Let’s Go Streaking!

In a few weeks I’ll be celebrating a rather significant milestone birthday.

I’ll not say what it is but if I tell you that 50 days before the big day I decided to run 5k per day for the 50 days until my birthday I’m sure you’ll be able to make a pretty good guess!

I’ve never really gone on a running streak before, but after completing RED January earlier this year I thought I’d ramp things up a bit and give myself a bit of a challenge.

Prior to January my best was four days in a row (I think) so attempting 50 is a huge thing for my dodgy, fluid swollen legs.

Why 5k, why not just allow myself the relative comfort and luxury of a minimum of just a mile per day and more if I felt like it?

Two reasons really. One, if you reverse the digits what may age will be it’ll be 5 (I know, big kid!) and two, if I allowed myself a mile I’d only do a mile.

I know myself and even with the best will in the world I know I’ll only do a mile if that was enough for me to tick off a particular day, so 5k seemed like a reasonable distance to challenge myself daily whilst also not, hopefully, being too strenuous on my old, creaking body either. I mean, I’m not getting any younger, am I?

As I post this I’ll be 22 days in, and it’s been going extremely well so far.

Because my current mantra in life is all about ‘removing excuses’ I’ve been making good use of my treadmill, doing most of my runs on that. I’ve been feeling the cold a lot more over recent months and I know that given the relatively inclement weather we’ve been experiencing lately (snow in April!) I would have not wanted to go out to run and therefore would have given up.

However, the treadmill has removed that excuse. I know it’s boring, but I’ve been trying to make it as interesting as possible, often timing my runs with watching sport on tv or hooking up my tablet and taking in a film and so on. Sometimes I really just can’t be bothered and just go for a slow plod until I tick off the required five kilometres.

Ironically, relying so much on the treadmill is maybe to my detriment. I seem to have to work so much harder to complete the distance and my runs take sometimes four or five minutes longer depending on my mood.

But, looking at it positively, it has really improved my running when I do pull on my big boy pants and venture outside.

I try to go out at least once a week and I’ve found that I’m consistently so much faster week-on-week (and significantly faster than on the treadmill) without working quite as hard. My legs also don’t hurt. It used to take me a good 20 minutes to settle into a run to allow the pain in my legs to subside but now I feel nothing right from the start. It’s been quite the revelation if I’m being honest.

I’m still not going to claim yet I’ll complete the 50 days. This current ten day block between day 21 and day 30 will be the hardest mentally (halfway and all that) but if I get past this and avoid injury then there’s actually a good chance that I’ll get to the end on May 13th.

Admittedly, a 50-day running streak is small fry compared to many who have embarked on similar challenges but it’s a big deal for me. Maybe I’ll keep going and relax it a bit, maybe allowing myself to drop to a basic mile.

Then again, maybe not. I’ve got bigger fish to fry now, a new focus.

I’ve managed to secure a ballot place in the Chicago Marathon in October. It’ll be my second Abbott World Marathon Major (after my two London’s) and has, as you can imagine, totally changed my running landscape for next six months.

Obviously there’s travel restrictions and so on to consider and it’s still a long way off but I’m in and if I don’t go this year I’ll just defer to 2022 but it’s bloody exciting and I can’t wait!

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