With 34 days down, my Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak officially rocked around the Christmas tree. Forget laughing all the way, I’m running all the way, logging at least a mile a day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. I’ve made it through two of the big three holidays I celebrate: Thanksgiving and Christmas (with a little Hanukkah thrown in for my Jewish family and friends). There’s just one more holiday and five days to go.
I have now logged over one full month of consecutive running as part of the Holiday Running Streak. Week 4 proved to be the most challenging, but also the most rewarding. I upped my mileage from 16.55 to 20.55, but also got pretty tired and run down toward the end of the week between work, holiday shopping, travel and all the other trappings of the season.
If I hadn’t come this far in the streak, I might have been tempted to give up the other night. I had only slept about four hours the night before and then had a non-stop busy day. Come 8 pm, the last thing I wanted to do was run, even for a mile. I just wanted to wrap myself in cozy sweats and melt into the sofa.
But thank goodness for dogs. My trusty furry girl, Cinderella, needed a walk. So I laced up my sneakers and we jogged through the streets of the quaint New England town where I spent the first half of my Christmas break. We admired all the holiday lights, jogging past houses and businesses on an easy route. The air was fresh and crisp, and I was suddenly so glad I’d taken 15 minutes to stop and smell the candy canes. The Holiday Running Streak lived to see another day, another week, and another holiday.
But Week 5 was rough. That run down feeling turned into a full-blown cold by the time I made my way to blustery Canada on Christmas day, where I didn’t have the crutch of a treadmill. The snowstorm that welcomed me on the slow drive up let me know just what I was in for: cold, snow and lots of it. Sniffling, sneezing, a sore throat and slight delirium didn’t help. But with just eight days to go, I was determined to finish the streak. So sick smick, I managed to bang out five 1-2 mile days just to keep the streak alive even though I felt like crumpled up Christmas wrapping paper. With just one day of running left in Week 5, I’ll be lucky to get my weekly mileage up to 15. But it is what it is.
Now back in New York City, I’m looking forward to New Year’s, and hatching some running resolutions and racing plans to capitalize on the nice winter base I’ve built for myself.
The finish line is in sight. Only five days to go.
Karla Bruning is an award-winning journalist and running nerd. She has completed four marathons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. Follow Karla’s “Notes From a Running Nerd” at RunKarlaRun.com, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning.