Streak Check-In

athlete-woman-is-running-during-winter-training-outside-in-cold-snow-weather-stock-photoA bunch of us are doing this 39-day run-a-mile-a-day streak. It all started on American Thanksgiving (or was it Black Friday?). The idea is that we will run a mile a day (or some version of our own thing, and there are many versions) every day between American Thanksgiving and January 1st.

I call it “American Thanksgiving” because we don’t celebrate that same holiday on the last Thursday of November here in Canada. Our Thanksgiving is way back in October. And we used to not have Black Friday here either, it being a very American thing, with its placement as the day after American Thanksgiving and all.

While I’m at it, I should also point out that we don’t work in miles here in Canada.  And that part has messed me up because I decided I would do 2K a day. But then winter set in, and I opted to do my very short daily runs on one of the treadmills downstairs in my condo’s exercise room (it’s not a bad little gym, actually). And those darn treadmills are all in miles, which mean nothing to me. I know that one mile = 1.6 kilometres. But I don’t know how to figure 2K on the treadmill. Is it 1.4 miles? I don’t know.  Probably not exactly. I’m sure there is a calculator on line that would tell me but groping in the dark seems to be what I’ve decided on for the moment.

Here’s how I’ve defined my streak: do something (almost) every day. On a day where there is nothing else, run at least 2K (on the treadmill if need be). Twice a week I have one hour of personal training. At first, way back in the week after the US Thanksgiving, I only skipped the short run on leg day. But now I’ve taken to thinking that 1 hour of any kind of resistance training is good enough to count as successfully carrying on the streak.

I have not yet made that same decision about yoga. On a yoga day, the 2K run is supposed to happen. And so far it has.

Then there is the bigger picture. I am training for the Key West Half Marathon in January. That means my weekend long runs are pretty long these days. On Saturday Anita and I were out there, in the cold (because it’s winter here now), for 18K.

Sunday my legs were screaming, and my first year philosophy class had a three-hour exam in the morning, and after the exam I visited friends out of town for lunch, and I drove home in a harrowing snow storm and got back just in time for a half hour turnaround before I needed to be out the door for another commitment. That’s when “the bigger picture” kicked in. Sometimes, sticking to the streak makes less sense than taking a day off.

And that’s where I’m at with the streak. I’ve run either at least 2K or done something else every day since US Thanksgiving except Sunday, when it made no sense. This means that sometimes, like Friday when I had a 7:30 a.m. train to Toronto, I have hit the treadmill very early in the morning to pound out that 2K. And I’ve done it.

I’m tracking it with a handy app called “Simple Habits” that lets me check off my thing each day and tells me my current streak and my longest streak of that thing. With Sunday’s day of rest, my longest streak was 16 days. My current streak is one day. I think I can spin this thing through to the beginning of January.

I’m doing my best to stay neutral about it all — though I have on occasion resorted to referring to it as the GDRS, Susan’s terminology, short for “god damn running streak). I’ve whined about it on FB in order to get people to tell me to do it (not as much as Susan has, but that’s because it’s part of her strategy). And I’ve dutifully recorded it in my “Simple Habits” app every day.

We’ll be writing a group report on how it all went some time near the beginning of January (bet you can’t wait for that exciting recap of everyone’s experience with the 39-day streak!).

Meanwhile, if you’ve joined us, let us know how it’s going at this point. Feel free to whine. And we will chime in with encouragement!