Have you heard? The Streak has ended.
The 2019 Winter Run Streak, that is. This was my seventh year taking part in the annual Runner's World-promoted event, this one encompassing 35 days of continuous daily runs.
There were morning runs, after-work runs, runches and even a couple races. There was no time for boredom to set in or burnout to take over.
Care to hear a few highlights?
First of all, let me emphasize that I am not a year-round run-streaker. My body does not like daily running, nor does my mind. But, I enjoy doing the Winter Run Streak each year because it's a break from my normal routine. Besides, I have nothing else going on (training-wise) this time of year.
This Streak happens from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day; a time of year when I am done with all the busy-ness of fall races, and have not even thought of spring events (much). As a result, my mileage is usually on the conservative spectrum anyways. The majority of these streak runs are done at an easy pace, and many of them are simple 1-milers...requiring less than 10 minutes of running time.
Another nuance I LOVE about the Winter Streak is that it gets me through the final days and weeks leading up to the Winter Solstice. I much prefer the long days of summer, but the short days of winter are much more bearable after I have made it past the Solstice. I guess the Streak kind of acts like distraction as I make my way through the shortest (and, therefore, darkest) days of the year.
Alas, here are my Five Favorite Features of this Streak:
One of my goals this year was to make every run unique in some aspect. Many of the runs were only the 1-mile minimum distance. Some of them were run in the early hours of morning, some after work, and a handful of them over my lunch break. The bulk of them were run solo, but some were run with my running friend, Barb ( and a couple were run with the hubby). I also utilized many different routes (running them as out & backs, or clock-wise/counter-clockwise loops, and/or a combination of everything). Basically, no two runs were the same.
Two of these streak runs were done on race courses. On December 7th, I ran a new-to-me race in a nearby town (Jingle for the Cure 5K). Then, nearing the end of the month, I ran a bowl-game affiliated race (Holiday Bowl National Funding 5K) while in San Diego for the aforementioned game.
Due to the unseasonably warm December temps, I was able to do several streak runs in shorts! Trust me, it's not very common to be running in shorts in Iowa, especially in mid-December. If the weather is going to treat me to warm temps, I'm gonna take full advantage!
Since it was the holiday season and all, it was only appropriate to do the bulk of my runs in holiday attire. I have a lot of red and green running gear. I also have some obnoxious Christmas-patterned leggings...and I wasn't afraid to wear them.
I was able to do every streak run outside. I started this "tradition" (of outdoor streaking) back with the 2015 Streak...and it's stuck. Thankfully, there were only a handful of runs that were crazy cold...but, as I've often said, I can tolerate most anything for one mile.
Will I do the Winter Run Streak again? Barring any freaky injuries, YES! Since I have done this Streak for the past 8 years now, it's just a normal December thing for me. Honestly, it's a perfect transition to the real winter weather that usually follows in January. Once I make it to the Solstice, I feel liberated...like I'll be able to face Winter because I know the days will be getting longer thereafter.
A few final comments:
**While run-streaking may not appeal to every runner, I do think every runner can find a way to do it... should they ever have an inkling to give it a try. I was once a big skeptic myself until I took a chance and tried it for that first time. The rest is history.
**With several of the runs being just 1-milers, it often takes longer to get dressed in the running gear than it does to do the actual run itself. Although that may seem kind of crazy, it's all part of the streaking gig. After all, it's only for a few weeks.
**Since the 1-mile runs are over and done so quickly, there really isn't much time to work up a good sweat. Streaking, for me at least, isn't really about daily fitness, but more about discipline and focus. Anyone worried about excess laundry can be reassured that a 1-mile run (in the cold weather) will not dirty your clothing much (I sometimes wear the same base layer 2-3 times for the quick 1-milers).
**One of my initial arguments against streaking was the daily wear and tear on my body. Again, so many of these runs are 1-milers, and most of those 1-milers are done at an easy pace. There aren't any intentional speed drills or strenuous hill repeats...and, ironically, that little bit of daily movement actually feels better than not moving at all.
**Run streaking is a very personal choice. If you decide to give it a try, go cautiously at first and allow yourself time to find a routine that works for you. If you're not interested in considering it, that's fine as well. No harm, no foul.
Did you do any fun running endeavors over the holidays? Ever tried run-streaking? Have you ever done the Runner's World Winter Streak?
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