Today is the seventh day of the Runner’s World Holiday Runstreak. I haven’t missed a day, making this my longest uninterrupted stretch of running EVER. So I’m pretty sure my invite to the 2012 London Olympics is in the mail right now… even though I almost quit today.
Let’s set this up. I was on the verge of not doing this streak in the first place, because I always considered myself to be too injury-prone to handle something so awe-inspiring. Indeed, I have been nearly religious about taking days off in my short time as a runner. I think it’s because I used to get all these twinges when I started running and became convinced I was easy to injure, and of course if I got injured I would fall off the running wagon forever and go back to being fat and inactive, etc. I’ve let go of that fear (mostly) but still been wary of pushing too hard, so I promised myself I would only run recovery 1-milers on my off days, and at any sign of injury I would go out gracefully.
Because of my cold, I have been sleeping like someone who forgot how, so I didn’t get up in time to do my mile and cross-train this morning. Plans to go at lunch (a timeframe in which “run 1 mile” actually makes sense!) were foiled by a moved meeting, and all my work stuff took me longer than I thought. Besides, I was hungry (even after making the budgetary call to eat the contents of my desk instead of going out to buy lunch) and it was cold out. The usual whines and woes.
I finally un-Velcro’d myself from my desk and went out, employing a device I occasionally use to trick myself into running (or running more): Instead of saying “It’s only 3 miles,” I’ll think, “It’s only 10 or 11 songs.” This was really easy in this case, because a mile is — what, 3 or 4 songs? My iPod battery should hold out for at least that long even if it’s in the red.
And as for the hunger, I unearthed a Clif Shot from my gym bag, and that would suffice. I’d never tried Clif Shots (the Clif version of Gu, more or less) and when they were handing them out at the Philly Marathon expo, they seemed suspiciously sloshy in their packets — but it was about Gu consistency and had a similar effect. (Another up side to the runstreak: Trying new things while the stakes are low!) I wouldn’t go for the citrus flavor again — maybe chocolate next time. And if you’re wondering how many people will look askance at you for doing a shot on the streets of New York City, the answer in this case was 3.
So when I got to the gym and realized I hadn’t packed socks, instead of going to buy more socks I threw up my hands and said, “Fuck it, we’ll do it live!" I knocked out my solitary sockless mile — no blisters, good job shoes! — to the merry strains of Jay-Z and took my tired, hungry, grumpus self home to the couch. And sometimes, that little zap of accomplishment is just enough. 32 days to go!