Why I Miss Streaking

imageRunning every day is no easy task. It’s a huge commitment that requires constant motivation and persistent dedication. It’s the type of challenge that you hear others talk about and are intrigued, thinking there is no way you can do it yourself. You think about it for a while, contemplate how you could do it and then bam, it’s part of your day, every day. You find yourself making a week, then a month then 100 days and you realize “Hey, I can do this!” and you are. I stopped my 365-day runstreak exactly 3 months ago. It was a love-hate relationship near the end but man, do I ever miss it now. There were many days I found myself pulling a late night mile just to get it in plus there were injuries and then flu. It was hard but that’s not what I remember about streaking. What I remember is all the amazing things that surprisingly don’t continue after you stop.

Your body becomes a machine

Running everyday conditions your body. It keeps it a well-oiled machine capable of getting up and going at any time. I know this because now that I’m not streaking I have to stretch or I’m like a stiff board when I start to run. Now, even the littlest of injuries feels like a life sentence but when you run every day you somehow seem to be able to shake off that nagging hamstring, re-align that knee or ease that sciatica. Your body is strong, resilient and elastic. I could wake up and be out the door in five minutes, say screw-it to a warm-up and be instantly ready to do hill repeats. Today, I’m no slug but I’m not ready to run on the drop of a dime like I used be. When I was streaking I was tuned.

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Day 328 was on ice in the middle of winter while I was recovering from the flu. Looking back, I don’t know how this was possible. I was super sick but I got it done.

Decisions made easy

Streaking releases you from the chains of deciding if it’s a “runday”. I never thought about whether or not I had to run, I just ran. It was routine and my bag was packed each morning before my lunch. I usually had a few outfits in case plans changed, weather erupted or I just needed a choice. You see, there’s no excuses allowed or it doesn’t work, you won’t survive past day one. Before I started my streak I was just like many runners. I’d look outside, see the rain, snow or wind and then check the weather on my phone. I’d scroll through some motivating memes, or check my favourite IG accounts for inspiration. I might have even put together a new cute outfit in hopes that it might get me out the door or down to the dungeon on the ‘mill. If it wasn’t absolutely perfect out, I needed to find motivation. When I was streaking, I didn’t need this. I couldn’t risk wasting time, I just went. Every day was runday.

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This was one of my favourite streak days. Not only was it super-crappy wet weather but I got busted by the cops taking this picture. No handcuffs or anything but I was pretty embarrassed 😉

Buh-bye guilt

Have you ever gone for 5 or 6 days without running? How about a few weeks? There were times in my past where I’d slack for a while, even during training and “oh the guilt”. I’d look at my running shoes and say I’d see them soon, in just a few days, after I wrote report cards or when life was less busy. I would have times when I would board the lazy train and getting back to running seemed so hard. This obviously doesn’t happen on a runstreak. Sure, you may find that for a few busy weeks you’re only doing “mile days” but you easily get back on track. Without the guilt, without stalling.

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There were definitely periods of lower activity like this time around Christmas where I ran a lot of “mile” days. The difference was that it was waaay easier to get back on track and motivated again!

I’ll have a double burger with cheese please or not

Ya, so you can just about eat anything when you’re streaking. You can, but most likely you won’t because you know how that works right? Food is fuel and when you’re streaking you’re active every day and who wants a 20-pack of timbits floating around? I used to run to eat-eat to run and it worked for me but something changed on my runstreak. I became this person who wanted to eat better to perform better. I wanted to see if this nutrition thing made a difference. It does and I figured out pretty quick that the less you weigh, the faster you go and the stronger you are the more you can maintain. I started downing protein like a gym-rat and I felt awesome. Of course, some days around the holidays I’d cheat and eat all the desserts but it really didn’t matter. When you’re streaking you can afford to eat a few treats or all of them.

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By day 357 I had figured out what fuel my body needed to run everyday and for long distances. 19.5k day

 

Sleep like a baby or more like a log, a heavy one

I’m not going to say too much here except that if you tried to wake me when I was streaking, you’d be there awhile. I’d fall asleep in only a few minutes and wake up with the alarm. 8-9 hours every night. Just don’t get my husband started on this, he had issues with it for some reason?!?

You can do anything

Most runners are addicted to goal setting. We sign up for longer distances, assign ourselves faster start corrals and run more races. We do this because we love the feeling of accomplishment. We crave the feeling of killin’it. Running everyday makes you feel unstoppable. It makes you believe you are capable and that you can do anything your mind can think of. Each day you cross off, you feel another step closer, a little bit stronger and a whole lot more confident. You begin to dream big and accomplish amazing things. Don’t get me wrong, I still set some goals that push me hard but there’s nothing like a runstreak to accomplish a goal every single day.

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Day 365 was 5k in the morning with my uncle and another 5k in the afternoon with these amazing ladies!

See you soon my friend

My runstreak was one of the best decisions of my life. It was difficult and I often had to pull some strings to get out on the trails but it was worth every step. I didn’t know it at the time but it did a ton for me physically, mentally and it boosted my self-confidence. It made me feel connected to me at my best and taught me I’m capable. You may be thinking that by my age I should have known all these things, I should have already been there. Maybe I did, maybe I was but not like I am now. It changed my life. I’m not sure when I’ll start this running every day thing again but I know it’s going to happen. It’s too good not to.

 

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8 thoughts on “Why I Miss Streaking

  1. Congratulations on the growth you’ve experienced by accepting a healthy challenge that provided enormous benefits both physically and mentally. Learning to maintain this level of motivation without putting yourself through constant strenuous challenges is a skill developed over time. Finding a healthy balance in attitude and physical tasks leads to further development and personal gain.
    Your uncle seems like a genuinely good person with a kind heart. I know he recently celebrated his 58th birthday according to his post. I wish the two of you many happy days ahead running together and running in support of each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your support Doctor Jonathan. It was definitely a struggle at times but worth every day.
      You are absolutely right. My uncle is probably the kindest and most caring person I know. He finds the positive in everyone and is a genuine helper. He is lovely and I’m very fortunate to know him in real life 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. WOW, what a well articulated post Caron! Your runstreak is something I have really deeply admired you for. It is a huge accomplishment that very few people have ever attained.

    I well remember the 5k run (and our running interview) we had together on your day #365. It was such an honour to be a part of your final day of your streak.

    The positive ways you described how the runstreak has benefited you are numerous. It would have been life changing for you.

    Thank you for sharing

    ~Uncle Carl~ 🙂

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    1. Kristi, you are totally up for this challenge 🙂 It really is all just one foot in front of the other, just everyday. Let me know when you decide to begin and I’ll come cheer you on!

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  3. Christine

    You are so right, Caron. The more days in a row I ran, the more powerful I felt and the more invincible I became. I went from trying to defend myself when people said I was crazy to run everyday to just telling them to give it a try. And as I got closer to my 100th day I received a lot more compliments and congrats than criticism.
    You made me believe I could do it because you made it look so fun. And your encouragement meant the world to me. I’m so glad I started this summer off with another streak. It really whipped me into shape and made me feel like I could take on a new goal. Here we go half-marathon.
    Can’t wait to see you later this month and have a good run.

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    1. Yay Christine! You are so amazing and committed. You are going to have a super HM this fall. I love watching your story as a runner and am inspired by you as well. All the best to you my friend 😘

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