On May 9, 2016, I started a streak that few would believe possible. I ran at least six miles every day. Over 1825 days, rain or shine, in sickness or health.
I can’t stop.
What am I even doing? This is not something anyone recommends. I might as well be telling people I’m addicted to eating rubber tires.
Think about doing anything every day of your life for five years. Not a five or ten-minute thing, but usually an hour or more.
Maybe you love books and frequently read more than an hour every day. Would you get up at 6 am after a late-night bachelor party to read for an hour before your friends got up for white water rafting? Should you?
It may make sense to take a break. But I can’t trust myself to return to a normal pattern of exercise.
A Break for Some Data
I ran over 16,000 miles for almost 100 days with an average heart rate of 154 BPM.
My average run was 1h19m long for 8.8 Miles.
I averaged 6.8 MPH. I had a low of 4.5 MPH (13:20/mi) when I was lost in Maui. With a peak of 8.4 MPH (7:10/mi) when I ran my fastest marathon in 2019. That’s not an oversight. The fastest I ever ran in a day was when I ran a marathon. Slow running is real.
What Have I Learned?
You run for yourself.
I started the streak because I was challenged. I continued the streak because I thought I would inspire others. I run today because it’s what works for me.
I procrastinate. I would rather play out in my head everything that could go wrong if I don’t do something rather than actually doing it. Having to run 10 miles every day helps control that. I can’t procrastinate about both my running and my other desires and responsibilities. I have to plan my day and think ahead to what is possible and what isn’t.
It helps to have a family who understands. My wife and kids know that I run every day and they are never nagging me to stop. They know it helps me be a better version of myself when I’m around them.
A Small Change
I have decided to stop running 10 miles every day.
I did for the pandemic, but it takes too long and shows no benefits besides additional steps. I need to help the family move to Illinois and cut back on the amount of time I’m doing with my streaks. May 15th was my last day of 10 miles. Over 400 days in a row of 10 or more miles will be a streak worth remembering.
I’ve cut all the way back down to… 8 miles a day…. for now.