Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Time to air out the shoes and wash the tights

Runner's World tweeted a post from Pavement Runner that had a badge for all finishers of the holiday running streak ... and, if you couldn't figure it out from the image, I am among that proud group.

My final two runs were prime examples of why people find runners so annoying (or at least my theories for such irritation):

* On New Year's Eve, I left two houseguests from Iowa City behind for a two-miler; I'd intended to do simply one, but I was in the middle of a couple days' worth of overindulging and under-running. I'm sure that extra mile made a significant difference in the caloric input-output equation. (Yes, I'm being self-deprecating.)

* On New Year's Day, the head cold that had been creeping in earlier settled in firmly. And speaking of cold, the high was 18 degrees. But it was the last day of the streak, so all of this — plus some achy muscles unused to dancing in dress shoes or ice skating — had to be ignored for a few minutes.

All that aside, though, I'm quite pleased with how the streak went. For all my love of rest days, skipping those for 41 (!) days in a row turned out to be fairly easy. (It helps to have the option of a single, slow mile, and to have reasonable career demands and minimal personal ones.)

And of course, once any sort of streak builds up steam, sticking with it becomes so much of a point of pride that it almost sustains itself.

What I'm most pleased about, though, was how few times I had to be a jerk about the streak.

New Year's Eve was the only time I had to make out-of-town guests accommodate the challenge, and that was only because these folks had arrived the day before and were staying until earlier today; Dec. 20 was the only time I went out in borderline dangerous weather conditions; Dec. 15 was the only time I went out during questionable health; and only once or twice did I have to run late at night during the winter.

When I write them all out, it sounds like I was reckless or rude fairly frequently — but hey, it was over the course of 41 days. That's nearly six weeks.

It was a fun ride, one that I'd happily do again: As the streak's creator intended, it did keep me grounded during peak eating season, and hopefully it kept a few pounds from taking up permanent residence (it was not intended for weight loss, nor did it accomplish that).

But now it's time to kick back and relax for a few weeks. I'm slightly sad to see the streak close and the season take a hiatus, even though I need it; I hope this means that when hibernation is over, I won't struggle to start moving again.


  1. Congrats on the streak! I did it in 2011 and also found it to be an enjoyable (and amusing) experience. Here's to 2013 and all the good running it will bring. Happy New Year!

  2. Thanks, Karla! Wishing you all the best with your 2013 goals; I'm sure you'll continue your streak of meeting them.