This may have been the least stressful streak I've ever done.
Coming off a stress fracture, my streaking strategy was to have zero expectations. Besides, it's not like I had any big races happening any time soon.
So how did that work for me? The short answer: Mission Accomplished!
Maybe it was due to the fact that this was my eighth consecutive Winter Run Streak. In other words, once Thanksgiving arrives, my mind, body and soul just know to go with the flow and run every day until the new year arrives. This year was no exception.
In a typical year, I'd probably be coming off a fall marathon, and on the verge of a well-earned off-season. There would still be plenty of fitness "in the tank," and a run streak was the perfect grand finale to a year full of running and racing. Well, we all know that didn't happen in 2020.
With a mid-August stress fracture under my belt, my return to running was still in the early stages. My runs had been short (most were 1-2 miles), and my weekly mileage had been conservative (single digits, thank you very much). My Thanksgiving turkey trot 5K had been my longest run thus far, and there was no need to increase my "long run" distance much beyond that. Why not throw in a few daily 1-milers? As long as I kept them easy-paced, I didn't foresee any problems (and I had the sense to stop if things felt compromised).
So, onward, to 37 days of streaking. No aches, pains, discomforts. Decent weather, especially for Iowa. And a fun finish line on New Year's Day. All went well.
Here's a few nuances that made this a fun adventure rather than a daily obligation:
Most of the runs were easy and short. In fact, of the 37 streak runs, 18 of them were 1-mile runs and 11 were 2-milers. I was also committed to keep consistent with cross-training and walking to give my body plenty of non-impact exercise as well.
I was able to do all 37 streak runs outdoors. Seriously, I was incredibly blessed with awesome weather, and didn't have to take any of these runs to the 'mill. Of the eight winter run streaks I've done, the past six have all been run exclusively outside. Granted, some of the runs were chilly. Remember my saying that most of the runs were 1-milers? Yeah, well, I can withstand most anything for one mile, even cold and windy weather. Part of the intrigue with streaking is having the grit and discipline to just do it.
Variety was key! I made it a goal to run a different route every day, and I made sure to vary the terrain. Some runs were flat, some were hilly, some involved laps around a common area, some were out-and-backs. Some were even worked into brick workouts with elliptical and biking components. Also, I varied the time of day as much as possible, and probably set a record for the most number of runches, ever, in December.
All told, my mileage for the 2020 Winter Run Streak totaled out at 70.5 miles. Nothing extreme; nothing crazy. Pretty conservative, actually, and that's just what my recovering foot needed.