Wednesday, June 22, 2011

36 Days and Counting...

Chrissy sent me a picture of a poster that is hanging on the wall at her doctor's office:

The caption:
Eat up the road.
Drink in the view.
Run like hell.

I love that!

Last month I committed to running at least one mile a day for 30 days. I began on May 18th, and today I realized that my 30 days must be up. They are! So far I've run at least one mile every day for 36 days! I'm so glad that I did this challenge for a few reasons:
  • You don't have the opportunity to slack when you commit to something. There were some days that I didn't really feel like going for a run, and in the past I probably would have just skipped it and told myself I'd make up for it the next day. With this plan it was easier to get myself out the door, since the miles needed to be logged every day.
  • Time Management. Summer is busy and I've been having a harder time fitting in workouts, especially on week days. I leave very early for work in the morning and most nights get home after 9pm. Since starting the challenge I've been better about scheduling time for a run, even if all I can fit in is a quick mile at 5am. Workouts don't get "forgotten" when you know that you have to do them every day.
  • I've replaced some bad behaviors with good ones. The other day I brought my running clothes to work, but forgot my socks, so I couldn't go. That night we celebrated my brother's birthday and I didn't get home until after 9pm and was stuffed with pizza and cake. Normally I would have plopped myself in front of the TV to "relax" for a bit before bed (and usually mindless snacking comes with my mindless TV watching). Instead I changing into running clothes and went for a nice slow run, which left me feeling much better after the heavy dinner.
  • I realized that I like running at night! I always thought I was a morning person and preferred to run then, but since I've been forced to run at night many times, I've really enjoyed it. Its a nice way to run off the stress of the day and helps get out extra energy before bed. I love running outside at night and breathing in the fresh air, but for my later runs I go to the gym. My gym is open 24 hours a day, which is helpful if you need to squeeze in a mile or two at 11pm.
Overall I wouldn't really say that my weekly mileage has increased very much (since there are a handful of days that I could only fit in one or two miles) but it also hasn't decreased, which is great. I think if I hadn't been doing this challenge I would have definitely missed a lot more workouts because I've been so busy. 

I know that rest days are very important parts of training and for your body to recover. On my rest days I just run one mile, and when my training program calls for cross training I will just run one mile and add biking/swimming/elliptical to that mile. 

I took a journalism class two years ago, and one of the articles I wrote for class was about running the Boston Marathon. I interviewed a man that lived in my hometown that had run the marathon for many, many consecutive years (I've forgotten the number but I believe it was over 20 years). He was a "streak" runner, which meant that he ran at least one mile every single day. He made it to 31 years and 364 days when he finally missed a day of running. "What happened?" I'd asked him. A few days before he'd been having some chest pains, but ignored it (like most men, from my experience) until his wife finally took him to the hospital. It turns out that he'd had a heart attack, and they kept him for a couple days to monitor him. He requested to be allowed to go outside for a run, or at the very least, for them to bring a treadmill to his room, but they would not allow it. Excuse my language, but if that's not badass, I don't know what is. Once he left the hospital he resumed his daily running, and has now been on a streak of over five years.

So I've decided that I want to try a running streak. I'm 36 days in, so now is as good a time as any. For more information on running streaks, or to apply for a membership, check out their website.

Lately my favorite snack to have before a workout or a run is a cold honey crisp apple, sliced, with 0% honey Chobani yogurt (I use about 1/2 container per apple). This provides fiber, protein and calcium to fuel my run.

Has anyone else been doing the 30 day challenge? 

 What motivates you to exercise?


  1. Love that challenge! It's so easy to come up with excuses not to run, but when I tell myself "Ok, just one mile" usually it turns into more!

  2. Great job finishing the 30 days--and then deciding to keep going! That sign is fantastic too!

  3. I like the idea of doing a mile every day, but I am afraid that in the midst of my 1/2 training it would put me at too much of an increase for the week. Perhaps I could commit to 1 mile on each of my cross training days? Or, maybe this is just a challenge I can take on when I get to the end of the training.