A year ago the world shutdown and I hit the ground running.
And by running, I mean literally running. A lot of running. A Forrest Gump level of running.
With the gyms closed, I decided to start a running streak. I’d run a 5K a day until things went back to normal. Easy enough. A few weeks, maybe 3 months tops. I could do that.
Weeks stretched into months and eventually a year. And I ran.
Somedays a 5K, somedays much further.
I ran on gloriously crisp Texas spring mornings in my neighborhood. I ran in the mountains of New Mexico. I ran trails in the Ozarks. I ran in the mountains of West Texas. I ran more virtual races than I can count.
But I also ran through the hot-as-Hades Texas summer. I ran in the pouring rain. I ran every single day of the week-long Texas “Snowpocalypse,” when the ground was covered with snow and ice and the wind chills hovered near 0°.
And when I took a bad fall 2 miles into a trail run, with 2 shattered fingers and road rash up and down the right side of my body? I got up, dusted myself off, and ran another mile to finish my quota.
I ran until running at least 3 miles every single day became the new normal.
So what have I learned 365 days and over 1,200 miles later?
I’m no longer that awkward, last one picked in gym class kid. I’m a confident athlete who can do hard things. I have what it takes to accomplish something that I previously considered impossible.
A running streak was what I needed to survive the COVID chaos with my sanity intact. Driven to distraction with the kids home all the time, running gave me the solitude I needed to recharge.
Running isn’t impacted by positivity rates, ICU availability, or any of the other metrics we’ve been obsessively tracking throughout the pandemic. Running is 30 or so minutes when I don’t have to worry about anything other than making sure my sneaker laces are double-knotted (see above regarding bad fall).
How will I end my running streak? I haven’t quite figured that out yet. Will I go out on a bang with a marathon? Or will I let it go when another challenge strikes my fancy? Whatever happens, I am proud of what I have accomplished and look forward to the next goal.