Monday, October 26, 2015

I'm No Longer A Streaker (And I'm Ok With It)

Remember my last post where I was reallllly questioning my streaking? Yes, The #RunStreak Continues post talks about how much I love running but I hate streaking and well, it's the truth.
While on my running quest I've discovered many things about myself. I've not only learned to fall in love with running over the years but I've also learned what speed I'm comfortable with, how much I can truly push myself and have finished many goals as well as created new ones on my bucket list of races.
Through those things I've discovered I crave a challenge. 
I crave the desire to do more. 
To work harder.
I'm not the kind of person to set a mediocre goal and crush it. Instead I choose insane goals and chase them down then go above and beyond to put the nail in the coffin with that goal. My running stats show that.
My 2012 goal was to run a 5k. Checked that baby off the list and knew I had to up the anty.
2013 consisted of a 5k every other month. I ended up running eight that year instead. 
Feeling comfortable at the 5k distance I knew it was time to pull out the big guns. To really do something worth questioning my abilities that would require more distance than a jog around town.
So in 2014 I signed up for my first half marathon, The Good Life Halfsy.
I learned a lot about myself while training for that race and I learned even more about my strength to push through the pain during that race. I felt like I had finally accomplished something I was proud of. I knew I had set out to do something that a lot of people admit they'd never be able to do and I was so excited to earn that big medal at the end.
And then, after my legs finally stopped hurting and I was fully recovered I was left asking myself "now what?"
Walking into 2015 I didn't really have a lot of goals for my running journey and I had accomplished one of my bigger goals within a year. So, I did what every crazy runner would do. I started thinking outside the box. Trying to add in more races and push at least two half marathons into the same year.
In 2015 I have thus far completed TWO half marathons (another coming up this Sunday) as well as two 5k's and a 76 mile relay team race as well. In races alone I've racked up almost 50 miles not including training. I'm so very proud to see my miles go up and someday I'd like to train for a full marathon but through the process I found a new goal.
My new goal started as a complete accident. I was going through a rough time and I found myself out running to "run away" from the pain and emotional feelings I was experiencing. While out running I noticed I had run for almost a week straight everyday. Not intentional just happened that way. Plus I had started training for an upcoming half mary and I knew that if I held myself accountable by running daily it'd help in the long run to keep me on track with my pace goal.
I soon realized that my new goal needed to include running as many days in a row as I possibly could. Que the "#RunSteak" lights. I took on the challenge and really did great for quite awhile with it. Since I started in the middle of the summer it was light out until almost 10 pm so it was super easy to get my run in.

Then, with the seasons changing and my busy time reaching it's brink I'd find myself trying to go run right after lunch or I'd wind up running super late into the evenings after dark. I traveled to Texas than Alaska but I didn't give up on my running, I found a way to make it work. Sometimes my runs were short but they were at least a mile each. 
As fall finally struck and the cooler weather came upon us, I realized that I was at a crossroads. Either continue to run and complain about how much I wasn't enjoying my runs or just quit. Find a new running journey to pursue and run when I wanted to.
I've been doing a lot of soul searching and reading (Check out The Happiness Project) and I discovered that I need to stop doing things just because of habit or obligation and start doing things that make me happy. The run streaking wasn't something I was doing because I loved running daily, I was doing it out of obligation and I really wasn't benefiting from it anymore.
I choose to quit my #runstreak because I wasn't finding happiness in it anymore. Why continue to pursue something based on obligation? Tonight I finished up a shoot around 7:30 and it was already dark out. Nothing in me wanted to go run in 50 degree weather so I made the decision to not go run. I instead ordered some fast food and went home to sit down in front of my computer and try to get caught up on clients fall photo sessions. It was extremely tough and as I'm typing this up at 9:45 pm I'm still debating if I should strap on a headlight and go just trudge through my mile.
I'm quitting my runsteak on day 127 because it's no longer a challenge and I no longer like the one mile routine I've come to run with spite and bitterness in my mouth. 
I'm quitting in search of a goal that's more fun.
I'm quitting in hopes of finding a happier running journey.
I'm quitting because I've hit my 100 day "goal" and I need a different challenge.
They say that habits take 30 days to form and I've proven that running is an easy habit that I've formed and continued to work on. I have done more than some runners and I have quit early compared to those devoted streakers that are easily on day 743 without intentions of stopping anytime soon. 
So now the next question is, what are my future goals? 
What direction will I take? 

Will I ever streak again!?!
Well, I have been slowly working on Run 50 States goal, but that's a major long term goal. As for my short term 2016 goal I'm still trying to figure that out. 
I give credit to those who are into their streaking, it's tough and it's easy to find an excuse. I for the longest time dug deep to find the ambition to get my runs in daily but eventually, it just stopped becoming fun and because too much of a chore to enjoy. 
My runs will probably become fewer and in between as it gets colder out but I'm choosing to not be negative about it. My running always drops down in numbers during the winter so the run streaking would have probably stopped anyways.
And as for streaking, I guess we'll see if I ever pick it back up. I might try a short 30 day run streak of 3 miles or some other combo next year. Thank you to all those who have been there encouraging me and congratulating me on the drive and ambition I had while streaking on. It's been a heck of a ride but I'm ok with quitting.
For now, I'm happy to close the streaking chapter in my life.
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