I have run every day for a little over four weeks.  The streak continues! Here are my personal lessons learned from this adventure so far… one for each week.

1) There is always time…

Between a rather demanding career, a grad school wife who also works and exercises daily, a decent commute, two increasingly busy boys, and a new blog, I truly have no business selfishly running everyday.  Regardless, somehow I’ve found a way to get it done.  Without the accountability of this self-imposed running streak there is no way that I would frantically leave my office, quickly change clothes, run 13 minutes on a treadmill, and get home just in time to bring my son to swim team practice.  Or insist on leaving a perfectly warm house for a 9PM lap around the chilly, dark neighborhood.  The logical, non-streaking me would just chalk the day up to no running and crack a beer instead.  Through these four weeks, I have only done the minimum one time…yesterday.  I squeezed in 10 minutes between work and picking up my boys at the after school YMCA program.  They were the last ones there, but I got my run in!

2) I love you treadmill…

I have called you nasty things, neglected you, and promised to never see you again.  Please accept my most sincere apology, treadmill.  Lucky for me, you are always there for me when I need you most.  Whether at the office, at a hotel, or at the Y, you have single-handedly saved my rear many times on this running streak.  I am forever thankful and promise to never say mean things about you again until the spring.

3) I always feel better after…

I have yet to regret running a single day during this streak.  I’ll take that a step further and say that I have yet to regret ever running a day in my life. I ALWAYS feel better after…   Crabby turns to caring.  Impossible turns to possible.  Frowns turn to smiles.  Even if I start a run happy, I finish it happier.  All in a matter of minutes.  Long runs are awesome mental therapy sessions.  Short runs are like catnaps – short in duration, but powerful in result.

4) Streaking is a break…

To the non-runner this sounds insane.  To a runner, this probably still sounds a bit crazy.  As I reflect on the last month of running each day, I realize that this has been a delightful respite.  Let me explain 🙂  Though I am running each day, I am not one bit concerned about intensity, distance, or training plans.  I am only concerned with getting out there and doing it.  Just go!  If I slowly run 10 minutes… awesome.  If I choose to run more or faster… fantastic.  No routes needed, no GPS watch to be worn.  During this steak I don’t plan, I don’t analyze, I don’t compete… I just run for the sake of running.  Beautiful!

A sincere thank you for taking time to read my blog.  Your interest and feedback has been touching and humbling.  

If you enjoy my random thoughts on happiness and running, please share with a friend and register to receive new posts via email.  

~ Mark

8 thoughts on “Lessons from a running streak

  1. Mark, I’m impressed with your streak! I always hated to run (at least, the first 1/2 mile!) but the results were so positive. I felt better, lost weight and could still eat whatever I wanted. But, I also experienced a modicum of a “runner’s high” – that release of endorphins that keep us going. I am reading a book by Simon Sinek entitled “Leaders Eat Last”. The author spends several chapters on the chemical activity in our bodies that affect how we act and ultimately, lead. Put it on your reading list!

    1. Darwin, so much appreciate you stopping by. Thanks for the kind words. It is so funny that you mention “Leaders Eat Last” for a few reasons. I recently finished the audiobook version on my commutes… LOVE IT! Also, our book club at JM just picked this as our next book. And finally, the title always makes me think of you… Parking far in the parking lot and pleasantly loitering until everyone else is through the lunch line. A gentleman and inspiring leader! Thank you for being such a role model.

  2. You’re so right about feeling better after ANY run. Even if I have a crappy run (ie tired heavy legs, going very slowly), I still way better afterwards and never have any regrets so actually for me, there’s no such thing as a crappy run. Also, I fully get your running holiday! Enjoy 🙂

  3. Congrats on the streak! Personally, I can’t do them. I need my rest days, and I know that about myself, otherwise I burn out. And I have to disagree on #1… sleep is more important some days than squeezing in a run when working two jobs from sun up to well past sun down. #3 is totally spot on though!

Your thoughts go here! Please don't be shy...