Tuesday, March 13, 2018

I Ran 100 Days Straight on the Run Streak and This is What I Learned

I woke up in an uncomfortable bed and in the unfamiliar surroundings forgot where I was that morning. I was in Houston staying overnight in a hotel in preparation for a one-day blog conference. I made the five-hour drive (should have been four) from Dallas the night before. I drove into town and the hotel was in a neighborhood that didn't give me warm fuzzy feelings about safety. As I passed liquor stores and strip clubs, I pulled into the hotel parking lot, quickly parked my car and checked into my (thankfully, clean) room.

I inquired about the gym at the front desk because I knew the next morning was a milestone. That morning in Houston would be my 100th day straight on the run streak. The front desk clerk informed me that the gym may not operational because they had a problem with the only treadmill. She thinks a screw fell off and the gym was closed for repairs. "It may be open by the morning" she offered.

This made me a little nervous. I knew for my 100th day on the run streak I would have to get it done early in the morning because I had a full-day blog conference ahead of me and then a four to five-hour drive back to Fort Worth. Since the neighborhood wasn't run-friendly, I prayed to the treadmill Gods to fix my treadmill before the morning. I had put in 99 days of running, I couldn't miss this one.

The run streak is a commitment to run at least one mile a day. On rest days you at least run one slow mile. I have participated in these with Runner's World several times over the years. They have both a summer run streak and a winter run streak which last approximately 40 days each.

This Thanksgiving Hubby and I decided to do the winter run streak with Runner's World, which meant we were committing to run at least one mile a day between Thanksgiving and New Year's day. The Fort Worth Turkey Trot was the first day of our streak.

day one at the Fort Worth Turkey Trot

Once the 40 days were up and the official run streak ended, Hubby wanted to keep going. Maybe we were on a New Year's Resolution high, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Let's keep running at least one mile a day throughout the new year. So we kept running. Every day. Most days on the streets. Sometimes on the treadmill. Sometimes at the track. At night. In the dark. When it was cold. In the drizzling rain. When we were tired. When we didn't feel like it. Together. Separately. On Vacation. Some fast miles. A lot of slow miles. All running. Never missed a day.

We joined the 2018 Running Streak Challenge group on Facebook where we post our runs every day to keep us motivated and accountable. There are 43 members of the group who post their runs and encourage us. The moderators even keep a spreadsheet to keep track of all the miles.

But there I was in Houston dreading a broken treadmill with a loose screw. Maybe I was the one with the loose screw since I was freaking out about missing this run.

I woke up that morning on the 100th day of the streak, swiped my room card into the gym door handle and everything look operational...except the TV and the random clock on the wall. The treadmill was clunky and unstable. My treadmill at home in the Shred Shed is much nicer. I didn't care. I stared at the TV fuzz, tried not to look at the clock on the treadmill and pounded out a mile for my 100th day on the run streak. Less than ten minutes later I was done. I ran 100 days in a row. What did I learn?

my 100th day on the run streak


I am a running coach and one thing I always tell my clients is to make sure that they are scheduling proper rest and recovery days. It's as important as the workouts. Our body adapts (gets stronger and faster) during the rest period after the workout, not during the workout itself. Rest is essential for maximum performance and to reach your full potential. So was I telling my clients to do one thing and then doing something else myself?

No. I promised myself that if I ever felt an oncoming injury or unusual pains, I would end the streak. If I needed a full rest day I would take it. No streak is worth risking an extended injury.

During the streak, rest days meant slow one mile days. That means I would jog out a mile at a very easy-for-me pace. A jog that doesn't overly stress my body could still be a rest day. It is a form of active recovery. If I felt I needed a week of one mile days in a row to feel fully recovered, then so be it. I allowed my body to recover. As long as I listened to my body and took as many one mile days as needed, I did fine.


One way to get consistent as hell about running is to promise to run one mile a day. It's not that big of a time commitment so there aren't a lot of valid reasons to skip. Most people can find 9-10 minutes a day, even on busy days. The first few weeks were a struggle getting out there every single day, but after about a month it became part of our day, like making coffee, eating dinner or walking Ollie. We did it every single day.

There were many days I didn't feel like running at all. These days I might have normally skipped, but since I had to run at least a mile, I got out there anyway. Sometimes one mile turned into three miles. Sometimes not.

The best part was even if I had a busy week and didn't run at all except for one mile each day, I still ran seven miles in a week. It's not much, but it's a heck of a lot better than nothing. Consistency builds habits. Running became a habit.


My 5K time improved by more than a minute per mile. The first run I posted below was on December 1st, shortly after the streak began and the last run posted below was 104 days into the streak. I'm still not the fastest runner around, but I think this is a marked improvement in 100 days.

I also improved my one-mile time and earned a half marathon PR. I will point out that in addition to running, I was very consistent with strength training, which plays an important role in running success. There were other factors involved but the run streak definitely helped. Consistency is king.

Today marks 111 days on the streak. As long as my body doesn't tell me it's time to stop, I'll be continuing on.

Have you ever ran a streak?

Stay tuned and I'll tell you more about that blog conference I attended in Houston.

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Keep Running,


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1 comment:

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