Friday, March 2, 2012

100 Day Streak Complete

This morning, I did a 2-mile run on the treadmill.  It was my 100th consecutive day of running at least one continuous mile.  I should have felt more excited, but I was still a little "out of it" from last night's group run with my buffalo friends!  I celebrated 99 days a little too well. Tonight is a nice dinner with the wife. Not sure what tomorrow brings, but I'll run Saturday...and Sunday.  The real test of the streak will be Monday. If the calf is still achy or tender, I'll likely take Monday off. One step at a time, one day at a time.

A few run streak statistics:

Longest run = 28 miles
Shortest run = 1 mile
Earliest run = 5:30am
Latest run = 11:30pm

I would not have completed the 100-day streak without my running friends joining in on the madness. It all started on Wednesday, November 23 when I sent a note to my local running list:

Fellow Buffalo,

Jeff Riddle and I are starting a running streak beginning on Thanksgiving and going for a minimum of 100 straight days (to get us through winter and ready for Land Between the Lakes races in March).  It's a great way to "give thanks" and celebrate your health and fitness on Thanksgiving Day.  Feel free to join us.  I'll be tracking and discussing my run streak progression on DailyMile and my blog.  Jeff may do something similar.  Only requirement is to run at least 1 continuous mile per day. Easy, eh?  There will be some kind of celebration and recognition for those that make it the full 100 days. 

(This simple note sparked a debate about quality versus "junk" miles.  I won't rehash that discussion.  It was lively and entertaining.)

The plan was to start on Thanksgiving Day (give thanks for your ability to run) and keep going for 100 days to make it through the central Illinois winter (March 2). We'd check-in each week to see who was still going strong. With about 20 starting the process, we quickly lost half the group.  But the last ones took longer to fall.  Eventually it was seven hearty souls clinging to the streak. I was inspired by them all.  I would have given up if it weren't for them. And one non-runner deserves special credit wife.  Without her pushing me out the door on several occasions, I would have sat on the couch and missed a day.  For no other reason than being lazy.  Heck, once she had to wake me at 11:30pm to get out for a run before midnight.  Thanks wifey!

Here are my fellow buffalo runners that made it the whole 100 days (some started their streaks before Thanksgiving, some will continue beyond today):

Nancy Daebelliehn <= rocking it between the kids and babysitter schedules
Marty Ern <= injury-prone, but stubborn
Matt Halfar <= barefoot madman
Kristy Powell <= running for two
Gregg Rose <= running and home-brewing
Eric Smith <= all by himself in Chicago burbs

Congratulations to all of you. I'm impressed. I had doubts that I would make it, and I was pretty darn sure you all wouldn't either!  Not sure if I'll try this again next winter.  Not sure if my 100-day streak will turn into 101, 102, or 103 days. Time will tell. For now, I am thankful that my full 100 days are complete.

What did I learn during the last 100 days?  Two important lessons:

1. It's critical to do a warm-up before every run and a cool-down after running.  Your body needs time to adapt to the stress of running.  Walk, then jog, then run. Let the heart and lungs ease into the movement.  Let your muscles and tendons loosen up. After the run, slow into a jog and then walk as your heart recovers and your body processes waste products. Walking allows your legs to stretch and your body to slowly come back to a "normal" resting state. Ten minutes on both sides is great, at least five minutes is mandatory for injury-prevention...or injury rehabilitation.

2. If you set your mind to something, your body will follow. It takes discipline to keep streaking...or accomplish anything in life. Set a goal, dedicate yourself to it, and you'll achieve greatness...or at least be known as the dude that streaked for 100 days.  If you make your goal public, accountability will increase as will your motivation to succeed.  If you join a group pursuing the same goal, the probability of success will skyrocket.

I'm proud of what I achieved and consider every last mile of this streak a "quality" endeavor. I'm ready to rock the spring racing season!


janak said...

Congratulations to you Chris and all others completing 100 days of streak.
One of your lessons - " It takes discipline to keep streaking"

I beg to differ. I think "it takes obsession to keep streaking"

-been there and done that

Chris said...

No argument there Janak. It's more obsession than discipline. Maybe a bit of stupidity too.

Eric said...

Glad to be a part of these crazy runners! Great job all!