I’m officially calling it; my streak is ending at 34 days.
I suppose there are still several hours left in today, so I could still get a mile in but I’m not going to do it. I guess to some people it may seem a little crazy to be calling it quits when I only have 6 more days (including today) until I reach the official end of the Runner’s World winter run streak, but I need to stop running.
At some point yesterday I tweaked my right hip, I’m not sure if it happened while I was running or cleaning the house yesterday, but either way, it’s not good. My hips are notoriously weak. I’ve been working on them a lot this year though, and I haven’t really had any issues with them up until yesterday, but I’m thinking it’s better not to push it since I’ve had issues with them before. I don’t want to end up with a full blown injury.
I’m actually really happy with this decision. Today I realized that I’m burnt out and probably have been since last week. Hell, at this point I may even be toeing the line of over-training. I probably should have realized that little fact earlier, but I’ve been so focused on finishing this streak that I haven’t been paying attention to the red flags my body has been sending me; My legs are tired, I’ve been moody, crazy tired, not sleeping well, and running hasn’t really been fun for the last couple of days. Like, running more than a mile just seems like hell, and running more than 3 or 4 seems almost impossible.
So this morning when I decided that I wasn’t going to run and took a shower and then started making lunch instead, my spirits where instantly lifted. Haha That pretty much proved to me that this was a really really really good decision, and attempting to finish the streak would probably do more harm than good.
Streaking wasn’t all bad though, I definitely learned some things about myself, streaking, and running in general;
- My mental game has never been all that strong, but through these 34 days I learned to push through some of that. My mental issues with running tend to come up on days when I wake up and don’t feel like running, and then don’t even though it would do me some good. I had that happen a lot during these 34 days, but I every time I got my ass out the door, got at least a mile done, and usually felt better because of it. Although I still have some work to do with the mental aspects of running, this streak has definitely got me going in the right direction.
- I’m not taking my easy days easy enough,which I desperately need to do. Especially if I ever plan on streaking again, as I’m positive that that’s part of the reason why I ended up burning out. This is something I’ve always struggled with though. I usually start my easy runs with the intent of keeping things easy, but once I get warmed up I think “why not run up a few hills” or “running a little bit harder wont hurt anything” and that pretty much turns my easy runs into harder efforts.
- I feel better when I eat better. This seems kinda obvious, but I was eating pretty well after Thanksgiving and then a few days before Christmas that all went out the window, and I could really feel the difference. If only cookies weren’t so tasty…
- Interval workouts are my favorite (as long as the hard efforts are short that is). I already new that, but it had been a while since I’ve done a really good interval workout, and when I finally did one it was a lot of fun and I felt great!
- As long as I actually keep my easy runs easy, I could probably run 6 days a week, instead of the 4-5 I usually do. If streaking has taught me anything, it’s that I don’t need the two rest days from running every week that I used to think I did.
- Actually, it’s also taught me that I’m capable of a lot more than I thought I was, running wise. Once I get the whole easy effort thing sorted out, I want to start doubling once or twice a week, to help bring my mileage up a little. I think that’s something I’ll be able to safely do and I’ll end up being a better runner for it.
So all in all, even though I did have to end it early, I’m calling this running streak a success! I think I even redeemed myself from last years failed attempt (I think I only made it 11 or 12 days into last years streak before I had to call it quits). And I’m definitely going to be participating in next years winter streak, and now that I’m armed with some new knowledge and with a little bit of better planning, I’m definitely going to make it to the end!
Anyways, I’m getting a tad bit ahead of myself talking about next year. 😉
Today I took a hardcore rest day. Since I cleaned the whole house top to bottom yesterday I didn’t have much that I absolutely needed to do. I re-mopped the kitchen floor, did a load of laundry, then spent the rest of the day reading. It was actually quite nice and definitely what I needed!
Since I’m feeling kinda burnt out, I’m probably going to take a few more days off from running. I obviously need a little break, so I’m going to focus on strength and yoga for the rest of the week, then maybe do a few easy runs next week, depending on how I feel.