2015 – The Year of the #Runstreak

2015 – The Year of the #Runstreak

Mar 12
2015 – The Year of the #Runstreak

Had you told me 2 years ago that I would be writing about running 100 days in a row, I would have called you nuts.  Crazy.  Batshit Crazy.  Run 100 days in a row?  Me?  The guy with the jacked up foot, knees, and back?  The guy who lost the love for the run years ago and has been searching for it ever since?  The guy who is bike obsessed, swim happy, and completely run averse?

 

You’d be lucky to find me running 3 days in a row, let alone 100.  But as I pulled in from my transition run yesterday, a short 1 mile exploration of the residential grid I’m surrounded by, I was able to celebrate an accomplishment I would have never thought possible.  And I feel better than I have in years after having done it.

 

I have no idea how or why this happened.  Logic says that with my injury history, its would probably be one of the worst ideas ever for me to attempt a runstreak.  Dating back to 2011, those injuries include 4 stress fractures of my metatarsals, a torn plantar fascia, 3 sprained ankles, a hyper-extended knee, 2 broken toes, shin splints, a separated shoulder, a broken finger, a bone contusion of my pelvis, hip bursitis, torn meniscus, and the usual aches and pains associated with osteoarthritis of the lower back and left knee and a nasty ear infection to boot.

 

In the weeks following Ironman Canada in July of 2014, all of that wear and tear finally caught up with me.  I felt awful.  My body had reached a point of exhaustion and told me, in no uncertain terms, that it was time to shut it down and heal up.  So I listened, and did nothing for almost 2 months.

 

Now I’m not one to enjoy doing nothing, so while my body had healed up, the loss of all that fitness had me feeling like a complete sack of shit.  I felt lazy, fat, bloated, and somewhat depressed that I could go from peak fitness to zero fitness in such a short amount of time.  I couldn’t swim because of an ear infection and I looked at my bike with disgust after spending what felt like every free moment earlier in the year in the saddle.  So I went for a short run.

 

I’d love to say that I had some sort of revelation or moment of clarity at that moment, but I didn’t.  It completely blew.  I went from doing an Ironman to struggling on a 2 mile run in just 3 months.  I was 15 lbs heavier than my race weight and my legs felt like concrete blocks.  And yet the first thoughts thru my head were race related….how quickly can I ramp up to get ready for LA Marathon?  I ran a few times that week, feeling a little bit better each time, and was mentally preparing myself to ramp it up in December to start training for LA.

 

But when December hit, something changed.  I don’t know how or why, but something changed.  It started innocently enough by running 3 days in a row, which could be considered normal by many standards.  I still couldn’t swim and had ZERO desire to ride my bike, so when it came time to workout on Day 4, I went for another run.  I expected to feel tired and slow, but I felt GOOD.  So I ran again on Day 5, and felt GOOD.  I don’t know when it happened exactly, but over the next several days I decided that I was going to run every remaining day in December and get a ‘running’ start into 2015.  I was curious, more than anything, to see how my body would respond.  I created some straightforward rules for myself……no runs less than 1 mile and no runs more than 5 miles.  I understood the injury risk, so I figured the best way to stay injury free was to limit the distance of the long runs.

 

A very unexpected thing happened.  I felt GOOD on almost every run I went on that month, with the exception of one workout about 21 days in.  And to top it off, I looked forward to my run every single day.

 

When 2015 hit, I knew that I had to continue the streak to see where it would take me.  I set a goal of 100 days in a row, and yesterday I hit that milestone.  Over the course of this process, I still kept the length of my runs to a minimum, topping out at 7 miles.  Keeping the mileage down has been an essential part of this experiment as I feel like the damage done to my legs on double-digit runs when not properly prepared for them is one of the roots of my injury problems.   I scrapped the idea of running the LA Marathon as I didn’t want to ramp up too quickly and decided that I’d rather just focus on building a solid fitness base to train for NYC Marathon in November.  (Who am I right now?!?)

 

Here are some notes and stats from this experiment:

 

  • Total mileage over the 100 days was 250 miles

  • Longest run during the streak was 7 miles

  • Most miles run in a week was 24.2

  • My foot issues have all but disappeared

  • My knee soreness has decreased.

  • My back still hates running

  • Top-end speed has not improved dramatically, but my cruising speed has

  • I’ve dropped 10 of the 15 lbs I gained post-Ironman

  • My calf strength is almost back to 100% for the first time since my plantar fascia tear

 

So am I going to continue the streak?  Hell yes I am!  I made it through 30 days, I made it through 100 days, and now I have my sights set on 6 months.  My body is completely used to running every day now, and I while I still wake up in the morning feeling stiff (albeit less), I don’t feel sore anymore and I don’t dread that first step where I wonder how much pain my foot is going to be in on that particular day.

We’re going #runstreaking!!!!