When I launched my blog back in 2008, I tried to make it more engaging with a feature called, “After the Post.” It was an insightful nugget I felt compelled to share – either feedback I received about the post and/or an additional thought I had while I was in the shower (example right – click to zoon).
After Monday’s blog post about my running streak, I received some incredible feedback that I wanted to share. I also thought about several other things worth mentioning about the experience.
Here is a quick follow-up – a new spin on “After the Post.”
I love the fact that I’ve inspired other people to start a running streak. Unfortunately, one of those individuals recently had to stop. We traded text messages yesterday.
He wrote: “I got to 140+ days and had to stop last week due to injury (back/hip). Disappointing, but it was either keep fighting thru it or take a break and keep the likelihood of half-marathon in two weeks.”
This guys is a fighter. He’ll rally and crush that 13.1 miles.
Good luck, Mike!
‘IN IT FOR THE LONG RUN’
I recently stumbled upon this wonderfully great article about “streakers.” It does a fantastic job of capturing the essence of this crazy phenomenon.
…life offers daily challenges and unexpected events. People get sick, get married, have kids, go on vacation, experience a death in the family, get stuck at the office, stranded at the airport, snowed in. Sometimes you just don’t feel like going for a run.
The streakers still manage to run a mile every day.
“Everybody who runs every day has some stories to tell about how they kept their streaks alive,” one streaker said.
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS?
I had a couple other people say they wanted to start a streak since reading my anniversary post. I think that’s awesome, BUT it’s important to know that this is NOT for everyone. You also have to be smart about it.
I thought I’d offer a couple few tips of my own. These nuggets helped me get to 365 days:
• TIP 1: Only increase your mileage by 10 percent a week
If for some reason you ONLY run 7 miles one week (1 mile a day) – make sure you ONLY run 7.7 miles the next week. Apply this principle even if your running 20 miles a week and then you fall off to 12 miles the next week (For those non-math majors: You’ll increase your mileage to 13.2 after that “off week.”)
Reminder: The key is staying healthy.
• TIP 2: Plan ahead
If you know you’re going out that night – dinner, drinks, etc. – get your butt out of bed and run in the morning. Reminder: It only has to be 1 mile. The worst scenario – which I lived out several times – is running AFTER you go out. It’s on the other end of the spectrum as fun and/or enjoyable!
I was forced to do this once on a business trip to New Orleans. I was on the first flight out of Dallas in the morning – so an early run was out of the question. When I landed in NOLA, I worked ALL day. Then, my client took me out on Bourbon Street.
All I’ll say: Four beers. Two Hurricanes. Hotel treadmill. One mile. BAD! I just stared at the wall in front of me and kept whispering, “Don’t throw up. Don’t throw up.”
• TIP 3: Always remind yourself “it’s just one mile.”
Even if you’re the slowest runner of all-time – getting your run in won’t take more than 15 minutes. That completely negates the excuse: “I don’t have time.”
‘OH, ONLY ONE MILE?’
Not all the feedback that I’ve received about my streak has been positive.
I can remember several occasions when I received a passive judgmental snub. It started off with intrigue and excitement, but that was quickly replaced with: “Oh, only one mile?”
I would just smile and think to myself: “I want to see YOU do it!”
Running one mile for one or two weeks is easy. Then life jumps up and tests your merit and want-to. I’ve always been tempted to respond with complete arrogance:
“I want to see you lace ’em up when it’s 33 degrees outside
“I want to see you go run after working a 16-hour day.”
“I want to see you pound the pavement when the Mexican food you ate for dinner is brawling with the BBQ you had for lunch.”
QUESTION: WHAT IF…
I forgot to share a question my mom asked me during the last 365 days.
Mom: “What if you had to miss a day?”
Me (without hesitation): “I’d just lace ’em up tomorrow and start a new streak.”
I couldn’t imagine not running every single day. It’s a part of my life – a part that I love and cherish. I know it’s going to end some day – life is cruel – but my streak of NOT running will be short-lived.
I HAVE to keep going.
Whether it’s for 8 minutes, 20 minutes or 2 hours, running gives me time to have conversations with myself, fight my demons and answer those million-dollar questions that I can’t address while sitting in front of my computer or laying on the couch watching TV. While some people refer to running as an escape from the real world, I consider it more of an exploration of myself.
This streak embodies that soul searching. The next streak will hopefully do the exact same thing.
Run on, friends!