Yesterday (30th December 2018) I completed two full years of running every day. It hasn’t always been easy!😬
This year I’ve had a couple of significant injuries, and one bad virus. I’ve had a busier year than ever before with work, and four children in school, one of whom is neck-deep in GCSEs, and needs more support and focus from me than in the recent past.
Running every day has meant at least one mile (and usually somewhere between three and ten) fitted into every other responsibility and choice I make. It has meant, most days, getting dressed in running gear, and staying in it till I’ve got out of the door and done the work. Or it’s meant finishing a long day, and instead of falling into glorious pyjamas, I’ve been lacing up and running in the evening, when bed / the sofa looks a lot more appealing.
It’s also meant running with loads of people I otherwise wouldn’t have met (like my amazing online running club, and #TeamRudolph, my incredible RunThings team, with whom I’ve taken in part in #RU2C and #RATW this year).
It’s meant running races I otherwise wouldn’t have run (like the Coventry Half, even though it ended up being a solo trail route ankle deep in the snow!) and it’s meant daring to do things I otherwise wouldn’t have tried (like my first marathon, this summer at the Great Barrow Challenge).
Running has always been about my mind, rather than medals, so I’m not a big race hound. I’ve found that the daily refreshing I get from my run more than pays me back the time and energy I’ve invested. But it’s true to say that looking back over the year, the big moments and medals are encouraging milestones to reflect on.
Because the last quarter has been dogged by a couple of nasty injuries, I haven’t been doing much mileage, and lately a lot of my runs have been minimal. I know I’ll eventually get back to doing longer and more challenging running again, but in the meantime it’s been pretty frustrating, and I’ve considered ditching daily running more than once.
But those big-smile-medal-in-your-face photos remind me that sustained effort over every (sometimes dull) day is how you get there. Those little runs add up.
My best running moments this year have been a mixture. A few of them are finish-line triumphs, but loads more have been about relationships carved out or deepened through running together, inspiring and encouraging each other to keep going. And most have been quiet pockets of joy, mid-run, when I’m all alone and just doing it.
So whatever this coming new year brings in terms of recovery, races and relationship, I’m up for it. I have 2019 reasons to run.
Running streak total today is 732 days, 2851 miles. #runeveryday