Monday, February 15, 2010

On running every day

I ran every day in 2009, as reported in my 2009 wrap-up. Counterintuitive as it may seem, I have found that running every day is mentally easier than skipping some days.

Back when I didn't run every day -- in other words, my entire life before 2009 -- I ran most days, but I skipped a day each week, or at least a few days each month. So every day, it was mostly "what am I going to do for my run today?" but with shades of "do I really have to run today? maybe today can be my off day." When I ran every day, I simply had to decide what to do; I didn't have to decide whether to do it.

I recently heard that a friend of a friend made a resolution that he would run every day in January 2010. He was so proud of himself for achieving this that, on the night of January 31, he ran naked through the streets of his snowy town. This got me thinking: is it really so difficult to run for a month straight? Once I decided to run every day for a year, it wasn't so difficult.

The difficult part for me is going to be the first day when I don't run. So far, I have continued running every day in 2010. I nearly lost it last week, when I felt pretty sick, but I ran two miles around the indoor track anyway, and was rewarded with a fever of 102 a few hours later. But fever reducing medicines cured that problem...

For some people, running every day would be a stupid goal, because they have only been running a few days a week, and they might get injured if they increased their running frequency so quickly. For some people, it would be foolhardy, like if they only run 20 miles a week and would therefore have to run only a paltry 2-3 miles per day, which would decrease their enjoyment of their runs by making them ridiculously short. However, running every day is good for me.

It has also made it easier for me to answer such questions as "how many miles do you run per day?" I simply take my total miles from last year and divide by the number of days, and get the very convenient answer, 8.

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