Reflections on My Running Streak Coming to an End
This past Monday, December 14, my running streak came to an end. I managed to get it up to 175 days, almost half the year. In the end, I just felt it was time to let it go.
When COVID-19 shut everything down in March, I hadn't yet built my gym. This left me with limited options for fitness (or at least options that appealed to me). Running had generally been my go-to cardio activity since I started becoming more active, so I started running, a lot. I started running 3-4 miles a day, 4-5 days a week. I hated sitting still, so it was a good way to get my blood flowing. I stayed away from parks and just ran around my neighborhood. Didn't need a mask as I could just switch sides of the street those few times I ran into someone.
I missed the second half of April thanks to pain in my hip, but was able to get going again in May. Towards the end of June (June 22nd to be exact), I ended up starting my running streak. I didn't actually even mean to start it. I just started running every day, and soon enough I realized that I had been able to keep it going. It reached a month, then two, and I was able to just keep going. Even after I built my gym, I still made a point to go for a run after lifting...which became extra painful on some legs days. My only rule was that I had to hit the 1 mile mark for it to count. Anyone who wants to start a running streak can set the boundaries for their streaks, but for mine, I felt like 1 mile was a good mark to hit.
There were plenty of days where I didn't want to run. Days where I just wanted to be lazy and play video games all day or anything else. But I persevered and went for a run anyway. There were days where my neighbors probably thought I was nuts running in the pouring rain (those were not fun runs). There were other days where I ran in 90+ degree weather...they weren't fun either, though I tried sticking to morning runs during the hottest days of summer to make it a little easier on myself. I was proud of myself. I managed to hit 100 days, then 150, never seeming to slow down.
What finally did me in was a low to mid 30s day when it was pouring rain. I hadn't been enjoying running with the temperature in the 30s to begin with, and the pouring rain certainly didn't encourage me either. Not to make excuses for myself, but I kinda knew this day was coming. Living in Pennsylvania, I knew that the weather was going to get cold. And while I could deal with cold, what that also brings is snow and ice (as I write this, it's snowing out and we're supposed to get as much as a foot of snow). I knew that once it started getting icy, my runs were going to stop. Why run if all I'm going to do is slip on the ice and break an ankle or leg? I'll end up injured and won't be able to do much of anything. I was hoping to get to 183 days, so I could say that I ran exactly half the year, but I'll have to make do with 175 days. Still not too shabby!
Looking back, I feel accomplished. It wasn't always easy to force myself to run every day, but I still did it 175 days in a row. I think that's the main takeaway from this for me. If you want something, stick with it. Work for it and don't take the easy way out. It would've been easy for me to take a day off, say that it's because I need a rest day and move on.
As for now, I'm still working out. I'm still lifting weights in my basement gym, and I'll still go for runs when the weather cooperates. I'll probably even get my bike trainer out and get some indoor bike rides in. My running streak might be over, but my fitness activities sure aren't!
Here are the stats for my running streak: