If you’re reading this, you probably have a pretty good idea that I’m currently on a running streak.
As of today, I’ve run at least one mile every day since November 24, 2017 – a total of 1,280 consecutive days. Doing anything for that many days in a row comes with many challenges.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, not many people even knew that I was on a running streak until last year when I hit 900 consecutive days. Honestly, it just never felt like I was doing anything that special really. After all, I was just running one day at a time!
But as time has gone on, and as I’ve just passed three and a half years of running every day, I have begun to think of ways that I can share my experiences in a way that might be helpful to other runners.
In my first blog post, The Day I Kept Running, I discussed how the streak started and why I decided to keep it going after reaching my initial goal of completing a 35 day running streak.
Here are some of the struggles I’ve had up until this point:
Injuries – I’ve been fortunate to have avoided any major injuries, which has obviously been really helpful. There have been countless times where I have had minor aches and pains – mainly to my calf, knee and back. While I wouldn’t say that any of these minor problems have put the streak into serious question, they have definitely required me to make adjustments to my running plan. Luckily, after a few days of easier running these problems went away for the most part.
No matter what your training plan looks like or even if you don’t follow one, it’s still important to listen to your body on any given day. If you make the necessary adjustments to your running as soon as you have a problem, you’ll be better off for it.
Car Accident – In July 2019, I was in a car accident on the way home from work where I totaled my car. I went to the hospital just to get checked out. I had a mild concussion and a sore shoulder, and even though I’m not promoting running with a concussion, when I returned home at 9pm I changed from my work clothes and did 1 mile in the dark.
Even though things haven’t always gone according to plan, this is definitely the day I look back on as being the closest I’ve come to actually stopping the streak. It might be hard to believe, but the main thing I thought about when I got out of the car after my accident and while I was waiting in the hospital was how I was going to get home and get my run in!
Traveling – It seems a bit silly to classify traveling as a “struggle”, but in terms of running it’s provided a few obstacles that have required some planning to still allow time for a run. Since the beginning of the streak, I’ve done a fair amount of travel. Some of the travel has been for races, which makes the running part easy, but other trips have just been for fun. While it’s not easy to run after a 7 hour flight to or from England or Germany, it’s easier when you’ve planned it out.
Also, going for a run in a new place is a great way to get a lay of the land and to do some sightseeing!
General Fatigue – Every now and again the buildup of mileage or daily strain on my body has caused me to do just the minimum one mile. I’ve learned to understand that this is part of it and I now know how to handle it when my body starts feeling this way. Just recently, my fatigue caused me to finally create a running plan for myself and I’m already feeling much better because of it!
If you have gotten this far, you might be wondering why or how weather has not gotten in the way of my daily runs over the last few years. Since I’m exclusively an outside runner, I’ve learned that it doesn’t really matter what the weather is like outside as long as I’m dressed properly for the run!
Through these struggles, planning and adjusting have been really important to allow for me to still run each day. I have no plans of stopping the running streak any time soon, but these first few years have taught me some lessons that have made me a stronger runner and person. As I always try to remember, the tough days make the good ones feel even better!
I’m sure that there will be other struggles as time goes on, but the last three and a half years have shown me that I’m capable of getting through a lot of different challenges!