It has been 39 days since we started this journey together…39 days of crazy weather, holiday parties, quality time with family and friends, longer days at work in preparation for the new year and food, a lot of gloriously decadent food. I would venture to say that your past 39 days were quite similar to mine?! At the beginning of the streak I was motivated and excited. I mean, really, how hard is getting in a mile a day at the very least all that challenging? It wasn’t…until it was.
Right before Thanksgiving a terrible pain in my left side sent me to the E.R. Fearing it was abdominal adhesions from a surgery when I was quite a bit younger, the doctor on call admitted me for all kinds of testing. Several hours and a few different kinds of diagnostic imaging tests later, it was revealed that I needed to take better care of my digestive system. This wake up call was just what I needed to kick-start a better eating plan coupled with daily exercise-even if it was just a mile run.
I like to think of myself as fairly healthy to begin with, but I have let five pounds creep up on me since I changed jobs in August. I also hadn’t been running and lifting nearly as much as I had been prior to moving to Oregon City. Stress and happiness allowed me to become lazy. I started falling asleep on the couch around 8:00pm most evenings and the shorter days lent me a “pass” to allow myself many excuses (not having scheduled many future races to keep me motivated) to be sedentary. This streak was just what I needed to give me a gentle (but firm) push back on track.
I spent several of my streak days in the dark at the local high school track in my neighborhood in the freezing rain, cranking out a few miles while my dogs ran next to me. Some days I literally had to talk to myself out loud to get my butt out the door so I could walk just a mile on the rolling hills around my house. I cursed myself for stating so publicly my desire to do a run streak. I wanted to back out. And honestly, there were two days in the beginning of December where I walked up and down the stairs at work to get my mile in because I knew I would just be too tired to get out in the cold and dark when I got home later in the evening. I felt lame and sorry for myself. A running streak is nothing to laugh at, no matter how few the miles. The challenge really was in my head. Mind over matter became my daily mantra.
Fast-forward to now: January 2nd. While I still have a way to go in shedding the weight I gained over the last several months (thanks to lovely Oregon Pinot Noirs, cheese trays at holiday parties and my mom’s amazing prime rib on Christmas) I’m still a bit slower than I was hoping to be, I know that when the going gets tough, I can hang…but I might cry and whine about it while I do it. My plan for the next few months as race season ramps up is to try to get a mile in every day, if not more. Perhaps I’ll do another streak this year, perhaps in honor of my birthday in May. We shall see.
How was your streak? If it was your first or twenty-first, I’m sure it provided some challenge for you. Perhaps you learned something new about yourself-if so, please share in the comments below, as we can all learn and take comfort in knowing we are all in it together. And speaking of comments…Run Oregon reader Julie Mullins is our streak giveaway winner! Julie will receive entry to Race for Warmth in Vancouver on January 29th. She has her choice of running in the 5K or the 10K. Julie posted the most feedback of her experience of the streak and kept on pushing herself, even running on her treadmill at home right before bed-that’s dedication! Julie, please email the blog on how to claim your entry at Runoregonblog@gmail.com. Readers, if you are interested in learning more about Race for Warmth, check out blogger Matt Rasmussen’s preview here. It’s a fantastic course with scenic views of the Columbia River.