100 Days..Done!

Back in May, Runner’s World issued a challenge to run every day from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July, which would be 40 days. The only stipulation was we had to run at least one mile each of those days. I decided I needed some motivation, so I took that 40 Day Running Streak Challenge. I found it to be very motivating, while at the same time rather challenging. The first two weeks my legs screamed that they were tired; they were used to a couple of rest days per week. After those first two weeks, I began to settle in, and my legs began to relent and accept that I was not going to bail on this challenge. 

By the end of the 40 days, I felt that I had accomplished a huge goal. In five years of running, I had never run more than seven or eight days in a row. I felt great, and I wanted others to have that same feeling of pride in knowing they could do something they might not have thought possible (or even wanted to attempt). I didn’t want to limit the 40 days to running, so I put out my own 40 Days of Fitness Challenge. It began the last day of my original challenge, so if I went one day past everyone else, I would have completed 80 days of running. Wow! Once I got to 80 days, I could have stopped. Then I thought 100 is really a nice round number. I bet I could run 100 days straight, which would really be an accomplishment. And so I did. 

Since school began, it hasn’t been as easy to work those runs in. I had gotten so far, that I wasn’t about to make excuses at that point. I also felt like my running had improved, and with some important races on the horizon, I wanted to continue to build my speed and endurance. There were days that my run consisted of a one-mile run with the dogs on our gravel road, but even those runs proved to be enjoyable. Well, they were enjoyable after the first tenth of a mile; that’s when the dogs were all excited about going on a run and they jumped all over me while howling. I’m sure it’s quite a sight! My long runs have been only five or six miles. Without having a true rest day, my legs wear out rather quickly. Now that I will be taking rest days, I am anxious to see if my long runs are easier. I’m running a 10K in Chicago in a few weeks, so that’ll be the true test of what the past 100 days have done for me. 

Today was my 100th day. I planned to run with my friend Debbie this morning because my daughter had a golf match after school. I didn’t even look outside when I got up, so I was surprised to see lightning and feel the brisk wind as I dragged my butt to the car before dawn. Once Debbie and I arrived at the gym and checked out the radar, we decided it would be in our best interest to stick to the treadmills. I guess I’ve been pretty fortunate that in the previous 99 days, I only had to rely upon the treadmill one time, but I certainly didn’t want my defining run to be indoors. Thankfully, we only had to run three miles because I really can’t run on a treadmill much further than that. When I completed my run, I felt that I should’ve earned a medal or some kind of bling. I did something I’d never done before, or even considered for that matter, and there was no finish line, no medal, no shirt, no crowds cheering my through the finish line. Nothing. Just the feeling of accomplishment that comes with meeting a self-imposed goal. I’ll take it! 

I will likely run tomorrow, making my streak 101 days, but that’s only because I teach an early class, and always run after that class. I plan to take a break from running Thursday and Friday, and then go for a long run Saturday morning. Admittedly, it will be difficult to not run. It has become part of my day, and I feel the need to figure out just when I can work a run in. I will abstain, however, because I want to run well in Chicago. It might be the only time I ever run a race in my favorite city; I don’t want to blow it. I am also running that race with my fast-running niece, and I don’t want to be the pitifully slow aunt. 


Okay, I admit it…

This weekend there is a 5k and 10k race in Owensboro.  My friends are running it, and I should be running it.  I really should run the 10k with Jackie and Kassi, and I want to, but…I haven’t signed up.  I can run the 6.2 miles.  And there is supposed to be an awesome pancake breakfast following the race, and I love pancakes.  The temps are going to be in the 70s.  That’s pretty perfect for a morning run.  While I certainly don’t need another race t-shirt to add to my collection, I am rather proud of that collection, and it wouldn’t hurt to add just one more.

So, why the reluctance to register?  At first it was because for a couple weeks, every time I ran I would run into (ha ha) stomach problems.  I have no greater fear than being out on the road mid-run, and suddenly needing to find a bathroom.  Along with that little issue, my left knee was also giving me some problems.  It hurt.  Not every run, but when it hurt, I just couldn’t continue to run.  For the last week, both problems seem to have gone away.  I ran six miles Saturday, and it felt pretty good.  Today I ran eight miles after school, and though it wasn’t fast, it didn’t feel bad.  Well, it felt a little bad in the middle when I suddenly had to pee.  I was behind the floodwall on the greenway, and I began to obsess.  Those are the times I wish I were a man.  But I’m not, so I decided I just needed to make it another mile to my sister’s.  Even if she wasn’t home, I know where she keeps her key.  She was home, so I did my business, got a drink of water, checked out what she was cooking for dinner (if it weren’t turkey burgers, I might have stayed), and ventured on.  I managed to get my eight miles in; I didn’t feel like the rock star I had hoped to feel like, but I did it – after working all day, I might add.

So, it seems my excuses for not running the 10k are pretty much invalid at this point.  So what is really holding me back?  Pride.  Ugly, ugly, immature pride.  I have run a 10k before.  I was in better shape then.  I ran rather fast.  I happen to have a spreadsheet of Gary’s and my race times that I always refer back to before a race, and I know that I cannot run Saturday at the same pace I ran my last 10k, and that will piss me off.   I know that a reasonable person would run for the sake of running a fun race with her girlfriends and enjoying some breakfast afterward.  A reasonable person would run because it is going to be 70 degrees in March, and we just never know what the temps will be around here anymore.  I am not really reasonable. 

In the end, I will probably sign up.  I know that I will enjoy the race with my girlfriends, and I will happily devour some syrup-soaked pancakes and make up for all the calories I burned.  I will be proud that I complete 6.2 miles because that in itself is something to be very proud of.  Isn’t it?