It’s been three weeks since I wrote about my first big running goal of the year: one hundred klicks (minimum) in 25 consecutive days, and I’ve had to explain myself so many times now (IRL) that there’s been moments –between the insane cold, blistered toes, and dead-leg days– that I’ve seriously had to pep-talk myself out the door for my daily run.
The speech goes a little something like this.
“It’s kinda stupid, I know, but it seems to work for me…”
“Once every couple of years, when I’ve found that my training has derailed, I’ve found that I can kinda, sorta, supercharge it… y’know… kick it back into high gear… by doing this run-every-day thing.”
You’re going to injure yourself.
“Well, maybe. I’m being super-careful. And it’s not like I’m running insane amounts. We’re talking four klicks every day as a minimum.”
With no rest?
“No rests. No days off, at least. And every time I’ve done this, correlation or causation, whatever, I don’t really know, it’s not scientific, but I’ve run some of my best races. My PR half marathon? That was five days after I finished a run-every-day twenty-one day stint in April one year. It was 2015 I think.”
I still don’t know…
“I’m not recommending it. It… just works for me. Or it has. And I’m doing it again. Now. It’s like day…”
Actually, I have just last night finished 21 consecutive days and hit the 125 klick mark. For those not blessed with the powers of mental calculation, that’s averaging nearly six klicks per day, a little more than my minimum.
Nine of those runs have been on my “forced four” route, a little loop around my neighbourhood that klicks out at 4.15 total, and has little opportunity for stretching it. I do this as a kind of enforcement run: four klicks, but JUST four klicks.
Three of those runs have been on an indoor track. I’ve picked a terrible season to to daily runs, with the last ten days averaging in the minus twenty-five degree range (not counting windchill, which has brought us close to minus forty a few times.) I spent the bucks and went to the track rather than running through a thirty centimeters of fresh snow.
Four of those runs have been at least 33% trail runs. By that, I mean running to and then running through winter single track. And by winter single track I mean narrow, rolling, rough, branches-in-your-face trail with enough snow to bury your feet to your ankles, don’t trip because you’ll vanish until spring kinda runs.
And three of those runs have been cranked out in times and places when better judgement would have suggested not running was the better option, in those moments when pedestrian safety, let alone recreational running was obviously not considered in any part of the neighbourhood planning effort. But opportunity is sometimes fleeting.
Technically, I need to run four more consecutive days to meet my goal. As my counting didn’t quite pan out to my advantage, it looks more like that will be five days (because I’m not going to skip my Sunday run club — day 26?
— just when the weather looks to be turning in our favour!)
Either way, I’m feeling good about my race in… uh… eleven days. And the forecast is looking okay, too.