Monday, November 28, 2022

The '22 Streak is a GO!

 Alas, the 2022 Streak has begun!

Thanksgiving has come and gone, so that means it's time for my annual "Get Me Through The Solstice" end-of-year ritual.

This can be a difficult time of year for many of us. The racing season has come to a close. The daylight is on a downward spiral. The weather is a bit dismal. A little incentive to stay active through the holiday season never hurt anyone, myself included.

Enter: the Runner's World Winter Run Streak.

For the past nine years, that has meant a brief run streak for me.  From Thanksgiving through New Years Day, I have run at least one mile every day...and I'm continuing that tradition again in 2022.

I respect that there are a lot of well-meaning peeps who are anti-streaking (many of whom have never given it a try, just saying). I once was one of them myself until I gave this streaking gig a go. I can honestly say I'd never do run streaking year-round. Ever. For a final hurrah to the year, though? Yeah, I'm good with that.

New Years Day 2018...the final day of the 2017 run streak

I first winter-streaked in 2013, and have continued every winter since (2014, 201520162017, 20182019, 2020 and in 2021)I respectfully acknowledge that the notion of run-streaking does not interest everyone, even for a short period. That's totally alright...I'm not here to pass judgment nor persuade anyone to change their mind. As I said, I was very much a skeptic until I gave it a try.

This year, with my healing hammy in recovery mode, I have to take things easy. In all honesty, I really can't be running much for distance (and certainly not intensity or speed) right now anyways. I have no upcoming races on my radar, and my one Fall race (the Principal 5K Road Race) was anything but intense. 

Amazingly, previous years' streaks have  gone surprisingly well, even when I was recovering from other injuries (ahem, 2017's nasty knee incident and 2020's stress fracture, just to name a couple). Emotionally, I didn't experience any burnout or dread with either of those streaks or in subsequent streaks thereafter. Physically, I didn't notice any oddball aches or pains, nor overuse injuries. Maybe I was just lucky, or maybe I've learned a thing (or several) during the all these other streaks to make streaking work for me.

None the less, I have a few objectives with this year's Run Streak:

(1) Run every run outside.
This will be my eighth consecutive year of doing all of my runs outside. Fingers crossed we'll have seasonal weather (or even warmer!), and not any of that crazy Arctic Blast or Polar Vortex stuff. None the less, even if things get cold and nasty, I can tolerate (most) anything for a mile.

(2) Wear a different outfit for each repeats!
I've managed to do this every year (I think). Of course, I have some favorite gear (puffer vests and holiday-themed leggings), so there are oodles of possibilities for mixing and matching.

(3) Showcase an abundance of accessories (because that's what they're there for). 
I'm looking at you, festive knee socks, pom-pom hats and colorful headbands

(4) Maintain cross-training.
Duh! Cross-training is a given. A lot of these streak runs (almost half of them, actually) will be just one mile in distance, which really doesn't require much of a time commitment or effort. There will be plenty of time for some other fitness options without any excess wear or tear on my body (hello elliptical, stationary bike, and strength work!).

(5) Vary the pace/distance/time of day as much as possible so each run will be unique.
On my cross-training days, I'll probably be doing the streak runs either midday (at lunch) or after work. Since there will be some kind of other workout (most likely in the early morning), most of these runs will be easy-paced 1-milers. I have a slew of 1-mile routes...I can run them as out-and-backs, laps around my block, loops around other surrounding blocks, clockwise, counter-clockwise, figure-8's. The possibilities are endless.

(6) Enjoy the simple experience of running.
Every run is a gift, after all. I'm extremely grateful for this special gift, and having the privilege of doing it on my own terms. What's more, each of these Streak runs will get me one day closer to the the Winter Solstice...which will lead me back to brighter days and warmer weather (eventually LOL). How's that for a plan?

(7) Celebrate the grand finale, on New Years Day!
Yes, come January 1st, there will be a joyous leap followed by a day of rest (or, at the very least, a day sans running on January 2nd). 

What's made winter streaking work for me is that I respect it's a short-term challenge. It has a specific ending date, and I've never felt compelled to continue beyond that final day. I've never made it into a contest to see how many miles I can accumulate, or how fast of a pace I could crank out each time I laced up the shoes.

A few related posts:

Do you have plans for finishing out the year strong? Any goals on tap for 2023?  Have you ever given run-streaking a try?

Much of the text and some of the pics first appeared in a previous post, The Streak is ON!

I'm linking this with Kim and Zenaida for the Tuesday Topics Link-Up

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  1. Yay! It's streak time! I love this idea - doing 1 easy-paced mile a day is very doable and at the same time a nice challenge.
    I also like the idea of the different outfits and accessories. The stuff in my cupboard is way too boring to do that, so I'm looking forward to seeing the different photos!

    1. Full disclosure, some days I do run farther, but the 1-mile distance is the minimum. I seriously look forward to this Streak every's become a crutch for getting past the Winter Solstice ;-)

  2. I have a similar post going up tomorrow outlining my goals for the annual 10x10 streak challenge I'm doing! I've already included similar ones to yours like the different outfits, varying the routes and also enjoying the Final Day which for me is Day 10. But I may just steal your one on just enjoying my runs - and remembering I get to do this!

    Re: outfits, I've got a slight twist - I've looked at the Top 10 countries that have read my blog this year, and I will honour those readers by wearing their flag/ national colours for each run, starting with Number 10.

    1. ooh, I LOVE your twist on the outfits!! That's a great idea, and a fabulous way to honor your readers <3

  3. I'm always so impressed by your annual run streak! Although I don't streak, I think Robin will be bringing back her 3for31 challenge in December so I will participate in that again.

    1. I need to check out the 3 for 31...I think I was so new to Peloton last year, I didn't really know what all Robin's program encompassed. Thanks for the heads-up!

  4. Yay streak! I'm anti-streak EXCEPT for the 38 days last year where I did at least a mile a day between Thanksgiving and New Years and it was a ton of fun. I did consider doing it this year but mentally I need more time away from running. I had to do a lot of my longer runs on the treadmill due to the early morning darkness, but for the days when I was just doing a mile I made it a point to run a unique route.

    1. I remember you streaking with me!! There's NO WAY I'd ever do this year-round, but it's definitely a must-do for me every winter season.

  5. A Big No on steaking... but I do try to run or walk outside each day.

    I love your goals.

    Outdoors is important especially with the shorter days. Of course, different outfits... I don't wear the same outfit often.

    I had 22 goals for 2022. I think it was overkill. 2023 will be a just do it often year.

    1. Getting outside for walking (when you're not running) is every bit as fulfilling. We all need that fresh air (and sunshine, when it's not hidden behind the winter clouds).

  6. as you know, I am not a streaker but I am all about supporting your efforts!

  7. I hope you'll be able to meet your goal of completing each run outside. Fingers crossed for no icy weather!

  8. It is very impressive that you've done this streak for many years. I've done one streak and that was enough for me. :-)