What I Learned in 30 Days of Running

Last month, I listed "run every day for a month" as one of my 27 at 27 goals. I decided to make April that month. This past month, I ran every single day. I ran as many as 7 miles and as little as half a mile, but no matter the length, I ran.

I averaged 2.25 miles/day for a total of 67.43 miles. While I would have liked to have run more, I'm very happy with what I did, especially after a challenging last week of running. Thanks to Google, I self-diagnosed a gluteus minimus strain. I think the combination or running and a machine I use on my glutes at the gym caused it. Whatever it was, I'm happy it's feeling better even though I haven't run more than 2 miles per day in the last week.

During these thirty straight days of learning, I learned some things:

1. Determination is key. While I've always been a determined person, setting out to run 30 days straight when you usually only run 4-5 days a week is something you have to be determined to do.

2. Discipline is required. Doing something for thirty straight days definitely requires discipline. There were a few days where I just thought "I'll do this later," but then I remembered how much I wanted to cross this goal off my list, so I did it anyway.

3. Planning ahead makes everything go much smoother and ensures I get to run. I'm married, have two children, work full-time and I'm involved in a lot of other things including the kids' activities, so actually finding the time and making the time to run and workout is essential for me. If I don't plan ahead, it doesn't happen. That means I may run into the gym for a 20 minute weight workout after I drop K.C. off at school and before work. It means instead of going out to lunch or spending an hour relaxing in the middle of the day, I run (and I've successfully determined that I can run a 10K, shower and make it back to my office during lunch). And it means that I sometimes even run upstairs on the treadmill while I have dinner cooking. Running and exercise are very important to me and I know how much better I feel when I'm active, so I may have to make sacrifices to ensure I get in a workout and I may have to do a shorter workout and run than I'd like many days, but I do something.

I want to take these three things I learned and apply them to some other things I'd like to get in the habit of doing.

This week, I've started month two of thirty days straight. The running club in my town is having a challenge named after one of our great runners who hasn't missed a day in nine years. Yes, you read that right, nine years. While I have no desire to run the next 3,285 days, I do want to finish this challenge. I've run two a day since Wednesday (13:59, 13:12 and 13:38) and I'm looking forward to the next 27.

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