mundane adventures in running
I’ve finished a 32 day run streak. Brought on by a susceptibility to marketing campaigns, I joined the Ronhill #runeveryday October challenge. Their support, prizes and involvement in the whole thing was a bit weird and sporadic, and tbh I couldn’t really be arsed with it. I checked twitter a couple of times, and looked out for emails, but as a piece of digital marketing it didn’t do much. Which was a shame as I did wonder whether there might be a sense of online camaraderie amongst people doing it, and it might be motivating to be part of that. Hey ho.
So, about 3 days in, I was just doing it for myself. I wasn’t trying to prove anything to anyone else, just to see if it was possible, and see what it felt like. I’ve never done anything like a month’s streak, so I knew I’d be in unfamiliar territory. I found out three things by doing this.
First. It wasn’t especially unfamiliar territory. Every mile I ran was just that: another mile run. There was no sudden shift in how I felt or how I experienced the run. There were moments when I was more tired than usual, when I started to get a bit skittish and to zone out, but that happens on long runs anyway. There were times when I realised I was over doing it and had to pull back a little, but again, that happens in training anyway.
Second. It was easier than I expected. I don’t feel hardcore for having finished it. I thought running every day would take it out of me, and there were a couple of times (especially when i started suffering from a cold) that I wasn’t sure I’d be able to carry on. But, I’d set myself a minimum limit of 5km a day, and that still gave me a chance to run a really gentle recovery run. And gentle recovery runs were gentle enough to allow me to recover, in fact possibly even prompted recovery, and kept me springier, more supple, and more ready to carry on the following day.
Third. It was a lovely experience; I’m really pleased I did it. There were no huge epiphanies or self discoveries, apart from perhaps the realisation I could do it, that it wasn’t hard. Also, there was a growing sense of awareness of my body as aches developed and dissipated, and I worked out what I was capable of and how to plan my runs so I’d stay healthy. Mostly though, the joy was in the very experience of running, and running everyday, easily and without injury. Even when it was taking it’s toll, when I was coldy and knackered and wanted to stop there was still a pleasure in carrying on.
I could write more about the extra stretching and yoga (which i think I mentioned here) or that I seem to be dropping my pace at 130-140 BPM Maffetone style effort. But I won’t bore you too much about that. What I will do is recommend trying to run streaks: try a week, see how it goes, try a month. My bet is that if you can resist over training, you take it easy and enjoy it, you’ll have a great, gently rewarding experience.
Natch, i tracked every last run on Runkeeper. My feed is here.