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Running Streak: Month Four--30 More Days

  • Ran in one state
  • Ran in one city (well, Meridian and Boise)
  • longest run: 5 miles
  • shortest run: 1 mile (minimum requirement to keep the streak alive)
  • total September mileage: 53 miles. As expected, this is quite a bit lower than July and August (77 and 76). On the other hand, it's still higher than June, which is pretty cool. Other than one five-miler, I ran almost all ones and threes. 
  • total streak days (at the end of September): 122 (goal is 273, on February 28th).
  • total streak mileage: 253 miles. Even with a bunch of one-milers, I am still averaging more than two miles per day, although I did lose some of my summer buffer for a two-mile average.   
  • I ran 28 times by myself and two times with others. Tam and I did an easy three on September 1st, and Fitz and Sarah Q. helped me celebrate my 100th day by running a three with me on September 8th (picture below).
  • slowest mile: I don't usually wear my watch on one-mile runs, and they are often done very slowly. My slowest timed mile was 10:39, during my one and only five-miler. 
  • fastest mile: 8:41. I'm not exactly improving by leaps and bounds here, but it is my fastest mile of the year. 

I handle my life best by keeping my expectations moderate, at least my expectations for myself. I have a life-long narrative that revolves around me being average at best when it comes to athletic endeavors. On the other hand, I love trying to be an athlete. This streak really feeds into my view of myself as an athlete. I know how to commit. I know how to work hard. I know that I may never be as fast as I'd like to be, but I am (mostly) satisfied to be moving. Still, there are moments when I am disappointed by my progress. 

As September started, I had seen my three-mile times slow down by at least 30 seconds per mile. I was having trouble breaking 29 minutes. I was bummed but not surprised, since the school year brings a whole new level of fatigue to my life, and because I have taken on an usual number of new responsibilities this year. I was even more bummed, though, when I had a six-day streak of one-milers in the middle of the month. Overwhelming stacks of papers, exhaustion, and general busyness led to this unwanted streak. I was disappointed in myself, and I was also convinced that this would result in a further decline in my speed. 

In the midst of my disappointment, I kept reminding myself (and the voice in my head often sounds like my friend Fitz): I'm running every day. I ran 30 more days in September 2013 than I ran in September 2012. In fact, I ran more days in September 2013 than all of the September runs put together for the last decade. 30 more days. So disappointment--go away.

This September story has a surprising and most satisfying end. At the end of that six-day streak of one-milers, I went out to run a three. It was a lovely, cool, rainy evening, but I had no idea what was about to happen. I ran the fastest three miles of the year. As it turns out, in the last two weeks of September, I ran three three-milers under 28 minutes (fast for me), and broke my 2013 three-mile record twice (27:22). 

I don't know what October will bring, but I am still loving this streak, and I'll keep running into 50, by the grace of God.


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