November was apparently my 2013 delusions of grandeur month.
It seemed totally attainable, if a little ambitious, at the time. After all, I could technically complete the challenge even if I only completed a mile each day. I could certainly run a mile every day between Thanksgiving and January 1st. Ten minutes of exercise. I could carve that out.
At the time, I thought my hardest day would be Black Friday, immediately following my 5 mile race, while staying with my sister in San Antonio. Or maybe Christmas Day. Possibly January 1st, if I over-celebrated on New Year’s Eve.
It turns out those were my easy days.
I did not anticipate running during an ice storm, slipping and sliding down the street, my lungs burning (my asthma does not do well in cold weather).
Nor did I expect to go 36 hours without sleep, after my best friend went into labor in the middle of the night, and I held vigil at the birth center. I hazily remember that as a delirious, lightheaded run.
Unfortunately, I also came down with a nasty upper respiratory infection, which left me hacking and wheezing for 3 weeks (I still have my asthma cough, even though I’m no longer sick). Since I never ran a fever, I figured I was tough enough to run through it. So I did.
I ran, at least a mile, every single day beginning with my 5 mile road race on Thanskgiving, and ending today, January 1st, with a 4 mile run. According to Runkeeper, I covered 88 miles.
In retrospect, I’m not sure it was a good thing. Intuitively, I feel like I would have recovered from my illness much faster if I wasn’t so worn down with the running on top of an always crazy holiday season. I was absolutely determined to finish the challenge, but often had to get up at 5am, or run after dark, to make it happen. Those days where I wearily ran a mile, tired and sick, probably would have been better spent recovering fully. My legs are exhausted, especially as I began my half marathon training plan (more on that in the next post) with over a week left of the Runstreak, a training plan that specifically instructs me not to run on “rest” days.
Granted, a mile certainly doesn’t tax me all that much these days, but still, I question the wisdom, physically, of pounding the pavement or treadmill every. single. day.
Plus, in the interest of full disclosure, I hoped that running every day would help me not gain any holiday weight. I still gained a few holiday pounds over the past week. Running, particularly the longer distances I have done lately, makes me absolutely ravenous. A major goal of my half marathon training is to figure out how to complete all this mileage without putting on the pounds.
All in all, though, I’m glad I did it, if for nothing else than to say I completed the challenge. It helped give me the confidence to sign up for the half marathon, knowing I had the dedication and discipline to train.
However, I can say with absolute certainty that tomorrow? I am not running.