I made it! I completed the Runner’s World Summer Run Streak, a challenge to run at least one mile a day from Memorial Day to Independence Day.
By the numbers:
38 days in a row of running
25 runs between 1 and 2 miles
7 runs between 2 and 3 miles
4 runs between 3 and 4 miles
2 runs more than 4 miles
6 runs with an average pace between 8 and 9 minutes per mile
11 runs with an average pace between 9 and 10 minutes per mile
14 runs with an average pace between 10 and 11 minutes per mile
7 runs with an average pace between 11 and 12 minutes per mile
1 run with an average pace more than 12 minutes per mile
8:09 time of fastest mile (on Day 2)
12:07 time of slowest mile (on Day 31, in 90-degree heat, immediately following a hard workout)
I thought it would be really hard to run at least 1 mile every day – difficult to stay motivated, especially through the extreme heat, and tough on my body. But I was wrong. I liked challenging myself to beat previous times (tough to do when you run an 8-minute mile on Day 2!), to rack up more miles and to keep the streak alive.
I was blown away with not only how much I enjoyed and looked forward to the Shape Up workouts (Gina did a fabulous job with the plan this year.), but also how much my body changed as a result of the combination of cardio, high-intensity intervals and strength training. My arms have never looked better. My legs look better, too. I actually find myself admiring my calves, quads and biceps.
So what’s next?
Christopher and I just started training for the Brewers Mini Marathon (half marathon) in late September – likely the last race of the season.
I feel totally confident and prepared to slice 20 minutes (or more?) off my previous half-marathon time. I truly believe that running coupled with high-intensity interval training and strength training have helped me improve my stamina and speed. We have 5 miles on our training plan Sunday, and I feel like (despite the heat) it will be a walk in the park.
I never, ever dreamed this life would be mine. My old self never would have taken up running, never would have considered running a half marathon or a marathon, never would have talked about setting personal records. But my current self is doing all of that and more.
It just goes to show: You can do anything you put your head and heart into. You can set goals and achieve them. You can be whoever, whatever you want to be.
My younger brother, Kyle, just started the Couch to 5K program, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. I hope, after several weeks of running, he too has that ‘a-ha’ moment – that moment when he compares his old self to his current self and marvels at the difference between those two men. I hope he too realizes he can do anything … and I hope he remembers he’s got an older sister who is 150 percent behind him.