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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Reflections of a Holiday Running Streak

well, I did it.  I finished yet another running streak.  After very boldly saying (AND singing) during the summer of 2014 that I would Never, Ever, Ever, Never Streak Again ("McPeak!  Will never, ever, ever, go streaking again, I think I can get by running just three days a week, YES!")
In the thick of my first full summer with the Coach Jenny's Challenger Facebook group, I started the Runner's World Summer Streak - where you run at least one mile a day from Memorial Day through July 4th.  I was successful at that summer streak of 2014 - but I hated it.  And I thought it would kill me.
Fast Forward to November of 2015...and here comes the Runner's World HOLIDAY Run Streak.  Run at least a mile a day from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day.  REALLY?  I really want to do this?  AGAIN?  I said I would never, ever, ever streak again.  And when I had announced this on the Coach Jenny page (which, i had further announced that I was leaving after this iteration), I was met with some laughter (would I be creating a new song and video?), some scolding, some positive vibrations.  I guess I just really wanted to finish the Holiday Streak for real - I had tried twice before to make this happen and failed.  
I was also coming off of a very poor performance at the Santa Clarita Full Marathon.  That race was so hard for me and I was really disappointed in how long it took me to finish.  Taking a couple weeks off of running and then going RIGHT into a run streak...this is probably not the smartest thing I'd ever done.
And yet - something about it made sense to me.  I had another race pending - January 3rd, 2016 - so would this be a proper time to train?  A few long runs and daily short (VERY SHORT) runs, why not?  So, Turkey Day arrived and I hit the pavement.  
I used a new app on my iPhone, from Runners World.  This allowed me to "get credit" for finishing the streak.  I will say right now that I preferred the connection to Map My Fitness from my other running apps - and seeing my progress through a calendar online so I could share with others made more sense.  And even though the streak is over now, the app still only shows that I've made 95% progress through the streak.  How does that make sense?  
Using the Runner's World app also meant I was NOT using the PEAR app, which is my favorite.  I could have run both at the same time, because that would have insured that I logged more than just one mile per run.  
Running every day proved tedious for me, even though most days I only ran 1 mile.  There would be days that I would want to skip, and then wound up running home from work (well, there was one day that I did that - although there were MANY days that I wanted to skip!)  I saved long runs for the weekends, never logging more than 8 miles ever.  And some days that I would use my mile or two for intervals.  
Toughest part of this for me is that we are having a fairly "cold" winter in Southern California.  Which almost seems mean and unfair to put in writing when it's considerably colder elsewhere.  I've said this before and I'll say it again - I would NEVER have become a runner if I didn't live in Southern California.  Anyway, it was slightly tricky for me to get moving some mornings, especially also because it was still dark during my preferred time to hit the pavement.  Waiting until 6:30am to get out there was often now do-able because of work expectations.
Still - there were positives that came out of this.  I found that running the shorter distances allowed me to run quicker and faster, and I think that can only help in my future training.  I enjoyed seeing my minutes-per-mile count back from the 10 minute mile.  And pushing myself to do intervals as well kept the boredom away.  And I got to wear all my "cold"-winter-running-stuff - which will be important for the big race that I have on January 3rd.  It's going to be a chilly morning in Camarillo tomorrow - so now I know what's most comfortable to run in for a "cold" morning.   
I tried really hard to find the Taylor Swift remake that I created for Coach Jenny's facebook group - because it's pretty hysterical.  But I think I posted it to THAT page, which I don't have access to any longer.  But suffice to say, now that I've done both types of running streaks (Summer and Holiday), I think I can officially announce that Me and Streaking are Never Getting Back Together.  Ever.  

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