For a few weeks, I struggled to find the motivation to go out and run. I worked a lot, during the day but also in the evenings, and the lack of goals and competitions made me drop exercising whenever I experienced lack of time. As I felt uncomfortable and slightly unhappy with my continuous decision to put off my workouts, and as I noticed the ‘corona kilos’ adding on, I searched for a new motivation to head out the door. Luckily, I found it! Last Monday, I stumbled across the Runnersworld Instagram page and they announced the start of the RW RunStreak. Sounds good…
The RWRunStreak is not new, but for me it’s the first time I participate. The idea is that it can be difficult to find the motivation to head out the door for a run during the warm summer months (personally, I don’t really mind, I like running when the sky is blue, the leaves are green and the sun is shining – I just have to ignore the tomato head-result – but my overall motivation was indeed gone). The streak runs from May 24 until the July 4 – covering the period between the American Memorial Day and the 4th of July. That’s a good 41 days of running every day, at least one mile a day.
As I like round numbers, I considered stretching it to 50 days. But then I realised it takes 28 days for something to become a habit, and 60 days to become part of your routine. So, I will be running everyday for the next 100 days. Because why not. And as we are used to the metric system in the Netherlands, one mile translates to 1.6km. That’s a bit of an odd distance for us, so I decided to go for a minimum of 2k a day. If I feel like it, I run further, if I don’t, I stick to the 2k.
Apparently, people who have done the run streak before, got hooked and some are even on day 540 with their streaks! I don’t necessarily expect myself to be one of these people, but it might inspire me to run more often in the future than I do now!
At some point in time I do really want to get back to my goal and dream of running a marathon. Right now, I’m not exactly ready for it. In addition to that, I really miss heading out the door to go to work in the morning. I might’ve hated the commute during those long and rainy winter months, but at least I moved my ass a little more than I do now. With this streak, I have a reason to hop out of bed at 7am and get out for my run. On the less motivated days, I can be back within 15 minutes, including a short warmup and cooling down. That is something I can do.
I want to continue running during the summer months, and I want to rebuild my stamina. In addition to that, Victor and I will be moving in December and to make the wait less insufferable (I am definitely not the most patient person when it comes to long term plans…), I now have something small to focus on every day. Hopefully, I will also get hooked on running without the thrill of races to work for!
I just passed the first week, and I am happy with the effect so far. It motivated me to get out of bed, and I even decided to run a half marathon (by myself) again in June. I haven’t run one since September, as I was recovering from an injury and slowly building towards the marathon when Corona happened. A few weeks ago, the thought of running for more than half an hour truly appalled me (sorry, but it really did). But yesterday, when I was running an easy 8k, I realised I might actually enjoy it again to work towards the 21k in a few weeks.
Of course there are no visible changes to my body, weight or stamina after 7 days, but I do enjoy the calmness it already brings my mind. I know I will run that day, because I made a promise to myself that I would get the most out of the next 100 days. I know that it is easiest in the morning, so I wake up on time and get it done. Eat that frog, or something like it. Hopefully, the daily runs will continue to be a source of happiness and motivation to make better decisions during the rest of the day as well (you know, take breaks from work, close that laptop on time, don’t watch Netflix till 1pm, eat your veggies and stuff like that).
Did you ever do a run streak? How did you like it? And what did you do with days you felt really sick? (I mean, let’s hope we’re good, but 100 days is a long time to go without a virus or bug) Or maybe you read this and you’re thinking ‘Ah shit I missed the first week, that might’ve been a good motivation for me too’. In that case I would say, just join now! The amount of days in the streak is arbitrary, it’s about giving yourself some structure and me-time while taking care of your daily exercise. And the 1 mile or 2k? You can do that! Go slow, take your time, and enjoy the fun of seeing yourself improve as you continue to put in the effort. Because that is one thing that can be said, you will see results at some point. Maybe you go further, or faster, or it just feels easier after a few weeks, but your body always adjusts to the effort and there is nothing like the feeling of improving yourself.