What started out as an experiment on Thanksgiving Day turned for me into a never-before attempted commitment by the second week of my Holiday Running Streak. That’s right: I’ve never run every single day before, even for a week, so embarking on a challenge to run daily from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day has thrust me into an uncharted territory. The best part: by the time the second week rolled around, I learned to enjoy my daily runs and to look forward to them!
Holiday Running Streak: Week 2 Breakdown
This week turned out pretty busy for me: on top of my running and fitness efforts, I also was heavily occupied with my handmade toy line, The Monkey Village (hey, Christmas is coming!), had to go to New Orleans for half a day on Thursday (a 2.5-hour one-way drive from where we live), plus running this blog and writing posts regularly is quite time-consuming. Okay, I know that those of you who are parents with full-time jobs have it much harder than me, so I’m not complaining!
Anyway. With all of that stuff going on, I managed to run every day, plus I had 2 vigorous gym workouts on Tuesday and Friday, and an even more butt-kicking boot camp workout on Saturday that we do weekly with a few fitness-loving friends at a local high school stadium. That workout left me rather sore for the rest of the weekend, though not as sore as I was on some days during my marathon training. Glad that I’ve stuck to the plan to run every day so far!
Monday – 4.75 mi
Tuesday – 2.5 mi + gym
Wednesday – 4.5 mi
Thursday – 3.7 mi
Friday – 2.5 mi + gym
Saturday – 1.25 mi + boot camp
Sunday – 3.5 mi
Total mileage for Week 2: 22.7 miles.
My Strategy: During this week, I was trying not to run too long on any given day. Even though I used to run at least 5-7 miles at a time before the streak started (and more than that during my marathon prep), those runs rarely happened in the course of two consecutive days. Common sense and universal running wisdom suggest that putting in too much, too soon can easily lead to injuries – ain’t nobody got time for that!
The Hardest Part: I was trying to make sure I had at least something small to eat before I headed out for my morning run. This can be pretty tough for me because I’m just too tempted to get out of the door right after getting up in the morning so that to be done with the run ASAP. However, I noticed that running on an empty stomach can make me feel pretty beat-up later in the day, so I’ve been making a conscious effort to have a small meal (like a banana, or a few dates) before my morning runs, and then have a larger breakfast upon return. Truth be told, my efforts to eat before exercise fail pretty often, but I’m working on getting better at it!
The Easiest Part was of the mental character. Before I started this running streak, I never planned my runs or exercise for the entire week unless when training for a marathon. So I could easily have days when I’d be trying all day to convince myself to go for a run, and get thoughts like, ‘Hey, maybe not today, just do it tomorrow!’ This mental ping pong was more exhausting than the run itself! Now that I’m committed to run daily, I don’t have to fight any lazy thoughts because I know: the run is happening no matter what.
What I’ve Learned So Far: This daily running thing seems doable, especially if you watch your daily mileage and avoid going for sudden heroic long runs just because you feel good. Does it seem too safe for you? Well, if I said ‘better safe than sorry’ I would sound like a cliché, right? Oops, I’ve just said that!
In my next week’s update, you just might find out about a surprising factor I’ve discovered that made me run faster than I have in months, so stay tuned!