Milestones and Memories – Runstreak Day 1800

1800 Days of Running

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This past Saturday marked 1,800 straight days of running. Wilbur and I celebrated the milestone with a 6.2 mile early morning run. As we finished, I could hear the dribbling of a basketball up the street, and I knew right away that it was my 8-year old daughter getting ready for her game. I thought this run would be significant because it was a milestone day, but the sound of a girl and her basketball practicing before the sun comes up will be what I remember most.

After 257 weeks of running, it’s easy for the days to run together, so milestone days provide an opportunity to look back over the last 3+ months. Some of my most memorable runs involve…

  • Running at 3:30 a.m. before catching a flight.
  • 37 laps around a parking garage in 0-degree weather in Winter Park, Colorado. The 2nd day I braved the icy roads and managed to stay on my feet.
  • Eight gorgeous morning miles in Phoenix, Arizona, during our National Sales Meeting.
  • And running alongside my 8-year old and 5-year old daughters as they rode their bikes through the neighborhood.

In almost 5 years of running daily, most of my runs are far from memorable. I’ve learned more about myself from running than anything else I’ve done. Almost all of my runs are solo and early. No one cares if I’m selfish with my time at 5 a.m.

Some days I run for clarity.

Some days I run to make a decision.

Some days are focused on getting faster.

Some days I plug into a podcast.

And some days I run because I’m afraid not to.

When I first started running, I set a goal of running every day for a week…then a month…then a year. Over the years, I’ve realized that a running streak is not a goal to accomplish, rather a milestone to celebrate.

I’m thankful that God has allowed me to stay relatively healthy and injury free. And I’m thankful for the quiet mornings when I can pray and listen while running.

The streak turns 5 years old in February, and I look forward to 2,000 days later this year. Too often I take it for granted, but I’m thankful to get to run each and every day.

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12 Reflections on 1200 Straight Days of Running

IMG_3328It started off as an ordinary February day. To be honest, I don’t remember much about the day itself, but looking back now I wish I’d paid more attention. On a typical week, I’d hit lift weights at the YMCA and find time to run 2-3 times during the week. This day was like most Friday’s, but 3 years later, Feb. 15th, 2013 is the day this whole madness started.

Today marks day 1,200 of my Running Streak – meaning I’ve run every day for the last 3+ years (minimum of 2 miles). I never planned this; it just sort of happened. I guess I thought I’d try to run every day for a week. That week turned into 2, then 3, and before I knew it, I was approaching 100 days of running.

So here we are 171 weeks later still going at it, and not knowing how to quit. Looking back, here are 12 takeaways from the last 1200 days.

  1. You have to be intentional.
  2. Some days are easier than others.
  3. The best way to run in the morning is to set out your clothes the night before.
  4. My wife deserves 95% of the credit (She’s a saint!).
  5. Habits – good and bad – are hard to break
  6. Cruise ships are much more fun to run around than hotel parking lots.
  7. Texas summers are miserable.
  8. I’m a much more pleasant person when I run in the morning.
  9. “What we’re doing here is not a mark of intelligence.”- Jon Simpson
  10. I’m very thankful for hotel treadmills.
  11. My dad is my hero – at age 73, he’s averaged 3 miles a day for the last 365+ days.
  12. Set goals and celebrate milestones.

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    Lily deserves a gold star for joining me on most early morning. 

It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s a quick snapshot of observations over the last 3 years. I never set out to take on such an endeavor, but now that I’m here, I suppose we’ll keep going.

Over the next 100 days, I’ll probably complain about the heat and humidity of Texas summers for 90 of them. And for the other 10, I’ll most likely be on a treadmill somewhere.

So bear with me as my twitter feed is 90% running, and the next time you see my wife, make sure to congratulate her for enduring and supporting such nonsense.

Happy Streaking!

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