Will Run For Wednesdays: I Run For Me

Let me preface this post with this: If you’re participating in the Runner’s World Running Streak this summer, I think you’re amazing.

On with it.

I recently came across this Runner’s World campaign called “run streak,” which encourages participants to run at least a mile every day from now (well, since Memorial Day Monday) until July 4th. “We’re going streaking!” has graced every corner of the Twittersphere in the preceding weeks, which of course brings back visions of Will Ferrell drunk off his ass, inviting everyone to the quad including those with green hats.

For some, I think the idea of a run streak is great. It’s a phenomenal way to motivate a group of people who might find the warmer summer temperatures to be a deterrent to their daily fitness habits.

For me, however, a run streak simply goes against this idea I’ve been toying with lately – a philosophy that’s slowly begun to underscore many of the points I make daily here on my blog.

Over the last few weeks – months, perhaps – I’ve been trying really hard to be grateful for every moment I get out there and to ultimately run “for me.” Selfish? I’m not really sure. Maybe a little, especially when the running community is so small and close. And yet I can’t shake this important concept that, if I run for someone else – for the sake of someone else’s challenge – I’ll lose sight of how far I’ve come.

I thought about participating in the 38 day run streak, I did. But then Monday came around and, after lots and lots of exercise and running and strength training, all I really wanted to do was nap and take a nice, long walk around the city. I certainly know that there is nothing wrong with that; it’s not like I was craving a Big Mac and fries followed by a McFlurry and a Carvel Cake. (Okay, maybe I was craving the Carvel Cake, but I settled for Ralph’s mint chip ices instead.)

What I do worry about is that, for those who really need to rest their bodies for one reason or another – physical or mental – could the shackles of a run streak be a little too confining? “I have to run a mile” can go one of two ways: either inspiring and a way to feel great everyday or daunting at this demand to be active.

There’s a point to what I’m saying, really there is. All I hope is that those who have chosen to run for a month or more straight do so for themselves—not for your Tweeps, for your fellow runners, or for the editors at Runner’s World. Look deep within yourself and decide whether streaking your way through June is what will truly make you physically and emotionally fit and happy, or whether you might find yourself living healthfully by engaging in some other form of physical regimen, nutritional guidance, etc.

After taking Monday off, Tuesday’s was a welcomed run indeed. It was pore-cleansing hot (76 degrees by 7:45am!). It was humid and sticky. But Central Park was uncrowded, sunny, and beautiful, and I couldn’t imagine anywhere else I’d have rather been during those first few hours of the day.

Most importantly of all, never once did I feel guilty on Tuesday for taking Monday off. It’s taken me a long time to learn how to do this – and to accept it – but thanks to personal growth along with reading other supportive and positive blogs and comments, I’ve come to accept that it’s the off days that make you stronger. (That and speed work, but I’m not there yet.)

At the end of the day, there are tons of ways to be fit and happy, and as I sat there contemplating Runner’s World’s ultimate dare before the weekend, I decided that I truly enjoy running most days of the week; sometimes, I’ll even run days upon days upon days in a row. A run streak, however, just isn’t for me. Not unless I declare it.

That’s not to say it’s not for you, and if it is, I wish you the very best of luck! 35 days to go!

For today, I run for me. That’s what makes me feel strong.

  • What do you run for?
  • Are you doing Runner’s World’s Run Streak, and are you 3:3 already?

24 thoughts on “Will Run For Wednesdays: I Run For Me

  1. I run for ME! I run for my mind (and the effects on my body are a fringe benefit). I have not been running as much lately as I typically do, due to a number of different things interfering. But when I get out there, I am running for me and no one else, nothing else.

    I am NOT doing the run streak. I was “streaking” for a few months last year, refusing to take a day off because I didn’t want to lose the mental benefit. That ultimately led to injury…and getting bored with the different running routes. Even if I exercise every day (which I sometimes do, sometimes don’t, depends on the week), I mix it up with Soul Cycle and sometimes even “just” walking.

    • I can relate to that on so many levels, and love finding others with like-minded approaches to exercise and feeling healthy. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. GREAT post! I run for me too 🙂 I am participating in the #RWRunStreak because I know that I’ll be running everyday even if it is just a mile. I’m coming back from an injury and one of my PT “homework assignments” is to keep my legs busy and strong – and running everyday, even for a mile, is one of them. By the way that ice cream looks delish!

    • That’s great! Good for you; way to stay motivated and more importantly strong! Hope your injury heals quickly and that you get your hands on some mint green chip ices ASAP. Good luck on the rest of your streaking!

  3. I did start the run streak as I had been finding myself lacking some motivation lately. All that rain did NOT help me. I figured the run streak may help with my motivation until I started training for my next half marathon and push me out into the summer heat! I did it for two days. Day 1 was actually just an enjoyable run with my family and coincidentally the first day of the streak. Day 2, I went and ran the mile for the streak. It did feel great even to run free for just one mile. But as a thought more about it last night, and realized I have A LOT of run/fitness related activities coming up this weekend, and want to fully embrace and enjoy them, that the run streak is not for me after all. I LOVE running, and like yourself, I love running for ME (oh and I too run for glitter but we’ve already discussed this so I move on). I don’t want to take a chance of getting injured and find myself in a situation where I can’t do what Iove. So I decided to return to my regularly scheduled, run when it feels right and rest when my body tells me to, plan! I DO believe in the power and importance of rest! After 2 days of the streak (and many hot, sweaty, steamy runs this weekend) I find myself motivated once again and back to just running for the love of it!!! Wow! Sorry for the novel length comment, maybe I should have just started my blog today with all this 🙂 You were TOTALLY right when you told me it feels good to get it out there! Great post Stacy!!!!!

