Thursday, April 1, 2010

Why Would I Put Myself Through This?

I guess an explanation is in order as to why I have decided to put myself through running 75 miles in 30 days. At the end of January last year, I was about to begin writing a thesis that would determine whether or not I would get a Master’s degree, and needless to say, I was stressed. I had no idea what was in front of me, but what I did know was I planned on tackling it head on, knowing I’d be spending hours writing and editing and rewriting. I also knew I was going to have time for very little other than writing. I started up a conversation with one of my long-time friends about running and working out, which is usually what we talk about when we happen to both be online every couple of weeks. This time, my friend was telling me about these “running challenges” that he’s started to do, where he picks a number of miles, and he plans to run that number of miles in a month. He said he had just finished running 100 miles in January. Now this friend of mine is someone that I just LOVE to be competitive with. No matter what, I want to be better than him at whatever he is doing and more. Mostly because he’s the cocky type that rubs things in your face if you don’t do something correctly or if he does it better. So of course, I tell him I want to try it, momentarily forgetting about this soon to be 80 page paper I was going to be bombarded with in the upcoming months. Once I said it, it was over. He challenged me to run 75 miles in February, and I knew once the challenge was set I was going to have to do it, thesis or not.

When I brought this idea up to one of my other friends, he mentioned that he had just been reading about these people who do “running streaks”, where people literally go years without ever missing a day of running. All they had to do was run at least one mile a day without walking. So of course, feeling completely overly ambitious, I decided to try that ON TOP of my 75 miles. Piece of cake right?

I ended up completing the 75 miles, and continued my running streak for another couple of weeks, resulting in running 41 days straight. Then I went to Puerto Rico for Spring Break, and tequila clearly took precedent over my runs. However, looking back on the time I spent doing these challenges, I saw that overall I was a lot less stressed, I didn’t get my usual winter time blues (or sniffles) and I was definitely in the best shape I had been in since my field hockey preseason days. It was also a great break from my thesis writing, which I managed to do successfully, and surprisingly with little stress. Since moving to New York City, I’ve lacked the motivation to get myself back in gear, and have decided to try these challenges again. This time, because I don’t have someone breathing down my neck every day and checking how many miles I ran (gotta love those competitive friends) I decided to blog my every day, and every run, to see if a year later, I can do 75 miles in 30 days. Nonetheless, it should be interesting.

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