Month 1 of Run Every Day 2014
These are not things you want to hear in the first month of a run streak. Chicago winters are notorious for forcing people to give up all their dreams, abandon hope, and move somewhere South – and this winter thus far has lived up to that reputation and then some. But I did manage to get out and run at least a mile every day this month even while fighting some annoying cold symptoms the first 2 weeks, which at least gives me some confidence for the rest of the year. By the numbers:
- 31 days – 49.1 miles (avg distance 1.58, median 1.62) Not impressive mileage for lots of people, but coming off of a zero base and never run this frequently in my life, I’ll take it. By comparison, from 2011-2013, I ran 6 marathons but only had 3 months with more than 50 miles (3 marathon months).
- I probably surpassed my former run streak record somewhere around January 4th or 5th, so I got that going for me…which is nice.
- Average Temp: 19.6°F
- Average Windchill: 7.7°F
- Coldest Day: January 6, -17°F, -40° Windchill. That was fun.
- Days below zero: 2 (8 with Windchill below zero)
…so the story this month was definitely the weather, but I’m encouraged that I made it out every day (and while I could have run on a treadmill, I really wanted to avoid it if I could in the first month). I even came away with a few positives:
- It was almost always better outside than it looked from the window (well, except for the aforementioned -17° day, that looked and felt bad). My takeaway – don’t listen to the news or anybody else scaring you into not venturing outside – you’ll probably be ok if you’re dressed for it (-40° windchill not withstanding).
- There is a very peaceful rhythm to running on a thin layer of crusty snow. I’ll miss that sound when the weather warms up.
- Likewise for having the first tracks after a new snowfall. There’s just something about being the first to run through fresh powder. Having no tracks except for the occasional rabbit or coyote tracks has a way of really connecting you with nature.
The daily run is also starting to become a bit of a routine – which is good and what I had hoped for and needed. I’ve typically been getting out the door around lunchtime, primarily since it’s a bit warmer by then. Early morning runs would have been more of a challenge not just because of the lower temps but also more ice on the roads and trails at that time of the day.
1 month down, 11 to go!