The Day I Earned My Comma

When I started my Run Streak I never planned to make it a long term commitment.  My goal was to run every day in December, 2014.  Thirty One days was my goal, and there were many days when I thought I couldn’t do it. It was really hard to get out for a run  every single day.

21034435_10154695315332461_8415843252130278167_n Sometimes these things take on a life of their own. I was looking forward to Not Running on January 1, but a co-irker scoffed at my little 31 day streak and challenged me to run every day in 2015.  This was a huge challenge which I hesitantly accepted.

The rest is history.  The coworker dropped out after a few months but I kept going. and going . and going.  By the time I reached 100 days it was becoming easier.  By the end of 2015 I was hooked and couldn’t stop.

Fast forward to August 25, 2017 when I completed my 1,000th consecutive day of running. I never expected that I would need a comma to count my run streak days.

I have a fantastic run group who are (mostly) supportive of my run streak.  They take ownership of milestones and plan special runs to commemorate them.   We have enjoyed #666, #777, and #888 and were undecided about whether to celebrate #999 or #1,000. In the end we celebrated on Day #1,000 because it fell on a Friday and we could enjoy a few wobbly pops at the local tavern afterwards. But we had a 999 theme for the run.

Here is how it worked. Each person was told to bring a small amount of $$ to the run.  We then formed teams of 3 people.  Teams ran 2.5km to the grocery store where they met an appointed Time Keeper who recorded their arrival time.  Teams were given 10 minutes to go into store, buy as many different non-perishable food items as they could for under $9.99 and return to Time Keeper with receipt and merchandise.  Then we ran back to the starting point.  Two teams scored 11 items.  All purchases were donated to a local food bank.  It was fun.. and it was for a good cause.

21077635_10154695315357461_8582915604131510354_nSome of the people in my run group are very creative and they make special bling to mark my milestones.  These unique medals are treasured above all the finisher’s medals in my collection.

Today is Day #1,010.  I have earned that comma, and I plan to continue to use it every day for a very long time.

 

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Eight Eight Eight

It seems surreal that I have run 888 days in a row.  Eight. Eight. Eight.  That is huge!

… but it is also No Big Deal.    Running is just something that I do every day.  It has become a habit and my day is not complete until I have completed my run.

18300831_10154432999960913_6291063913904635067_nI didn’t plan to become a chronic Streaker.  I only planned to run every day for the month of December ( 2014) . It was hard!  Really, really hard!  I was counting down the days until I could take a day off.   A few days before my streak was scheduled to end, a work colleague challenged me to run every day in 2015.  We have a competitive relationship, so I couldn`t say No. And that is how it started.

There were several times when I should have quit as I was plagued with chronic minor injuries at first. If I had been doing this on my own, I would have gladly quit and been proud of myself for the effort.  But I couldn’t quit and admit defeat to my coworker.  So I kept going.  He eventually had to stop after a few months due to injury so I won the challenge but I didn`t have a good reason to quit so I kept going, and going, and going…..

18268311_10154432999970913_136473842119246876_nAnd that bring us to Day 888.  My Running Group has been wonderfully supportive of my addiction and they often plan special events for milestone days.  On May 5 we met at a local pool hall and did a little run, followed by pizza and 8 Ball.  They even presented me with some cool 888 Bling. I love this crazy bunch of runners.

What`s next?  Who knows?  I am just taking it one day at a time, one step at a time.  Running every day is a habit and literally has become No Big Deal for me.  I will keep running every day until the day that I decide that I am not going to run that day.

Cheers, everyone!

777 Consecutive Days of Running

20170114_203520My run group is pretty amazing.  The name of our Run Club is Riverview Running Idiots.  I have written before about some of the fun and silly things that we do, all in the name of Running.  It is great group and I am thankful for the encouragement and support that I have received from them.

 

When I started my Run Streak, a few of the club members cautioned me about injury  caused by overuse.  They insisted that Running Every Day could not be done safely. Only a couple of them supported my endeavor and wished me well.  I kept running every day but kept quiet about it  because there were so many Negative Nellies  that kept telling me I shouldn’t be doing it.

Fast forward 500 days.   I proudly and publicly ran my 500th Day on a regular run night.  The naysayers could not argue with the success of my run streak , especially as I was fortunate enough to remain uninjured.  Since then most of the run club members have  embraced my streak and are eager to help me celebrate milestones.  Day 666 was especially cool.  ( a run in the graveyard at night, dressed like a demoness… how could it NOT be cool . )

15940331_282598315488234_107995805885787348_nJan 14 was Day 777 of my Run Streak.  A couple of people in my run club used the milestone as a good excuse to participate in  some shenanigans.  We met at the local Casino to start our run at 2:07 pm. .   It was cold that day , about -12C ( 10F) and windy.  We have a lot of fair weather runners who only come up when the temperature is above freezing but a few of them came out that day to show support.  That was very cool and I really appreciate it.

This is picture of the 5k and 7.77 k’ers.  There were 12 others doing a longer distance.

 

 

15966271_10154029331776916_1146345180209245319_nDistance was 7.77 km.  A few people opted for 5k .  Some  people wanted to incorporate this into their Long Slow Run so they started  earlier and met us at the designated time.  Kudos to them for running 20k or more on this cold day.

Afterwards we enjoyed a lovely meal at the casino restaurant.  My run group presented me with a bottle of wine and some 777 Bling. They are already talking about 888. .. if I am still running then. Oh, the pressure!

It was  a great day and I was glad to share it with this crazy bunch of Idiots.

Cheers!

