Saturday, January 3, 2015

On being a holiday streaker

Whew! It has been a fast and fun holiday season for our family, and amongst all the usual revelry I managed to streak from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. Some time before Thanksgiving, Runner's World magazine issued a challenge to readers to run every day from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. Here's a fun article from Marc Parent on the topic. A streak is considered at least one mile a day for as many consecutive days as possible. The idea here is to make sure your activity level doesn't get completely sidelined in favor of all the holiday food, parties and general hustle and bustle. It sounded like a good idea to me, so I decided to do it.
I started my streaking the day after Thanksgiving. I wanted to get in a run on Thanksgiving morning, but my roasted vegetables took precedence and time ran short. I was bummed about that, but jumped in with great determination the following day. My usual running schedule is to get in 4-5 runs per week plus other workouts (mostly from the P90/X suite), so running every day seemed like it might be tough to do. What I discovered from the streak was that it really wasn't hard to do, and in fact, it reinvigorated me about my running. 
After my last race in Oklahoma, I returned home feeling accomplished for this past year, but really weary. Everything ached, and I knew I needed some rest. Enter the streak. I wasn't sure how my body would feel, but once I started I was amazed as how good I felt and how motivated I was to continue. Instead of doing longer runs fewer times per week, I was running shorter distances every day. Turns out running those short distances is really fun...and completely achievable! 
My shortest runs during the streak were 1.7 milers on a quick little route right around my neighborhood. These runs were reserved for days like Christmas Day when things were hectic and I just needed to continue the streak. My longest runs in the streak were only 7 miles long, and I saved those for days following great revelry and food sins. Just to get my butt back in gear. Most of the workouts during the streak were in the 5 mile range, nice and easy and completely enjoyable. Best of all, my body has stayed active and doesn't feel like I've been pounding on it. 
That said, my P90 workouts have been put aside for now, and I can see and feel the difference in my muscles. I'll be jumping back in to those very soon (probably once everyone goes back to school), but I may keep my streak going as long as I can, just for fun. These shorter runs were a great way to end the running year and begin 2015 on a healthy note. Jump in! You can be a streaker, too! Happy New Year!

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