8 things I learned from my holiday run streak
Well, I did it. But I don’t think I’m really “done.”
I’m referring to the holiday running streak, which I wrote about back in November; a pledge to run at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Day. My streak was 38 days (and counting), having started early. I feel fit and much better than I usually do at the end of the harrowing season of holiday gluttony.
I’d recommend a running streak to anyone who has built up a base level of running fitness. It’s a great way to stay healthy and sane through the winter months or any time of year. Here are eight things I’ve learned from the experience:
- That whole, it’s-so-hard-just-to-get-out-the-door thing? It gets easier with the repetition. Believe me, I’ve been there before — all runners probably have. But you really start looking forward to the daily run — especially as a way to escape holiday stress or being cooped up in the house and get a blast of fresh air.
- I have never wanted to own a treadmill. Until now. The low point came during a miserably cold, rainy run when a passing car drenched me with a pothole’s worth of frigid, muddy water. Remember those months when you could throw on a pair of shirts and a shirt and head out the door?
- It definitely takes a hardy breed to commit to running outdoors throughout a Michigan winter. Just the number of layers and other winter gear items needed is comical. But the weather can be its own reward. Running in a snowstorm is an adventurous kind of fun, infusing peace and stillness into your everyday hum-drum surroundings. The snow and ice make roads or sidewalks more like what you’d find on a trail or even a sandy beach, so you need to consider traction. If you like to mix things up, winter running is definitely for you.
- Some runs will be terrible, grueling slogs. That’s OK. The point is, you did it.
- On others, you will feel amazing. You may just challenge yourself to run a mile as fast as you can, or run longer than planned.
- You can always find time to squeeze in 10 minutes of exercise. I ticked off one-milers at weird hours wearing office attire, jeans, a heavy coat and even after drinking beer. I was keenly aware at times of how ridiculous I must’ve looked, with my running shoes the only indication that I was, actually, a runner — and not a criminal on the run from police.
- One-mile runs can function like a rest day. Or not, if you want to challenge yourself.
- Be careful what you start. You might not want to stop.