Now, that's a mantra I have embraced a time or two in my running shoes.
We all know our own body best, but there's always a few unknowns...how many miles are too many? Total on-the-couch rest, or active recovery? Back-to-back race weekends? Easy pace or all-out speed?
It's easy to pass judgement on that which we have not tried (I'm guilty myself), so I decided to test the waters with a little challenge leading up to the Day of Pi, March 14th.
Let me set the scene...
Being a bit of a numbers dork, and also being a runner, I often do runs as a tribute to significant days or dates. For example, I have done 9.11-mile runs on September 11th. After the Boston Marathon bombings (2013), I joined forces with numerous virtual running friends and ran 2.49 miles in silence (in honor of 2:49 p.m., when the bombs went off). And, every year, I run 3.14 miles on my birthday, which happens to be March 14th (also known as the Day of Pi).
A few months ago, an Instagram friend did a week-long run streak of 5K runs. Having done many short-term run streaks (usually 5-6 weeks duration), the idea of doing a week-long streak was really appealing. Doing all of those runs at a longer distance than the (usual) token 1-mile distance was really intriguing, as well, especially because it was only for a week.
Hmmm. The seed had been planted.
About a month ago, the idea came to me to do this week-long run streak during the week of my birthday, but do those runs for 3.14 miles than the 5K distance (3.1 miles). As luck (or coincidence) would have it, Pi Day landed on a Saturday this year. Thus, the streak could start on Sunday (March 8th) and Saturday (March 14th) could be the grand finale.
Alas, the Week of Pi Challenge became a reality.
So, here's how the week played out...
Day 1 (Sunday) - A virtual Pi for International Women's Day
Another little intervention, courtesy of Fate, presented the opportunity to take part in the ZOOMA Women's Day Virtual 5K. Truth be told, I ran an extra .04 to get the distance to that pretty Pi number. Also, this run served as a recovery run from the previous day's hilly Leprechaun Chase 10K. So, yeah, there were all kinds of good things happening on that sunny morning.
It was raining, it was pouring...and the run with Milly was quite boring. But, the temps outside were a balmy 37F, so a big "No Thanks" to that. I purposely ran the first mile easy (11:00 pace), but running "easy" ain't so easy on the treadmill. My long legs really struggle, and my form almost always feels compromised. But, worse things have happened.
Day 3 (Tuesday) - Post-workday Pi
Eager to be back outside, this run felt so much easier than the previous day's treadmill adventure. I ran a 5K route that took me out on a county road and looped back through the college campus. A special feature of this run was having my gal from the Birchwood Pie Project join me (virtually). Strength in numbers, indeed!
Another post-workday run, this one involved a few laps around the central campus of Grinnell College. The afternoon sunshine was a nice surprise after (almost) a full day of cloudy skies.
Almost every week, my friend, Barb, and I meet for a #5at5 run (five miles at 05:00). Since I was in the midst of this Challenge, though, she graciously let me call it at 3.14 miles (and she continued on without me). Hey, stranger things have happened.
With all the turmoil from the evening prior (COVID-19 causing a major domino effect of cancellations and anxiety), I was not feeling "the run" upon wake-up. By late morning, though, the bright blue sky and sunshine had gotten the best of me, so I decided to lace up and do the Pi run over lunch. Turns out, it was just the energy boost I needed, physically and emotionally.
Barb and I met up, around 7:30 a.m., and hit the streets running, literally. Wouldn't you know, Momma N decided to bless the celebration with snow (but we pretended it was confetti). Week of Pi Challenge: Mission Accomplished!
Here's how I made it work:
***Since I was running 3+ miles every day, I kept the cross-training fairly light. In other words, no speed work, HIIT or intense stair sessions.
***Like with my other run streaks, I varied the route for each run to avoid boredom.
***I kept all of the runs at an easy pace, and I kept them all at the 3.14 distance (no bonus "long" runs during the Streak).
***With the cold weather, earlier in the week, it was easier to run after work (when the temps were warmer). By running those runs at about the same time each day, my body had (almost) a full 23 hours of recovery time between each lace-up. Granted, in general, more recovery time is desirable, but since I was running these runs at an easy pace (and only for a week), it wasn't a big deal.
***I had tons of support and encouragement! Several on-line friends did 3.14-mile runs during the week with me, which wasn't expected but so much appreciated!
***The one aspect I didn't like (and it's not a big one) is the accountability. I'm not a Garmin gal, but I was for this challenge. Having to wear the Garmin for every run is not my usual routine, but for a week it was manageable. First world probs, am I right?
Anyways, I'm calling this endeavor a success. I realize run streaking has ZERO appeal to some people, and I'm not here to brainwash the population to join me. I would suggest giving it a try (even for a week), though, before dismissing it...but that's not for me to decide. As I've said before, we all get to do this running thing OUR way, and I think that's pretty legit. Lucky us!
