As of this morning, my running streak has reached 2,749 days. Every day for the last six and a half years I’ve run at least a mile each day. Through rain and snow and freezing cold (or even an unseasonably warm January), I’ve gotten out the door to get my mile in. It’s so routine that I never even have to think about it. The streak has gotten very easy to maintain as I’ve gone along. Every day at least a mile. Without exception.
Except January 19th this year I didn’t run a mile.
This was the second day of Long Haul 100 and by the time the clock struck midnight on Saturday, I was done running even portions of miles. I was just walking it in at that point. After the race was over, I went back to my brother’s place and slept and chilled for the rest of the day. No more running. Not even a little bit. Monday I went out for a mile and my streak “continued”.
When I started doing hundreds, I decided to count the mileage on the second day towards my streak regardless of whether I ran any portions of those miles. So I counted the 23 miles walking on 1/19 as a mile running to keep my streak alive. In most of my hundreds, I’ve been able to run portions of the latter miles on day 2 so can probably squeak those within the official rules of running at least a mile a day. Typically, there’s no minimum required pace to keep a streak going. As long as you’re shuffling along, you’re good. There were a couple other races (C&O Canal, Burning River) that I was probably just walking by midnight, however I never went back and actually checked.
So if you want to toss an asterisk on my run streak, be my guest. Call it an exercise streak. Call it a run/walk streak. Or call it several long run streaks with a couple one day breaks interspersed throughout. You see, I’m not doing this for anyone else’s kudos or praise. The run streak isn’t my way to get likes or shares or followers. Sometimes it really isn’t about you. This is about me. It’s about what motivates me to get out of bed every morning and run. Keeping my streak alive is one of the things that does that.
And while you may say that 23 miles walking isn’t the same as running a mile, I say it is. Cause I’m not living my life by your rules. I’m living them by mine.