Forrest Gump did it across the country. I’m doing it on a 1.3 mile loop around my neighborhood. That’s right! I’m streaking. And not in the take-all-your-clothes-off-and-be-inappropriate way. I’m run streaking through the New Year. This adventure began with a suggestion from Runner’s World magazine and the stark realization that after my half marathon on November 18th I had NOTHING to accomplish in terms of my training until I began marathon training in late December. Traditionally, this lack of goal/target turns me in to an excuse-ridden slug that avoids exercise and enjoys a little too much holiday cheer. I needed a goal and this seemed like the perfect fit-run every day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s for at least a mile. I could do a mile a day!
I began the streak with a beautiful Thanksgiving day run through Gully Brook Park on a day full of sunshine and clear skies. Gully Brook has a nice limestone path and my brother-in-law and I ran a few loops before heading home for a nice lunch and Thanksgiving plans with family. Since that first day, I’ve run another 13 days in a row, making today the beginning of my third consecutive week of running. The magic of this goal is that it has destroyed all of my excuses for NOT running. The 1.3 mile loop that wraps up and down two side streets in my neighborhood takes me about 13 minutes to run. Who doesn’t have 13 minutes in their day? If I needed to cut it even shorter I could finish a mile in under 10 minutes and be back at home in under the time it takes to boil a pot of water. I’ve squeezed in these runs in the rain, in between starting and finishing cooking dinner, while kids practiced sports, even when I was struck down by a migraine. On my less hectic days I can enjoy longer distances or several 1.3 mile loops, admiring neighborhood Christmas lights and letting go of the stress of the day.
Run streaking is not new. A small, but consistent community of runners streak all year round. While I’m not ready for a commitment that large, this 30-some-day streak will be enough for me. I have a few friends who have started their own streaks and it’s a great feeling to be able to encourage each other. I look forward to celebrating the accomplishment of this goal, which will conveniently coincide with the dawn of 2013. You can track my progress, and that of all the other Runner’s World holiday streakers, on Twitter (#RWRunStreak). Happy Streaking!