I’ve never been a streaker, neither the naked kind nor the running kind.
And while I have no interest in taking off all my clothes and dashing outside (especially in this weather!) I’ve sometimes been intrigued by long-term run-streaking and its gateway drug, REDFAM (Run Every Day For A Month), though I could never see myself putting on running clothes and getting sweaty just get one mile in to maintain a streak- I’d spend more time getting ready than running! I’ve always preferred to run at least 4 miles or 40 minutes in one go, and it’s only very recently that I can stand to run only three miles at a time- usually it’s the second run of the day and/or me running to get somewhere. Just another funky runner’s quirk.
When I started running a decade ago, I was, at best, an every other day kind of runner. I always needed at least a day to recover from any kind of effort. By five years ago, I could manage two days on, one day off, and three days straight would be pushing my limits. Over the last couple of years I gradually built up to four, five, even six days without a break, but as recently as last March I became Little Miss Crankypants when I hit nine or ten days of continuous training.
Less than a year later, it’s late February and we’re in the home stretch of my first REDFAM. I didn’t set out to do this. Even though my current training plan doesn’t have any scheduled days off for February, any of the easy days can be taken as a rest day or used for cross-training. But now we’re in the final week of February and my last rest day was on January 30th, and before that I had completed a 20-day streak (about twice as long as I had ever run before). Even after back-to-back long runs this past weekend, I feel like I can carry on with my usual training for a while longer. All of my runs have been at least 3 miles or so, and I’ve run twice on about half a dozen of the days so far.
I don’t really know how this happened. I’ve had some difficult moments, like last Friday, the day after a long-ish session of very cold early morning speedwork, when I felt moody, but my short run and pool running class later in the day left me feeling much better. My muscles aren’t screaming at me or demanding a break, and it doesn’t seem to take me as long to get that warmed-up feeling at the start of a run. My body is working differently now, and while I can’t pinpoint exactly what is doing what to me, I’d like to give shoutout to my coach Michele Yates’s Rugged Running training plan, as well as the products and services provided by my sponsors Carbo-Pro, Runner Clinic NYC, and Tiger Ellen LMT of Knot It Out Now Massage.
But as one streak continues, another comes to a close. I started a pushup challenge on January 1, an idea I got from a runner I met last year. The concept goes like this: do one pushup on January 1, two on January 2, and so on, adding one pushup per day of the year until you are doing hundreds of pushups a day, up to 365 on December 31. But as I got into the low 50s I started to feel that the pushups were starting to detract from my main focus of running and strength training- so I’d take a day off here and there and make up for it the next day- easy enough to do now but it will be far more difficult to make up later- especially when I’m tapering , recovering and running for 24 to 30+ hours at the races I have scheduled for this year. I took the weekend off while I was running long and exhausted after getting home, and did a total of 150-ish yesterday (in sets of 15-25), which is a huge enough accomplishment for my spaghetti arms.
Week in Review 2/16
Monday: 7 miles easy to moderate on the treadmill
Tuesday: AM: 10 miles of intervals and strength workout. PM: 3 miles easy. Acupuncture
Wednesday: 4.5 miles easy with some hills, 1-hour MELT class
Thursday: AM: 11 miles with intervals. PM: 3.5 miles easy to moderate and strength workout
Friday: 3.5 miles easy and 45-minute pool running class
Saturday: 18.5 miles moderate to hard to easy
Sunday: 22.5 miles easy, lower body massage