At the end of December I joined a “Run for Month One” group for a little January running motivation. Being the competitive soul I am, I happened upon my own journey to run every day in January (and hopefully run the most miles). I started off strong, had some hiccups along the way (mostly because of physical therapy and dealing with a furious knee), and learned a lot about myself and WHY I run.
Yesterday was the last day of this journey and I am happy to report that I ran every day for 31 days straight, for a total of 184.23 miles, in January. I feel as though I learned a lot throughout the process of waking up every day and knowing that I had to throw on my shoes and athletic gear (which I live in, by the way) and head out on the trails, roads or treadmill. Here are my thoughts after completing such an extraordinary challenge and finishing strong.
1) It was a challenge waking up every day and knowing that I would have to get in my run at some point, no matter how busy I was.
2) Some days I loved running, some days I despised it. It became a love/hate relationship.
3) I started to take running for granted. Yeah, I got this. Pfft, running is easy. Another run today, nothing special. HA – it is absolutely the opposite. Running is my heart, and unfortunately I lost sight of this a couple times.
4) Running 2 miles can actually be more difficult than running 10 miles if the right mindset is not there. In fact, my worst run of the month was also my shortest.
5) I really don’t mind the treadmill (my longest run on it was 11 miles). But…
6) I do mind when there is a hot stagnant air in the cardio room that makes me sweat by just thinking.
7) I run with a lot more zest first thing in the morning than at any other time of day.
8) Not every run has to be at a record pace. I learned that some of my more mellow runs were the ones I enjoyed the most.
9) The mind controls the run more than anything. If the mind isn’t in it, the body has no direction or drive.
10) Running is a truly personal time and allows me to clear my head, recharge, and enjoy my place in the world.
Will I ever do this again? Probably not. I like my rest days. I like to cross train knowing that I don’t have to squeeze in a run. I like running for that intrinsic sense of joy and accomplishment. I like being able to make a choice to put on those shoes, fly out the door, and freely head in any direction. Running is a true gift and should not be taken for granted. Lesson learned.