Thursday, December 27, 2018

Run(streak)fessions


Well, it's my final appearance at the Runfessional for 2018. It's only appropriate I chat about my last running hurrah of the year.

Have you all heard? I have been streaking!

Not running naked (sans clothing), mind you. I'm pretty open minded, but running in the buff ain't gonna happen for me (you can thank me later). I have done the majority of these streak runs, though, via a different kind of "naked," sans music or technology. And I have done all of them outdoors.

Here's a few highlights and a few runfessions about this experience...

First of all, let me runfess that this streak did not begin with the greatest attitude. I have done the Runner's World Winter Streak for the past five years, so it feels like an annual obligation now (previous recaps from 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013). Since I know it's for a relatively short time (Thanksgiving through New Years Day), I temporarily ignore all my misgivings about the (potential) dangers of daily running. This year, however, I was just coming off a really tough marathon. My hamstrings and glutes (and, I believe ALL of their corresponding tendons) were feeling alright, but not great. I'd had a month of recovery, but I knew I was not quite back to my old self yet. I made a promise to myself (and to anyone who was listening) that I would try streaking for a week or so, and bail on it if things would begin to feel worse.      
Thanksgiving morning...three miles to start the 2018 Winter Streak
Much to my surprise, the daily running actually made all my residual aches and pains feel better. The first 10 days or so had streak runs of only 1-2 miles, and they all were easy-paced. I gotta runfess, I was expecting things to feel cranky and strained, but everything felt great. In fact, things were starting to actually feel better than before the Streak had begun. So, I kept streaking...
And the Streak goes on.....
By the third week, I started (conservatively) increasing the mileage. I could feel my paces getting a little faster, on some of the "longer" runs (which were only 3-4 miles in length LOL), because my legs were feeling so good. I think the Iowa weather played a major part in this since we only had a few light snowfalls, with nothing really accumulating. We even had several days with temps in the mid-upper 40F's, which is usually unheard of this time of year. Let me runfess, for the first time (in a long time), I was actually enjoying Momma N's choice in weather conditions. Yes, there were some sub-freezing days, but with no snow to wade through or ice to slip on....things were very runner-friendly for December in Iowa. Even the wind played nice.
One of the few runs with actual snowflakes!
This would be my the longest Streak, ever. I'll runfess it here and now...the reality of that was a buzzkill. Because this Winter Streak runs, quite literally (see what I did there?), from Thanksgiving until New Year's Day, it's a different length every year (due to Thanksgiving's constant change of date). Since Thanksgiving 2018 was so early (a full 34 days before Christmas), this Streak will max out at 41 days. Yes, that made for some challenges in coming up with different routes and venues to make each daily run a little different from all the others. I also tried my very best to not wear the exact same outfit more than once.
Some of my runs happened after work, amidst the holiday lights 
During the week, the majority of my runs were in the wee dark hours. What can I say? I have a job to get to by 8:00 every morning. There were a few random runches (runs over my lunch break). On the weekends, though, I took advantage of the daylight and allowed an extra hour of slumber before heading outside. I shouldn't have to runfess it (but I will)...the early mornings, right as the sun was starting to rise, were my favorites
How can you not love a beautiful sunrise, especially in your running shoes?
One last runfession....come January 2nd, I think I will kind of miss the daily running routine. It's amazing how much of a ritual a simple thing, like running, can become. But, as I have said many times before, the daily running thing is not my year-round gig. Sure, I can do it for a few weeks at a time, and maybe even enjoy it, but I can also walk away with no regrets.
Yes, I did a lot of my Streak runs in festive, holiday-inspired gear.
The main reason I even consider doing this run streak each winter is because I have nothing else happening (training-wise). All of my fall races are over, and there's quite a bit of time before any of my spring events need attention. The handful of winter races (in January and February) do not require any excessive or specific training, so I am able to take an authentic off-season after the Streak ends. For myself, it's a perfect ending to a near-perfect year. 

This particular Streak seemed especially easy this year. Thankfully, 2018 was a pretty strong year for me in terms of running. A lot of that was due to my attitude of gratitude (being sidelined for three months in 2017 gave me a substantial spotlight of the "bigger picture"), and I did not take any run for granted. Also, this year's winter weather was optimal for daily streaking, I even was able to do a couple of my runs in shorts; believe me, that does NOT happen in Iowa very often during this time of year. Some ask me why I do these streaks each winter, and my reply is "Why not?"

So there you have it. All of my 2018 runfessions have been runfessed....here's to a fresh start to 2019!

Enough about me...it's your turn. Any runfessions that need to be shared? Has it been a great winter thus far? Any plans for 2019?

I'm linking this with Marcia for the monthly Runfessions link-up.

I'm also linking this with Meranda and Lacey for the Friday with Fairytales and Fitness link-up. 


39 comments:

  1. I'm glad this seasonal run streak works so well for you. I think it could work for me if I could do easy runs (not possible with Scooby) and short runs (but I want the hassle of getting dressed and out the door to have a bigger payoff).

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    1. Ha ha!! Yes, on the days when I'm only doing the 1-milers, it does take longer to get dressed than I actually spend running ;-)

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  2. I should definitely do a run streak. I always liked the idea of it, but work and life typically get in the way at least once in a while. I also try to get to the trails as much as possible, but I'm sure a quick run on the roads wouldn't hurt. Winter is always a tough time for me since I hate the cold and the trails can get pretty rough here in Salt Lake City. A run streak would probably help keep me accountable.

