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Monday, June 26, 2017

Run MAD - one month to go ...

According to the following tweet, on or about 20 July, 2016, I began my run-a-mile-everyday thing with the hashtag #RunMAD - as in - Run Mile-a-Day.

The goal was simple, run at least 1 mile every day for at least 1 year. Some rules:

  1. Run at least 1 contiguous non-stop mile every day
  2. A day is between 12:00:00a and 11:59:59p
  3. No "saving" miles (i.e., 2 miles today doesn't mean 0 miles tomorrow)
  4. Do this for at least 1 year from the start date

Unfortunately, I don't quite remember the official "start date" - if I tweeted the day I started or if I made sure I'd stuck with it for at least 1 week or so before posting so boldly. In any case, after 11 or so months with 1 or so left to go, I'm planning on extending to at least Labor Day, 2017 to make sure I've completed a full year. I've done this everyday so far, whats a few more ... ?

Some things I've learned:

I prefer to get things done. Especially when the end goal is clearly defined. Essentially, 365 miles in 365 days - I'd shorten that to 50 miles in 7+ days, or a marathon every day for 2 weeks ... but rule 3 above prevented that. The "goal" was to stick with it, not complete it quickly. And that for me is difficult. But I learned to do my part today and leave the rest for tomorrow (and the next day and the next ...).

I learned to plan, but do so loosely. "Best laid plans" and all. I had to squeeze a run in at 11pm one night by running laps in my basement. I had to get out the next day after a night of no sleep with no food or drink due to a stomach bug. I had to run for a week while my knee healed after splitting it open on a stump on a trail run. I ran in blazing sun, snow blizzards and driving rain. I took my kids and dog some days. I ran alone; barefoot on some days. The "at least one mile" was consistent - how it was done day-to-day, was anything but.

A consistency goal can be far more effective than a big hairy audacious goal. In the running example, booking a big race and then undertaking a rigorous training program to ramp up is something I've done very effectively in the past. It also led to burn out and one of the reasons I stopped running for a year. The lower volume, but consistent running has let me be far more flexible in my free time, running more 5Ks with my daughter, having more family time and no desire for the training to just be done.

All-in-all, I don't think this was life-changing or that it whipped me into the best shape of my life or anything like that. It was initially just to get me back into running consistently - something I had really enjoyed, but something I had really drifted away from for several reasons. And in that, it was a great success.

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