What I learned from running everyday for a month….
Here’s what I learned from running everyday for month….
I have been trying to run consistently my whole life. Believe it or not, I HAVE BEEN running since I was 12, just not consistently. Anyone that knows me knows that I am a runner. But I have never been consistent and that bothered me. Sure I’d run home from work, run 2-3 times a week or even enter a 5K or half marathon (in my younger waste), with minimal training. But did I have a running training plan? Did I plan my runs weekly or how long I would run? I did track my runs? Nope. This made me take a hard look at how inconsistent I really was at running even though it’s the most consistent thing I’ve stuck to since adolescence. So it’s the most consistent non-consistent thing I’ve stuck to throughout my life. And I love it. I always say that running is my therapy. I figure shit out when I run. I get the best ideas and it just improves my mental health. It’s my thing.
So I set out to ‘try’ to run consistently for a month. A friend did this and she had great results. She even continued to run for a year after that. I’m not that bold (yet). I just wanted to see if I could run a mile (1.60km) consistently for one month. I thought about it for most of the winter 2022 but deciding to do it was another thing entirely. I set out to do it in May and failed the first week because of a snow storm (Yes, I live in Greenland where the weather is wholly unpredictable and it snows in May:) Then in June I ran for three weeks, and then another rain storm prevented me from running outside (think hurricane winds). I thought about getting a gym membership because of the unpredictable weather but it just seemed pointless because I really dislike treadmills and gyms in general. I very much prefer to be outside. One positive related result was that I did complete a 21-day yoga challenge. That then prompted me to restart the running July challenge.
Each day I started off by setting my running app to 1.70 km. At the 50% mark, it would tell me that I am halfway there. So then I would turn around and run home. One of the things I noticed, in the beginning, was that I was slow, and I felt heavy. I think it had a lot to do with my mindset. And so that was something I really focused on. I didn’t want this to turn into a ‘have-to’ situation so I started telling myself, ‘You will thank yourself when you are done. This is helping you to become consistent with something! Stay focused b*t#h!’ I would actually laugh at myself for saying such things but it did motivate me. Especially on the days that it was cold, grey, and overcast. As the weeks flew by I noticed other things, I was getting stronger. The hills that seemed tough in the beginning weren’t so hard anymore, my breathing wasn’t so labored, and I was getting stronger physically and mentally. And something interesting happened, I ran longer when I was listening to a podcast or audiobook. I was so intently listening to a great story or an interesting podcast that I had to listen until the end and before I knew it, an hour had flown by! And I always got the best ideas and inspiration when I ran, that was a given. But I also got so much more content ideas and value out of my runs that my voice memos and notes were filling up every day. Funny how that worked out. It’s true what they say, you draw inspiration from resetting your body and mind by moving, being in nature, and just getting out of the office and going outside.
I also noticed that my family and I were making my runs a priority. My husband and kids were reminding me to run on days that we were busy, and I made it part of my everyday routine. If I picked up our daughter from daycare, I would run there and then run home with her while she biked. Or if they wanted to go downtown, I would run down and they would take the bus (as we don’t have a car). It became a priority and part of our everyday family life.
One of the drawbacks of running every day was that I got stiff and sore a lot more. But that always prompted me to do my yoga routine after I ran and that is a blessing. I’m nowhere consistent with my yoga practice, but I do try to do it most days after a run. If not, I do stretch after my runs even if it’s short. I’m very aware of my body as I age. So when my shins scream, I listen and stretch with care, or when my back aches, I do all the back mobility exercises I can to keep her limber and strong. Another thing was that I had to be mindful of fueling my body at least 30 minutes before my run so I wouldn’t be hungry. Some days I would run home so hangry that I would run through the door and straight to the kitchen starving. That was no Bueno! So I set reminders thirty minutes before my scheduled run and that helped nourish and fuel longer runs.
What I learned from the July 2022 Running challenge (Running for 31 Days consistently):
• I listened to podcasts and audiobooks and that made me run longer.
• Summer helps but the weather (Sila) was always in charge 😀
• 1.65k (or 1 mile) is not that long and it goes by fast. Most days I ran longer.
• It became a priority. (If we had other plans, I would plan to run before accordingly)
• It helped my well-being immensely. I struggle with my mental health, running has always helped but it made me happier and more balanced.
• I’d run then do yoga and that has helped my back pain.
• I slept better.
• I got stronger. Those steep Nuuk hills got easier as time went by.
• I always got the best ideas while running but now, it just pours out of me. Thank goodness for the voice memos app and Notes.
• It’s habit-building. I will continue this run everyday thing, onto the August challenge! 😁
• Running consistently pushed me into the idea of consistency in everything. I’ve never been consistent, but I think about adding sit-ups to the plan to help my core. Shit like that.
• I lost weight. I lost 2 kilos (about 5 pounds). I didn’t change my diet or stop eating anything, I just ran consistently and lost some weight.
And so, I did complete the July challenge of running every day. I’ve already committed to continuing to run for the month of August. I am not striving for anything more at this point. My goal is consistency and sharing what I learned. It is one thing to start something new but quite entirely another thing to stick to it for a duration of time. I did it for one month. If I can do it, so can you. If it’s not running, start walking for a mile a day for a month. I am proof that it will change not only you physically, but your mentality and your mindset will change as well. It did for me. I will continue this challenge. Hopefully, it will filter into all aspects of my life. We’ll see.
What do you want to challenge yourself to do?
Try sticking to it for 30 days and tell me your results.