Not that anyone is counting, but 363 days ago, I went for a quick one-mile run. Then I did it again, and again.
In fact, I’ve run at least a mile 363 times in the past 363 days. So needless to say, this Saturday is a big day for me — the full 365 days. One year of running every single day.
I first talked about my commitment to The Streak last March, in another Out & About. I was only two weeks into the process but I was excited to begin running regularly again.
Now that I’m almost to the one-year mark, it’s been fun to look back at the ups and downs of maintaining the streak.
One thing I wouldn’t have expected when I started was how many runs would be late at night. I’d venture the majority of my runs happened in the evening, under the unreliable streetlights on my familiar running loops.
In fact, a lot of those runs happened after 10 p.m., especially on days with Grantsville City Council and Stansbury Park Service Agency meetings or Utah Jazz basketball games. I’ve usually exercised in the morning, somewhere along the way I turned into a nocturnal athlete to keep the streak alive.
Traveling also complicated things, with different time schedules and other commitments always a threat to keeping the streak going. Which led to more running at odd hours of the day, when most people are at least considering bed.
This was true during a week-long trip to Glacier National Park this past summer. We would usually spend the bulk of the day swimming, hiking and tending the campfire.
For those who haven’t been to Glacier, the warnings about bears are everywhere. Food has to be stored in vehicles or secure containers to prevent a hungry bear wandering into your campsite and tearing the place apart.
It’s also very, very dark at Glacier once the sun sets. The stars are magnificent; the running conditions are not.
I brought a headlamp with me but the light was dim and inconsistent since the batteries were beginning to die. So I was running with a weak circle of light as my only illumination and one terrifying realization: when you’ve been warned nonstop about bears (and you’ve seen two already on the trip) and it’s pitch black out, every noise sounds like a bear.
Every. Single. One.
I wasn’t able to record my run since there was no cell reception at our campsite, but I’m fairly certain I ran good times at Glacier on the couple night runs I did. Adrenaline is a hell of a drug.
Traveling also had its benefits. On a recent trip home, I logged tons of miles running with my parents and friends.
I even added a 9.5-mile run on that trip, which will be valuable for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon I’ll be running with my dad in April. Putting in serious miles is still a challenge when I’m running alone, so I relish the opportunity to run with a group.
The streak also allowed me to run a couple times with my best friend, Cody, including the night before his wedding. We ran together a lot in college and it was great to have the opportunity to put in some miles and talk.
In fact, Cody’s wedding was the second I’ve been in a wedding party — and the second time I’ve gone on a run the night before the groom’s big day.
Running for the better part of a year also means you’re going to have some rough patches. I ran through two minor knee injuries and a recent bout of illness, which weren’t high points of the experience.
There were also lots of days, even as recently as this week, where I was tempted to take a day off. It would have been easy, too. Just a little white lie to myself and everyone.
I stuck with it, however, because it’s just too easy to run a mile. No matter how busy I am, I always have the time for a quick run.
Which was really the point of The Streak in the first place — a motivational tool to keep me running and exercising on the regular. In that regard, it’s been a rousing success.
Still, after I hit 365 consecutive days of running on Saturday, I might just take Sunday off.