and figure out how I’m going to go back to “normal” running of more than one mile.
Are you happy your RWRunStreak is finished? What does the New Year hold in store for you? Have you seen the Perfect Bacon Bowl ad? (I couldn’t look away.) Share in the comments!