Tuesday, April 29, 2014

six months to live

Six months ago today was a Monday. It was a rest day from running at the end of the worst month ever. I was feeling horribly down. And suddenly I realized that the days I didn't run I crashed harder in my difficult season. So I impulsively decided to go on a running streak. Believe it or not there is an official association for people who do this--run at least a mile a day every single day. I didn't care about that. I didn't care about anything except feeling better. And so began my run streak, October 29, 2013.

This morning I overslept because I fell asleep before setting my alarm. I still had back pain from whatever happened Thursday night (chill out, mommas, my doctor said that I should keep running because it helped this issue. I did check with him.), and, well, I was supposed to be teaching a class at 9:30 and it was 8:13. I do not wake up well and usually need a full hour to be alert. But it was my 6 month run streak day and I didn't think I could stand waiting all day to be sure I did it. Things happen you can't plan. It doesn't take long to run a mile--even half conscious with back pain. So I skipped breakfast, Facebook checking, and threw on the first running clothes I could find, and was out the door. It was a hard run. Very hard. I had to wake up on it. One of my shoelaces was loose and slapping me in the ankle. And I kept running until that little voice said "one mile." And then I felt like I had just held the world in my hands.

I have to admit, after work I ran another mile. This one was my normal speed and felt amazing. And it was a bonus run. I don't know how much longer I'll streak. I'm in marathon training now and need to watch my mileage between long runs, but my philosophy has always been that if you can run, you should run. One day that ability may leave. I never want to look back and wish I did.

Six months of everything imaginable:

A cold
Wind chills of -4
Several ice storms
40 mph winds
80 degrees
Travel, including across the nation
Road trips
Three half marathons
Three 10Ks
Several 5Ks
Bad runs
Awesome runs

But ask me if I regret a single run. You know the answer.

I didn't start this streak with anything to prove. Being a non-competitive runner the only thing I have to prove is that I can be better for me. I'm not trying to join the running streak association or compete with others. I'm not trying to push my body to a limit. My sole motivation was the October crisis time for which I needed a way to cope.

Six months later, I'm still going. This morning I hit 1539 miles between Jan. 1 of 2013 and today. There's a story behind every mile. And ever bad runs make me better. Six months of consistency has made me stronger. When I think back to that Monday night, I can stil recall it with striking clarity. I made the right decision.

It's been 682.7 miles since that first run of my streak. And I'm still running.
This is my third pair of Pink Magic since that first run of the streak on October 29.

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