16 April 2012

Streak no more

I didn't run last Monday.  The streak is dead.  But that's OK, I needed a day off and I took one.  My streak was never about checking off each day on the calendar at the cost of everything else.   So how did I come to miss a day?

I came down with the flu a couple weeks ago, the evening after the last Tortoise and Hare race to be exact.  At least the timing was good.  My wife and kids were all struck down on Thursday but I was able to have a fun Greyrock run on that Friday, run Pete's final 15 miles of March with him and Cat, and then run the Tortoise and Hare race on Sunday before becoming sick myself.  I've never had the "real flu" that I remember, turns out it wipes you out. 

The week I had the flu I was only able to manage a meager 1 mile walk with Sandis and Tonks on Monday but was able to run the rest of the week with Thursday even being an easy effort run most of the way up Towers.  On Friday I was back to work and was a little surprised that I made it through the flu with The Streak in tact. 

It also turns out that laying on the couch all day (with a short run in the middle of the day) while sick is much easier on the body than going to work when you're first "recovered".  I ran but was tired Friday, kept it short on Saturday and Sunday my 20 miles turned in the toughest 10 I've run in a long time.  When I was again dead tired on Monday I decided that running was not in the best interest of my recovery and took the day off.

The decision wasn't nearly as difficult as I once thought it might be.  When I thought about it logically I knew rest was the smart thing.  My streak wasn't a compulsive check it off kind of streak, it was about getting my head back in the running game and I had accomplished that.  There were a few days during the past month that I ran only because of the streak and I didn't like that, I knew it went against the reason I was streaking and I didn't want to become a slave to the number.  Mentally I needed a day off, but was slow to accept this.

I went to bed Monday content with a good run of 167 days of running.  167 days, 1017.4 miles, tons of confidence, and all the speed I had lost, to be exact.  And Tuesday I had one of the best track workouts I've had all spring.  Seems rest can be a good thing, mental and physical rest.

Yesterday I ran for the 6th consecutive day.  I think I'm mostly recovered from the flu, though I'd like to blame my slower than desired late miles of Saturday's run on not being 100% yet.  :-)  I don't think I'm going to call this one a streak though.  I'll get up every morning planning on going for a run, a but if it's not convenient or if I'm too tired or my head's not in it I'll be OK skipping it.  Though that's the first step to being lazy and falling into a rut I think I've learned enough to head that off if it starts setting in.

Long live the non-Streak.


  1. I enjoyed your write-up Brian. One thing I've learned, rather recently, is that a lot of ultra running is about adapting to things beyond our control, including forced (or unplanned) days off. Congrats to you for gracefully accepting a break in your streak.

  2. I agree Stephanie. It's a well kept secret that we don't lose our ability to run when life gets in the way.