Yesterday I did it. I broke up with my streak. As of Saturday I was going strong for 200 consecutive days. For the past couple weeks I've been struggling whether or not to officially break it off.
My reasoning isn't because I can’t do the mile(+) anymore. I think in 200 days, I’ve proved to myself I am capable of doing the streak for the rest of the year. It’s because I need a break. A mental break. I still have some pretty big goals I need to accomplish this year. Next weekend is the Catoctin 50k and the rest/ hardest part of the the Beast Series which consists of; Grindstone 100 mile race (October), Mountain Masochist 50 miler (November) and Hellgate 100k (December.)
My finishes so far this year has come from simply listening to my body, running smart. Part of running smart is giving it what it needs. What my body needs (I think) to finish the rest of the races this year, is just that small mental break once a week.
A day to not think about mileage. A day to regroup. A day to focus on stretching, foam rolling working out the kinks from all the other runs that have built up to that day. A day to let my body reset, so I can go back out recovered and stronger than if I didn’t give myself a full days of rest.
I don’t like quitting. Actually, let me rephrase that I hate quitting! Not finishing something that I started drives me crazy! This doesn’t feel like quitting though. It feels like a healthy break up. It just isn’t working out anymore for me and the good ole’ streak. I have found that there is something much more positive coming out of this than if I was to continue on in this daunting “relationship.”
In this “200 day relationship” I’ve learned so much. It has taught me that I am very
determined. I will go beyond the limit. Actually this streak has redefined my definition of "limits." There is no limit when it comes to the kind of weather I’ll run in. Regardless of what wind, snow storm or lightening storm that pushes me in the other direction, I will put my head down and continue to push through. (I have oddly found the most extreme conditions fun.)
This streak has taught me that there is always enough time to run regardless of how busy you are. It doesn’t always have to be a 10, 5 or 3 mile run but if you just put your shoes on and get out there that is something. Which is way better than nothing at all.
The streak has also taught me that no matter how tired you are, you can do it. It’s just your mind telling you otherwise. Once you get started it’s surprising how much energy you get from overcoming the mind. Most of my runs I would plan to head out for 2 or 3 miles on a tired day, I'd end up going for 4 or 5 miles instead or sometimes triple the distance if things were clicking just right. Your mind easily gets in your own way. Push it aside if your feeling right, just go! You’d be surprised what you are capable of.
So yesterday the break up went well. No hard feelings. I still went out for a bike ride. It was refreshing, relaxing and different. The perfect mental break I needed to start back up another week of hard solid week training.
If my main focus this year is to “run smart” then I think it's best the streak and I part ways...
It’s been real, streak. Maybe we will meet again someday soon. I'm glad we left it on good terms :)