So starting on 10/30, I committed to running every day through the end of November with the streaking parameters being a minimum of 5 miles/day outside and on trails. The weather during the entire month was near perfect and made the challenge easy. I had many long runs that I would have preferred taking a rest day after, but overall 11/30 came quickly.
When December rolled around, my daughter encouraged me to keep it going. She said, "wouldn't it be cool if you ran for 62 straight days since you'll be running 62 miles at Bandera?" Yes, that would be cool, but that would mean streaking until 12/30! The new challenge was on.
Now that I'm just a few days away from completing it, here are my thoughts on streaking:
- It's quite a silly endeavor that most people (even many runners) just don't understand the point. I too was there prior to this experiment.
- Streaking for 62 days is peanuts. There are people that have been running every single day for 40+ years!
- I love it! For me, the motivation it produced was huge and lead me to one of my best training blocks ever. Every day the streak continued, the desire to keep it going swelled.
- The last three weeks of snow and very cold morning temps accompanied by blustery wind, have been where the rubber meets the road. There were days where I had no clue how to fit in the run. But when I did, the satisfaction experienced after a simple 5-7 mile run was amazing. And then it was on to the next day.
- The runs that I typically would have bailed on were probably my favorites. One dark and early morning, I ventured out into the thick fog. When do we ever get fog in Colorado? It was so thick that my headlamp barely lit up the trail in front of me. I couldn't stop laughing as I was completely disoriented the entire run. I could see no lights anywhere to help me set my bearings. Another day I began running at 5am just as the snow started to fly. The dry trails quickly turned white. The flakes produced long streaks of light as they whipped past my headlamp. By the end I was tromping through two inches of snow in near white-out conditions. Awesome!
- More than any other benefit, the discipline and mental strength gained from persevering and "finding a way" through each day can only pay off in races (and life!) going forward. During every ultra, there's a point when some obstacle seems insurmountable. The battle then rages and one side of my brain screams that the best option is to pack it up and try again the next time. Streaking didn't give me that option as I had to find a way to run. I hope that mentality is ever present during the obstacle-ridden Bandera experience.
The streak will be broken on 1/1 as I rest, hang with the family, and probably watch some football. But I'm guessing a new streak will be started at some point in 2013.