If you follow me on social media, then you know that I posted daily updates for the RW Run Streak. (Runner’s World Magazine Run Streak) Every year from Memorial Day to the 4th of July, Runner’s World challenges runners to a 41 day run streak – meaning 41 days of running or walking at least one mile a day. No rest days. I’ve always wanted to do this, and to be honest, I’ve attempted it in the past but after a few days in I’ve always found some excuse as to why I couldn’t continue. This year though, Adam and I decided to both attempt it and hold each other accountable. Now, with two full time jobs, two kids, and a quarantine/pandemic, it’s been quite the time commitment. But, we simply made our miles a priority and helped each other accomplish it. (Our local running store also has a run streak of the same time period called the Bear Creek Red White and Blue Streak, and Adam has technically running for that one.)
I have been diligently tracking my miles, and documenting the ‘journey’ if you will. But I also wanted to also share some wins I’ve experienced along the way! Running for 41 days straight is no joke, ya’ll. NO JOKE!
When I first started, I knew I’d need to drop my daily milage significantly to avoid not just burning out, but also literally tiring out. With no rest days, I knew my legs would take quite the beating that they weren’t use to. So, I switched my mindset and started to focus more on building up my speed and working on becoming more consistent with those times. I worked really hard on running as many miles as I could at a sub-9:00 minute pace. I know I touched on this in an IG story recently, but being able to run an 8:00 something mile is such a huge boost of confidence for me because prior to motherhood, that was my normal, easy pace. So, being able to hit miles in the 8’s again just feels good and makes me feel like my old self. I’ve felt like I had to say goodbye to a part of my physical fitness for so long, so to be able to work back to that has been a big win for me.
I also continued to add in some trail running whenever I could. And, after 41 days straight, I can honestly say I think in the best running shape I’ve been in, in nearly 5 years! I feel strong (albeit tired!!) and my legs feel (and look!) stronger than they’ve been in a long time. I will swear up and down to you that trail running throughout the run streak is what helped tone up my legs more than anything, and strengthen them in ways like never before. Trail running is like a full body workout! It’s so, so different than road running and just such a different mindset. Your legs are constantly being worked in ways they’re not worked on the road and I’ve joked to Adam that it feels like you’re constantly doing box jumps or burpees. I LOVE IT! (But now it’s crazy hot here, so trail runs are harder to come by!)
I have also lost 5-7 lbs, depending on the day (anyone else fluctuate a few lbs each day?) and can fit back into shorts I haven’t worn in years. My sides and my ‘mom belly’ have firmed up, and tops are fitting better as well. When I say my ‘mom belly’ has firmed up, I certainly don’t mean I’ve suddenly developed abs! HA far from it. I just mean I feel like some of the existing baby pudge has gone away and my tops feel like they hang off me better, as opposed to clinging to my belly that I’m always self conscious of! Overall, I just feel better and Adam keeps telling me how great I look, so I’ll take it!
TOTAL RUNNING MILES for May 25 – July 4 = 95.2
If I’d known how close I was to 100, I would have ponied up and knocked out 5 more at some point! UGH! So close. Maybe next year?!
Now that the run streak is over, I surprisingly did NOT take 41 days off, as much as I wanted to. I took one day, then ran again, then took another day off, then ran again and I’m still running. It’s been HARD to let myself rest and to get out of the daily running mindset. After 41 days, it’s really become a new habit and just a part of our lifestyle. I’m slowly transitioning back into the goal of 10-15 weekly miles, with a ‘longer’ run on Friday or Saturday. But honestly, knocking out 1-2 miles a day is really not that bad and my body has obviously responded positively to it! It’s so good for my mental health too to sweat it out, and I MISS that outlet when I don’t use it.
Next running goals? I’m really not sure. I’d like to keep working on speed and improving my 5k time. I long for the days when I can be as fast as I once was, but I also think maybe those days will never come. And that’s ok! I’m super proud of how far I’m come post-babies, and like I’ve said in the past – I truly believe there are PR’s before motherhood and PR’s after motherhood. At the beginning of the year, I had my eyes set on half marathon #9 and #10, but COVID put that goal on the back-burner and I really don’t have any interest in a virtual half. I’m honestly not sure if I even want to run another half right now – maybe after another baby? Who knows. And maybe I’ll change my tune this fall when it’s more enjoyable to run for longer periods of time. Either way, I’m really excited about running this fall, and truly can’t wait to just become better and not run through air that’s thicker than molasses.
Thanks for following along! I had a few people reach out and say it helped motivate them to stay active or do their own streak, so that makes it worth it!
What’s the longest you’ve run for? If you’re not a runner, do you workout every single day?