I have been asked if I will do this Week of Pi Challenge next year? Stay tuned...I have 51 weeks to decide.
Have you ever taken on a challenge that took you outside your comfort zone? Do you do a tribute run on your birthday?
By the way...are you following me on social media? You can find me at these various platforms:
I loved your idea for this streak! So do-able and so much fun. Really nice of your online friends to join you, too!ReplyDelete
I have never done a tribute run on my birthday, but I think this year I will come up with something. Thanks for the inspiration!
This was really a fun undertaking. The timing was perfect, not only with my bday being on a Saturday, but especially in light of all the #covidcrazy last week. Yes, do a tribute bday run for your special day! ;-)Delete
I love running tributes, and I love changing things up. The closest that I've come to a streak was when I did the Strava Lululemon challenge last year, where I was doing a bunch of 2 & 3 mile runs twice a day to cram in outdoor running in daylight and it was just nice to do something completely different for two weeks and then get back to my usual.ReplyDelete
Exactly! It's fun doing something different, especially for a short time-span. I think the body and the mind benefit when things get changed up ;-)Delete
Well, you know I love my annual 10x10 challenge so I love that you did this! If you're doing it next year, I think I'll join you. I've done a couple of birthday runs for myself and last year I started doing a run on each of my kids birthdays - their years in kms. Let's see how many years I'll manage that for - this year Kaia turns 8 and Thiwa 6.ReplyDelete
That's great doing those runs for your kids!! I thought of you when I was brainstorming this week-long challenge. As you know, the key is to pace yourself and not overdo ANY of the daily runs. Keep me posted, and I'll do a run for you on your bday ;-)Delete
Fun idea! That's great that pi day worked out timing wise to coincide with the end of the streak :)ReplyDelete
Yes, It was just meant to happen ;-)Delete
I think that this past week was the perfect opportunity for this challenge. Definitely a great way to deal with stress!ReplyDelete
We could do a 4.1-mile streak in a couple weeks....it's also my hubby's bday ;-)Delete
I've done many challenging things, but run streaks really don't appeal to me at all. I guess because I enjoy other stuff so much!ReplyDelete
Glad to hear you enjoyed yours -- that's what it's all about!
Well, if you've found other challenges, then you're all set ;-)Delete
Will you be joining me for the COVID19 miler? I'm running it this weekend. You have 24 hours to complete the miles. I plan on breaking them up. So yes, this is a challenge that is going to take me outside of my comfort zone. But with the threat of COVID19, I'm kind of already there.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the heads-up, I just registered! We're all outside of our comfort zones at the moment with this great unknown...Delete
You are a master at these run streaks! Congrats on another successful one. I need to figure out something new to keep me going these next few weeksReplyDelete
We got you covered in the next 19+ days ;-)Delete
Happy belated birthday, Kim! I love the idea of running 3.14 miles each day of your birthday week. You come up with some of the best ways to keep it interesting! I need to up my game! :)ReplyDelete
Well, when is your bday? We can come up with something for you (and maybe I'll join you, virtually) ;-)Delete
Happy belated b-day! I love that you did a week of PI workouts. What a great idea!ReplyDelete
Thank you ;-) It was a fun challenge!Delete
That's a lot of pi! ;-)ReplyDelete
I've never done a run streak, mainly because they became popular after I got older and I needed the time to recover between my runs.
I've never done a streak with that many miles on a daily basis, so it was fun to see if I could do it ;-)Delete
I definitely haven't been working out as consistently lately but am trying to get back into it again! If I liked running, I'd definitely take you up on the run streak challenge! :PReplyDelete
You could always try a different daily challenge...walking, push-ups, burpees, etc.Delete
Yay for a Pi day challenge! I've never done one before. Because we all know how my last run streak ended... haha. I'm so glad you did this!ReplyDelete
This was a fun "little" challenge. When I got the idea, I just couldn't let it go, so it had to be done ;-)Delete
This sounds like a great challenge, and I think it came at an ideal time! Anything to take our minds off everyone else going on, right? Great job!ReplyDelete
Exactly!! We all need a distraction right now, and running keeps us grounded (at least it does me).Delete
Happy Belated Birthday! I wanted to join you but had no motivation to run. I ran for the first time on Monday and it felt good. Great job on your streak. For the past couple of years I've run on my birthday. Last year I ran 4.7 miles and this year I will run 4.8. Tempted to run 4.8 for a week but not sure if I want to. My birthday is in November so we know it will be cold. :-)ReplyDelete
I got lucky with the weather this year...it's always a crap shoot in March. The forecast originally showed rain for three days last week, so only having it on the first day was a nice change of events.Delete
Love this! It worked out perfectly with your birthday and I love that you had so much support and encouragement!ReplyDelete
Maybe I'll be able to join in next year! Although I might up the ante with some pie! :)
Pie would be great...I only got cake LOLDelete
Nice work! I thought for a second that you were a math teacher :)ReplyDelete
Happy birthday and happy running.