It’s been two weeks since I finished my 100-day run streak and I haven’t run since then. Not because I haven’t wanted to, because I do! Two days after finishing my streak, and the day we got home from our anniversary getaway, I broke my baby toe on a bowling ball bag. Who does that? Me, apparently. I kicked it good and proceeded to say every bad word possible under my breath. It’s finally feeling better, no longer black and blue, and not sticking out at a weird angle. So, it’s time to lace up the running shoes and hit the pavement again.
I do some pretty amazing thinking and problem-solving when I’m running. And every day that I set out to run and marked the calendar for each day I ran, I thought of things I wanted to share. In true fashion, I created a mental list of 10 things I learned while running for 100 days, running a total of 193.31 miles.
10. If you really want to do something, you will make time. Some days were hard. If I couldn’t run first thing in the morning before my day started, I really really REALLY had to make myself run later in the day. I am not an afternoon runner. But I wanted to hit 100 days more than anything so I sucked it up, and ran in the afternoon heat if I missed the morning.
9. Pace does not matter. Unless you’re training for a race, your pace does not matter. Just get out there and run. Running every day for 100 days did not make me a faster runner. It did not mean that I can all of a sudden run a 9 minute mile. That’s not what my run streak was about. It was about taking time for myself and doing something that I love.
8. Running when the sun comes up ROCKS. Several times I week I was running as the sun came up and that just never gets old. Just like every run is different, every sunrise is different, and they are all amazing in their own way. The more colors in the sky, the better. And watching the sun rise while I am doing something I love is just amazing.
7. I still don’t need music to run. I remember when I first started running and if I had any hope of making it more than five minutes, I had to have music to distract me. Fast forward a few years to half marathon training and some really early morning runs by myself and I ditched the headphones for safety. When it’s dark outside, I need to hear things. It took a little getting used to, but then I realized I loved it. Listening to my feet hit the ground, hearing my breathing, and just feeling the run for what it is, that’s all I need. It’s been forever since I listened to music while I run and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
6. You need two pairs of running shoes. As I got about a month into my run streak, I decided it was time to change my shoes up. Fortunately I had another newer pair and starting rotating them daily. It really makes a difference. Shoes, like tires on a car, can take a real beating, especially when you run every day.
5. Distance doesn’t matter. Just like pace, I threw trying to run a certain distance each time out the window. It was simply about running and as long as I could get in a mile each day, I was happy. If I had a crazy busy day and only had fifteen minutes to run, well I was still getting it done. If I had decided that I had to run 3 miles every single day, I never would have kept up with it.
4. Running is not just for exercise. Yes, it has it’s health benefits and I could definitely feel my body change as I ran for 100 days. Nothing drastic, but enough to remind me that my legs are strong and they will slim down when I treat my body right. But for me, running is more mental. It helps my anxiety and depression. It reminds me that I am stronger than I realize and that if I set my mind to something, I can do it.
3. I need to be near water. I like running in my neighborhood and I have a nice route that I could run with my eyes closed. But my favorite runs are those over the causeway to the beach. Running along the water is my absolute favorite. Add in a dolphin sighting and my run is made.
2. Running solo is as good as running together. If you asked me if I prefer to run alone or with others, it would be hard to answer that. I enjoy running alone because I just think, I enjoy the quiet. But I love running with others because it’s fun to talk while running and catch up, especially when you run with someone who loves running as much as you do. i also very much enjoy it when hubby runs with me. I love that he was with me on day 99 and 100 of my run streak, and on day 100, he gave me a high-five and told me he knew I could do it.
1. You CAN run. Yes, I’m talking to you. You CAN run. Never think you can’t because I’m here to tell you that you CAN. If I can run, anyone can. I used to hate it. I swore I would only do it if I was being chased. And then I realized while yes it can be hard, it is still one of the best things I’ve ever pushed myself to do. It took me way out of my comfort zone, I’ve felt stronger than I ever have by running, and I have met some of the most awesome people because of running.
Now that my poor broken toe is better, I am ready to get back out there. Not every day, because I want to get some strength training in as well, but I will run. My goal is going to be three runs during the week and then one longer one on the weekend. My 100-day run streak taught me once again that I can do what I put my mind to. YOU can too!