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Will Run For Wednesdays: I Run For Me

Posted May 30 2012 8:43am

Let me preface this post with this: If you’re participating in the Runner’s World Running Streak this summer, I think you’re amazing.

On with it.

I recently came across this Runner’s World campaign called “ run streak ,” which encourages participants to run at least a mile every day from now (well, since Memorial Day Monday) until July 4th. “We’re going streaking!” has graced every corner of the Twittersphere in the preceding weeks, which of course brings back visions of Will Ferrell drunk off his ass, inviting everyone to the quad including those with green hats.

For some, I think the idea of a run streak is great. It’s a phenomenal way to motivate a group of people who might find the warmer summer temperatures to be a deterrent to their daily fitness habits.

For me, however, a run streak simply goes against this idea I’ve been toying with lately – a philosophy that’s slowly begun to underscore many of the points I make daily here on my blog.

Over the last few weeks – months, perhaps – I’ve been trying really hard to be grateful for every moment I get out there and to ultimately run “for me.” Selfish? I’m not really sure. Maybe a little, especially when the running community is so small and close. And yet I can’t shake this important concept that, if I run for someone else – for the sake of someone else’s challenge – I’ll lose sight of how far I’ve come.

I thought about participating in the 38 day run streak, I did. But then Monday came around and, after lots and lots of exercise and running and strength training, all I really wanted to do was nap and take a nice, long walk around the city. I certainly know that there is nothing wrong with that; it’s not like I was craving a Big Mac and fries followed by a McFlurry and a Carvel Cake. (Okay, maybe I was craving the Carvel Cake, but I settled for Ralph’s mint chip ices instead.)

What I do worry about is that, for those who really need to rest their bodies for one reason or another – physical or mental – could the shackles of a run streak be a little too confining? “I have to run a mile” can go one of two ways: either inspiring and a way to feel great everyday or daunting at this demand to be active.

There’s a point to what I’m saying, really there is. All I hope is that those who have chosen to run for a month or more straight do so for themselves—not for your Tweeps, for your fellow runners, or for the editors at Runner’s World. Look deep within yourself and decide whether streaking your way through June is what will truly make you physically and emotionally fit and happy, or whether you might find yourself living healthfully by engaging in some other form of physical regimen, nutritional guidance, etc.

After taking Monday off, Tuesday’s was a welcomed run indeed. It was pore-cleansing hot (76 degrees by 7:45am!). It was humid and sticky. But Central Park was uncrowded, sunny, and beautiful, and I couldn’t imagine anywhere else I’d have rather been during those first few hours of the day.

Most importantly of all, never once did I feel guilty on Tuesday for taking Monday off. It’s taken me a long time to learn how to do this – and to accept it – but thanks to personal growth along with reading other supportive and positive blogs and comments, I’ve come to accept that it’s the off days that make you stronger. (That and speed work, but I’m not there yet.)

At the end of the day, there are tons of ways to be fit and happy, and as I sat there contemplating Runner’s World’s ultimate dare before the weekend, I decided that I truly enjoy running most days of the week; sometimes, I’ll even run days upon days upon days in a row. A run streak, however, just isn’t for me. Not unless I declare it.

That’s not to say it’s not for you, and if it is, I wish you the very best of luck! 35 days to go!

For today, I run for me. That’s what makes me feel strong.

  • What do you run for?
  • Are you doing Runner’s World’s Run Streak, and are you 3:3 already?

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