At the end of November, I completed my fifth year of running at least one mile every day.
Since I have started this blog, I have shared a lot of the different experiences that I have had while on this running streak.
But no matter if the experiences were good or bad, I don’t think that I would change anything about my running over these last five years because I have learned so much during this time.
Here are five things that my running streak has taught me:
I like routine – A Lot
I guess this might not come as a surprise!
I think I have always liked routine, but over the course of the streak, it’s become even more clear.
Consistency is often said to be the key to becoming successful, but in terms of a running streak, I’ve found routine to be just as important to me. Consistency allows you to monitor your progress, which is no doubt important to help you achieve your goals.
But having a set routine has helped me so much.
The fewer decisions that I need to make, the better off I am going to be. Just knowing that running is part of my daily routine means that there are less decisions to be made.
There’s no “should I go running”. Instead, it’s “when will I go running and how far?”
A couple of years ago, I even decided to wear shorts on my runs every day. No matter what the weather was like. This was just another way to standardize my routine. One less thing to think about when getting ready for my daily run.
It’s Not Always Easy…
…But it’s never really that difficult either.
Some days I feel tired or sore from the running in the days before.
Some days might be a little more busy and I have to figure out the best time to get some miles in.
But most days, I run first thing in the morning no matter what the conditions are like outside.
And every single day I feel better after my run than I did before it.
Knowing this can be used as motivation to get out the door on those days that I need a little push.
Weather Isn’t A Factor
Where I live, we get a little bit of almost every kind of weather.
Usually not anything too extreme, but a little bit of everything.
Before my streak started, I might not have gone running if it was supposed to rain all day or if I didn’t feel like running in whatever the weather was that day.
But over time, I’ve learned that it only takes a small amount of time to get used to the weather during a run.
For instance, if it’s raining, yes I will get wet, but once I’m wet, I’m wet. Or if I am running in the cold, then I will be warm after a couple of minutes.
So, on days when the weather isn’t perfect, I try to get my run started even quicker than a normal day, so that I have less time to think about how the conditions might be.
I have really learned to like running in all kinds of weather.
Ok, maybe I don’t like running when it’s really windy.
But other than that, every different type of weather can be fun to run in.
‘Crazy’ Doesn’t Bother Me
Over the 5 years, but especially in the last couple, I’ve been called a lot of different things – ‘crazy’, ‘insane’, even a ‘nutter’ – to name just a few.
Most of the time these are just used as compliments.
At least that’s the way I take them!
But even if they aren’t meant as compliments, that’s ok too. Because what someone else views as crazy, I just view as routine in a running sense.
After all, I’m just running today. Yesterday and all of the days before it don’t really factor in to my decision to run each day. And tomorrow’s run isn’t guaranteed, so there’s no use thinking about that.
So if that makes me ‘crazy’, I’m ok with that.
No End in Sight
One of the most common questions I’m asked about my streak is: “How long will you keep your streak going?” or something to that effect at least.
I really don’t think about any future milestones too much. Every once in a while, I’ll think it might be cool to get to a certain number, but even then I know that if I get to that number I will still want to continue the next day.
So the answer for now is:
I’m not sure how long I will keep it going.
But whenever it does end, and at some point it will, I will have learned and experienced so much.
Next up: Also at the the end of November, I ran the Philadelphia Marathon in the hopes of improving upon my personal best marathon time. I’ll have a race report from that in the next week or so.