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Santa Sprint

This one was just for fun, and for a good cause.  The race kit included one bib and two safety pins.  ( yes, only two.  I think they were on a tight budget. ) There was no shirt, no bling and no free banana.  One hundred percent of all race entries went to charity. (We raised almost $1000 which was split between The  Food Bank and Santa Claus Parade Charity)

20161126_163835Here I am with a few people from my running group, the Riverview Running Idiots.

Main Street was closed for the Santa Claus parade and thousands of people lined up along the sidewalks in anticipation of the beginning of the parade.  Instead of marching bands and gaily decorated floats, they got…. us.. ! Imagine their surprise to see a bunch of runners dressed in holiday style sprinting down the street.  I expected to see at least one sign that said, ” Worst Parade Ever!” or “This Parade Sucks!”  But the response was amazing.  Children and adults high-fived us along the entire 2.6 km route.(It is hard to run while you are trying to high five children who are sitting on the curb. )

15156840_1294835267246507_6843783571783385261_oHere is another picture of us Running Idiots.

When I reached the Finish Line I found myself 2.6 km from my car so I walked back along the parade route, enjoying the brilliantly lit floats and the marching bands along the way. I haven’t attended a Santa Claus parade for years, not since my children were young, and I had forgotten how exciting it can be.

This is definitely a highlight of my Christmas season so far.  I can’t wait to do this one again.

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Cheers!

 

The Dinosaur Run ( Rawr! )

Over 30 people from my Run Club got up early this morning and ran at least 11km just for fun.  Many of them ran  further than that.  The premise of the run was for each individual to run a further distance than they have ever ran before.  Marathoners were exempt from the Furthest Distance Rule and could choose their own distance, maximum 32 km. You have to wonder about people who get up early to run 32 km just for fun.  No bling, no shirt, no swag, no cheering throngs, no free banana….

There were different distances with various route options but there was part of the route that was designed to look like  a dinosaur, hence the name.  One of our injured runners is a Route Nerd and he likes to design cool routes.

Many of the runners chose the 22k to 24k option.  This group seemed a good fit for me so I settled in with them.  My running buddy wanted 22k but she eagerly agreed to do 24k.  We were given route instructions in case we became separated from the crowd.  Thank goodness we had the instructions because we became separated from the crowd.  At around the 22k mark we realized that there should have been two pages of route instructions and we only had one.   There we were stranded without knowing the route.  I am familiar with the area so I knew how to get back to the restaurant where we were meeting, but our Dinosaur route was doomed!

We were feeling good so decided to take a detour back to our starting place, giving us a total distance of 27km.  Not bad for a couple of old gals who ran a marathon 3 weeks ago. It wasn’t fast and it wasn’t furious but it wasn’t meant to be fast OR furious.

dinasaur

 

This doesn’t look anything like a dinosaur.  I demand a refund!

 

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The best part about group runs is eating our faces off afterwards.  My run group keeps a local restaurant in business.  They opened their doors a half hour early to accommodate us.  Long Runs equals Good Profit for them.

It was an enjoyable run and it is an awesome feeling to know that I can just get up and run 27km … just because. Remember when 5k was hard?  #gettingbettereveryday

Cheers!

 

 

 

PEI Marathon Review. Part 3 . Recovery

It’s hard to believe that I ran my first Marathon just over a week  ago.  A lot of people told me that I wouldn’t be able to walk right for a week but I felt great.  My Quads were sore for a  few days but really not too bad.  Either I didn’t run hard enough to earn severe DOMS, or a had a good recovery plan.

In the excitement of my Finish I didn’t stretch enough… probably less than 5 minutes of calf stretches.  One of my running pals insisted on massaging my legs and I didn’t say No.  I have done the same for her and the reciprocation felt great.    Then we walked to pick up my bag where I had some dry clothes and some Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator. That stuff is Magic! (Sidenote:  Bag pick up sites for Marathons should not be in buildings with  stairs.)  Then we walked some more because we were meeting my Run Club at a restaurant a few blocks  over. All this walking around was probably a good thing.

One of my friends drove me back to the Start Line at Brackley Beach to pick up my car.   Driving along I noticed that my Ass  was warm and she said they she had turned the heated seats on because she finds it aids in recovery.  It sure felt good. I have never used heat therapy after a run before and the concept warrants research.

The drive took 30 minutes and soreness was settling in so I went for a short walk on the beach before driving another  45 minutes back to the cottage. Then I enjoyed a nice shower before jumping into the Hot Tub with my running mates.  Six ladies,  2 bottles of wine, 36 Jello Shooters, a rising moon  and two hours of hot tub jets massaging my hamstrings… it was perfect!

Active Recovery is a Thing.  It’s kind of like the hair of the dog that bit you.  Monday morning was a Morning After kind of day but I convinced myself to go for a brisk walk which I hoped would turn into a run. It felt really good and I managed to run 2 miles for Run Streak Day #687. I thought about ending it at # 686 but I just wasn’t ready to quit yet.

It seems like I did all the Right Things because I recovered a lot quicker than I expected. Do you think it’s too early to start training for another Marathon?

Cheers! 14713619_972501262861699_2882045143712905510_n

Good Grief, I just ran a Marathon

It is just beginning to sink in that I ran 42.24 km yesterday.  It was a wonderful experience and I have already gone from ” Never Again” to ” I can’t wait to do that again.”

If you have been following my blog, you know that my Marathon Training has been therapeutic as I have dealt with the loss of a brother and mother in the last few months.  Running through Grief is a Thing and it has gotten me through this summer.  The Prince Edward Island Marathon was done in memory of my brother Roger and my mother Sylvia.  I carried a picture of both of them with me on my fuel belt and looked to those pictures several times when the going got tough.

Race review will follow but first I must sleep. And eat. And sleep some more. and then maybe eat some more.

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Cheers!