rewards of streaking

For the last month and some odd days, I’ve been streaking, sans nudity. On the first of November, I decided to commit to three miles a day for the entire month. By the time November 30th rolled around, my monthly total was at 106, and I was in no mood to stop. I am at 19 miles for December, currently, with plans to add a few more miles tonight.

Streaking a low number of miles each day (minimum of three, usually maxing out at four or five) has been a tremendous experiment in strength-building. For much of my running career, I have focused on a formula which boils down to 2-3 shorter runs a week and a long run on the weekend. The streak dismantled that. Here is what happened when I changed:

I got faster. I don’t run my daily miles at a particularly fast pace. In fact, I spend quite a few evenings a week running with my regular running buddy, which is usually at a more relaxed pace (because we both like to talk). However, I think the strong base gained through daily running has somehow turned up my endurance to maintain a much faster speed on race days. In November, I set a new PR for my 10K distance. Last weekend, I set a new PR for my 5K distance (25:12). If you told me a few months ago that I would be running a 25 minute 5K, I would have shut the front door in your face! But, here I am… still in disbelief.

I got fitter. I have never held weight-loss as an outcome for running. But I did realize that I lost a few pounds as a result of running more regularly, and that my body feels really healthy right now. I have also managed to avoid colds and other illness this fall, for which I credit running.

I maintained multipotentiality and did not crash and burn. Running through November kept me incredibly balanced, psychologically, as I completed a fifth semester of doctoral coursework, endured a very stressful season at work, rehearsed and performed with a new vocal ensemble, parented a four-year-old, and pursued other community and volunteer projects. The routine of physical exercise helped me to unwind each day and sleep well at night.

What will December look like? I hope to continue running 3 miles a day as much as I can, although I am not as steadfast about it this month simply because of holiday and family commitments (although, as my running buddy and I discussed, these can often be the best motivators for a little solitary running time!). I hope to use my vacation time from work to pursue a few more longer runs, especially trail runs, as I only got a few long trail runs in during the month of November. I am still tentative at this point in time, but I am eyeing a “last chance” trail half marathon on New Year’s Eve in order to finish out the year.

4 thoughts on “rewards of streaking

  1. That is great to hear. I believe that people saying that you need to take at least one day off a week from running are being too simplistic. I think that what needs to occur is that you simply have to have days of running that are less strenuous than others, and that appears to be exactly what you have been doing.

    At times in my running life when I have run every day, I enjoyed it. I just liked the regularity of it, which was especially important to me as sometimes when I took a day off a week, that day would then turn into two or three and start a negative snowball effect going. But when I ran every day, I just kept … running every day.

    That race on Dec. 31 sounds awesome. I know exactly which one you are talking about, and it sounds like a really cool, scenic, low-key event.

  2. Pingback: December Recap | The Plan Keeps Changing

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