    • Beth! Thanks so much for the long comment, I LOVE it. That rain did NOT help at all. Last week was seriously tough to get my butt out the door…and sometimes, I didn’t. I think the important thing that comes out of this is that, what the running streak really does accomplish is it enables you to evaluate, and perhaps reevaluate, your running routine. That in it of itself is important to do time and again, because it’s only when you reprioritize that you can really internalize what you’re doing and why that is.

      PS, yes, yes you should start your own blog. If you’re really looking for motivation, keeping a diary of running has made a huge impact for me.

  4. This is the first I’ve heard of the Run Streak, but it wouldn’t fit with my goals — I only run 3 days/week, choosing to strength train, Zumba, cycle, and do Yoga as part of my fitness routine. I like to shake things up a bit 🙂

    I like what you said about taking days off. That “guilt” is something I struggle with, too. This weekend I’m running a half-marathon, and the idea of taking Thursday/Friday off from any form of exercise makes me feel like I’m “slacking.” Definitely something I need to overcome!

    • I’m with you on that. Even if I run 7 or 8 days in a row, at some point, I know I’m going to crave a yoga, stretch, walk or strength training day. Or, just a lay in bed and do nothing day. I know they’re only talking about a mile, but forcing it is forcing it! I’ve run single miles that have felt like marathons.

      The guilt is definitely tough, and coming from a background where, growing up, I didn’t give a rats tushie about working out, it’s strange to me to now feel a sense of laziness for not breaking a sweat. I know exactly what you mean too…during my first half marathon, I definitely got the “taper” guilt. But, that said, I’ve spoken with countless experts who, during the week before the race, have literally yelled at me for trying to work out like I usually do. Apparently your body gets stronger from it? Whatever. My biggest way to counteract it is to attempt to eat extra healthy (except for dark chocolate peanut m&ms!) on those non-workout days.

  5. I love this. I think I’ll start the mile a day training tomorrow (since I have not scheduled it yet for today and am pretty busy) But I like the idea of it, and think, that regardless of where people are tweeting from about it, it definitely creates this sort of unity and community and bond between people. Never know what you’ll get out of it. Thanks for sharing

    • Good luck! The sense of community that comes out of it is certainly an advantage of something like this. The support is endless and never negative.

  6. Maybe I’ll try to do a “walk a mile per day”! Well, I’m kind of trying to do that now, anyway… I don’t necessarily get to walk everyday but I try to as much as I can. Oy your pics of Central Park in the early morning are so inviting!

    • See THAT’S a great idea. I think walk a mile is a fantastic way to get everyone out for at least 15 – 20 minutes. THEN, if someone wants to supplement that with running, strength training, spinning, whatever, the better. Though of course, then it wouldn’t be a Runner’s World program 🙂

  7. I run for me. I run for my own health, and hopefully weight loss as well. The idea is good, but I can see what you mean for the run a mile every day.

  8. Great post! I’ve been working hard at finding balance between my training schedule and listening to my body. I need to make sure that I’m on track for being ready for my race goals, but I don’t want to be so tied to the regimen that I lose sight of why I run. If I could always have as much fun on a run as my dog, then I’d feel pretty successful! 🙂

    • Thank you! After my first half marathon I thought I’d never race again, since it took a lot of the fun out of running. Then I missed the racing. What a tough thing to balance, you’re right! That said, it is all about balance, which is why the idea of a streak doesn’t work for my personal routine.

  9. Nice post! I think a schedule is great if you need the motivation, but a schedule sucks when it turns into an obligation. Having a goal in mind is useful, even if it is just to get out of the house and move faster than walking. Keep running!

    • You too! Thanks for commenting! I like that idea…moving faster than walking. That’s like, every run for me 🙂

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  11. This was such a helpful post (as well as your comment to someone above about after your first half)… see, I haven’t really run more than a handful of times since the CUCB in April. (I know, right?) But, the CUCB was my first major race where I knew there was a limit it was possible I wouldn’t be able to beat. While I did beat it, I did it by training my butt off, with times when it was tortuous and painful. Would I do it differently? Perhaps not, because I’m super proud of finishing. At the same time, I think I was a bit burnt out afterwards, and that’t part of what makes it hard to get out of the door. I have a 10K this weekend that I’m not expecting too much out of, and I’m hoping that just getting out there, running it, and doing it, will remind me that it’s not all uphill training (which, has its place, but is hard when that’s what it constantly feels like).

    • I know how you feel. It’s so tough to strike a balance at times! Sometimes I do wonder whether I’d be better off running everyday for the rest of my life, just a few miles, rather than building up to some goal and then crashing and burning afterward. I think about this all the time. Good luck during your 10k! I bet you do better than you expect with such a laid back attitude.

      • Thank you for the encouraging words!

        It really is hard to find that balance. I’ve ended up dubbing this year the Year of the Race, and am looking forward to running them and also looking forward to when they are also all done.

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