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    1. The short run streaks, such as this, work for me. Not everyone is a fan of them (including myself, for the most part). That said, they are a great way to keep accountable and can be a great short-term plan of action during a time when one needs a little extra dose of incentive.

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  3. Congrats on another successful runstreak!

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    1. Thanks! Now, on to the new year...in a few days ;-)

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  4. Nope no streaking for me. Maybe in the summer but it’s too much effort with the clothes for a short run. I usually run only 3-4 days.

    Kudos to you. I never doubted that you would be successful.

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    1. Thanks, Darlene! I had some doubts in the first few days...my heart just wasn't in it, and some of my body parts were still a bit compromised from the marathon. But, with each day, it felt better and my gut told me to keep going.

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  5. Glad the streak went well for you! Cheers to completing it!

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    1. I'm glad this is (almost) over, but thankful for the ability to do it.

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  6. Congrats on a successful streak! I love routine, so I know what you mean about potentially missing your dark and early runs before work.

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    1. It will be odd to not be running every day, but I still will try to get out for a walk on most days. Gotta get that fasted cardio done LOL

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    2. Do you see a difference doing fasted cardio? That's what I do but not on purpose. I eat dinner late so I am just not hungry at 5am. But I am def hungry after my run.

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    3. I don't necessarily do the fasted cardio for weight loss, but more for the fat burn. My waistline is a lot more toned now than it was a year ago. I do a lot of planking, but not really any other core-focused work, so I think the fasted cardio has played a big part in that. Also, my "fasted cardio" workouts are relatively short...30-45 minutes (HIIT, etc.) or 5-6 mile runs; nothing longer or I'd need some food LOL

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  7. I give you so much credit for doing a runstreak! My body doesn't like to run every day and it has no problem telling me that either, lol

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    1. It definitely isn't for everyone. There's no way I'd do it year-round, but the 5-6 weeks during the winter works for me ;-)

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  8. I admire those that do a runstreak. I think I did one during the summer but its been so long that now I cannot remember. :-)

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    1. Years ago, I did an April streak, and also one (a different year) from memorial Day to 4th of July. But, the winter works best for me because I have nothing else on my schedule.

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  9. I runfess that I missed a day in early December and I pretty much stopped caring after that. It was weird not to streak this year, but like you, I always quit at the end. I have no need to streak indefinitely.

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    1. I totally can see where it would be weird to not be doing a streak if you have in the past. I really had doubts I'd be able to withstand the entire 41 days this time around, but each week got easier. I just knew I'd regret not starting and trying ;-)

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  10. You've done a great job with your streak! I think of you every time I head out to keep my Holiday Challenge going and know I'd never make it if the challenge didn't allow for walking too.

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    1. Well, this is my 6th year doing it, so I have that "in my head." I know I've done it before, so any excuse I could think of, I had a a rebuttal for it LOL

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  11. Kudos for keeping the streak alive! I find it difficult to streak this time of year because there are always extra events going on and my time seems more limited. Although I did miss out on some beautiful running weather which I am very sad about! Good job Kim!

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    1. That's why I do the bulk of my runs in the early hours, before my day begins. I'm used to running early in the morning, though ;-)

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  12. Run streaks are hard. I need the mental break more than the ohyaicL. I def get the routine part though. Runners are def creatures of havit

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    1. Run streaks definitely are not for everyone, and I only do them this time of year when I have nothing else going on. There's no way I'd even consider doing a streak if I was training for a specific race; my body would need the rest days.

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  13. I am amazed at how meek the winter has been in KS this year. I keep bracing myself that it is going to turn and be horrible. I kind of like the cold though because then most of the other people stay off the trails and I have the m to myself :)

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    1. That is a perk to cold weather running! Limited traffic LOL I know it's gonna turn for the colder in Iowa...it already got cold this weekend. January are usually our coldest months...

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  14. That is awesome that you are all to do this! I tried a run streak several years ago and made it to Day 16 when I ended up getting sick. I have not attempted one since, but I might next year!! Congratulations!!!

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    1. Well, I'm able to do this streak because it's during a relatively "boring" time of the year for me. The necessary "rest days" aren't that necessary right now LOL

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  15. I am so not a streaker and so not an early morning runner in the winter. It can take me hours to motivate myself out that door -- we've had a day here & a day there with mild weather, but we've also had plenty of wind and unseasonably cold temps too. Brr. Not too much snow after Nov . . .

    Plus I am training for my next half. Then there will probably be a reeeeally long off season. And sometimes you just need that! Although Mr. Judy doesn't get that even if I'm in an off season, I'm still gonna be running!

    Enjoy your streak. You earned it!

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    1. I'm glad the Streak is almost over! I didn't think I'd make it through the first week, but things went much better than anticipated.

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  16. Congrats on your run streak! I'm not much of a runner so I highly doubt I could do this--I'm working on being more consistent with lifting though! :]

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    1. The streaking is not for everyone...including me any other time of the year.

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  17. I have only ever done 1 run streak and sadly it did not end well for me.
    Hope the rest of your 2018 is great and that 2019 has amazing runs for you!

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  18. I love your sensible attitude! I'm doing RED January which involves some form of exercise every day, however I am not running every day and will try to set a good example with the range of things I do. https://www.mind.org.uk/redjanuary

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    1. RED January sounds like a great incentive to be active on a daily basis. That's something we all could benefit from!

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  19. I love your THanksgiving morning hat. I never caught up in November so that one is new to me.
    While I can't run daily, I fully agree with you re: the ritual. Rhythms can be so comforting.

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