8 things I learned from my holiday run streak

Me after a New Year's Day jaunt in the snow.
A #RWRunStreak New Year’s Day selfie.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. Some runs will be terrible, grueling slogs. That’s OK. The point is, you did it.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. One-mile runs can function like a rest day. Or not, if you want to challenge yourself.
  8. Be careful what you start. You might not want to stop.
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  1. Great post and good inspiration. I’ve been meaning to start up Crossfit again, which I stopped when I bought my house two years ago (and ran out of time and money due to the renovation). My latest excuse to not run right now is our lousy winter air in SLC. Love this notion of a one mile run . . . . then go more sometimes.

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