Saturday, November 24, 2012

Streakin' 365

Well, this is a day I will never forget.  Run for every day for 1 year.  I did it!!  I ran every day from November 23, 2011 to November 23, 2012 without missing a day of running.  I ran at least 1 mile, every day without missing a day of running for 1 year.  It was all done outside too. The streak started as a Runners World 40 day challenge.  Run every day from Thanksgiving to New Years.  I remember at day 29 I wanted to stop.  I was tired; my body was sore and didn’t want to do it anymore.  Something after that day just clicked.  I’m not a quitter.  I had gone this far, I could do it for 11 more days.  So I kept it going.  Cold winter running and before I knew it the 40 days was up.  At this point I thought to myself this wasn’t too bad.  In fact it felt really good so I thought I would just keep it going.  Before I knew it I was at a half year and still going.  By now it had became a habit.  It was a great habit.  Staying heart healthy and loving it.  No matter how much I run I always want more.  Before you knew it I had gone a year without missing a day.  It wasn’t just 1 mile runs every day either.  During this time I trained for my first full marathon and overall have run 5 full marathons, a 55 mile ultra and an 8 hour timed ultra where I managed to run 43 miles.  By the end of 2012 I will have done 8 half marathons, 5 full marathons and 3 ultra marathons.  I took 7 minutes off my half marathon PR and 29 minutes off my marathon PR.   I’ve also run 1750 miles so far in 2012 in search of my goal of 2012 miles in 2012.  I’m going to have to do some heavy mileage the next 5 weeks to get there but I will get there.  Even if I have to run 40 miles on December 31 to get there I will do it!! No treadmills, no excuses like It’s too cold or It’s too hot or I’m too tired or I’m too sore or I don’t have time.  If you’re too cold, put some clothes on. If it’s too hot then take your clothes off!!  If you’re too tired then run, it will wake you up.  If you’re too sore then run, it will help loosen up your muscles.  If you don’t have time then make time.  4 am is a great time.  How about 11 pm.  That’s a great time too.  No Excuses, you can do it.  That is what I used to get me through this year.  I have run in all types of weather; 10 degrees, snow, ice, 20 mile training run in hail, rain, lightning, wind.  Nothing stopped me from getting my running in for the day.  I really believe that running every day for the last year has helped me stay injury free.  By running every day even just a mile it allowed my muscles to stay loose.

Well let’s get to my 1 year run.  Day 366!!  Yes, you heard me right 366 days.  Even the calendar was trying to stop me from getting in my year.  I had to run 366 days this year to get my year in because of the leap year.  Another day wasn’t stopping me.  I had planned on running my 1 year run with my awesome buddy Christina.  She has run a lot of these runs with me over the last year especially when I was training with her in the winter to run her first half marathon at the Indy Mini Marathon.  A lot of cold winter mornings at 4 am, Christina, Katie and I we were out there getting it done.  She has been a great friend and great supporter through all this.  She and John have also helped me with cycling which I believe has helped make me a stronger runner.  Even on days she kicked my butt on the bike I still ran after it was done and got my mile in.  Those days were definitely the harder miles after having my butt kicked on the bike.

We had planned on doing 3.66 miles for 366 days.  Christina pulls up to my house and gets out.  I say by to Melissa and I am off to get my run in.  Christina said she wanted to give her little buddy Kelly a hug before we took off so we went back inside for a minute before we head off for our run.  I see a large group walking down the sidewalk but couldn’t see who they were.  They were walking from the High School so I figured it was some High School kids coming home from a game.  I didn’t think about them being out of school for Thanksgiving Break.  I go inside and then notice tons of people coming up on my porch.  I say, “Who are all those people on the porch?”  Christina and Melissa start laughing.  They had pulled it off and had a large group come for the run tonight.  They all come in and are wearing these cool shirts that say Streakin 365 on the front and the back says, Keeping the Streak Alive One Mile At A Time.  They surprised me by having these shirts made and wearing them.  I love it!!

Something else that meant so much to me was having my brother-in-law Tom there.  Tom never runs.  He is a cyclist.  He has been a huge help at getting me into cycling which has helped me become a stronger runner. We always have the battle of who’s sport is better cycling or running (ha ha, we all know running is better :p).   He always tells me the only time he will ever run is if a bear is chasing him.  Then he only has to out run the other person.  When I saw him there tonight I asked him, “Are you running?”  He said yea I’m running!!  I thought that was so awesome!!  He told he had been running 2.5 miles per day for the last month so he could run my 1 year with me.  Him saying that meant more than he will ever know. For him to do something he really doesn’t like to do to run that special day with me was just awesome. He really did quite well.  3.66 miles at an 8:30 pace.  Thank you brother Tom!!  Love you buddy.
I wanted to thank everyone for coming to run with me tonight.  It meant so much having every one of you there running with me tonight; Melissa, Christina, John, Tom, Beau, Kenny, Jerrad, Jackson, Dylan, Faith, Jeff, and Kristie(you are amazing) for all coming out to run with me tonight.  I will never forget it.  Thank you to Grace for coming over to babysit the girls.  You are awesome Grace. 

Anyone who has run with me this last year, I wanted to let you know you were a part of this too.  I have had the privilege to run with some amazing people over the last year.  The Greencastle Running and Fitness Club is an awesome supportive club and I appreciate everyone’s support. It makes it so much better when you can run with a buddy.

I wanted to give a final shout out to my wife Melissa for putting up with me for the last year as I did this running streak.  I know I got on her nerves at times but she was nothing but supportive through this whole year.  I couldn’t have done it without her love and support.  She has become an amazing runner in her own right in the last year completing her first full marathon.  I see her determination and how far she has come with her running over the last year and it makes me proud.  Love you honey.  Thanks for putting up with me.

My hope is that I will inspire others to get Heart Healthy!!  People ask me since I went a year do I plan of taking a day off now.  My answer is, as long as I stay healthy and am able to run I will run every day.  It keeps me healthy and makes me happy.  I plan on Keeping the Streak Alive One Mile At a Time!!  No Excuses!! Get it done!!