Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Only" a mile

Day 22.

You see, I have a routine. It typically starts at 3:15am (and yes, I go to bed early), I brew my espresso, I balance out the checking account, answer work and personal e-mails that came in overnight, read a bit, peruse my few social media accounts, and eventually head out the door on a run. Rarely, I hit snooze...and sometimes I am so talented that I not only snooze the alarm on my iPhone but I turn it off in my sleep meaning that it never alarms again. Today at 4:45am, I realize this. Crud. (that's my "Rated G" response)

"But I need a mile. But I don't have the time. Yes I do."

In streaking, I've laid out the rules on the right sidebar of my blog here. You'll see the requirement...1 mile. "But I don't run "just" a mile. I never run less than 5 or 6...otherwise, it's a waste." I have spoken those words in the past and today I ate those words and take them back. I hopped out of bed, threw on yesterday's running clothes, a pair of socks and my Brooks, and even the leash. I haven't run with my dog in quite awhile. Her tail kicked into high gear when he realized what was up.

The air was cool this morning. The sky was clear and first light was cracking the horizon. I know all of my distances from my driveway in 1/2 mile increments in multiple directions so I selected one and head out. Bristol, that's my dog, her tail erected in its typical shepherd's hook style, her ears perched high, and we were off. At 1/2 mile, I was bummed. It was gorgeous out. I wanted to keep going...for miles. The day beckoned, though, and I said "Time to turn around, Bristol. Just a short one today." We got back to my driveway and instead of the soaking, high humidity runs of late where I arrive home soaked, I had barely broke a sweat. In my mind, I was asking myself "Is the streak requirement really only a mile? Perhaps I should run another 1/4 mile to make sure." Yes, it is. Day 22 is complete and my streak is alive.

I'm guessing there are some reading today from the Facebook streaking group. To you all, I've never posted in the group before. I was inspired to start a streak by Michael Friedl who is from my hometown here in NE Ohio but lives in California now. He recently hit 365 days and after running the Comrades Marathon in Africa, got in a mile while waiting in an airport during his trip home to ensure his streak was kept alive. In all honesty, I didn't quite grasp the point of that. Now I do. While "only" a mile, it's a streak that serves as the elephant in the room...the elephant accountability partner. No one else really cares about your streak like you do. Like I do. That elephant, though, won't let you forget and that elephant usually doesn't have to step in and ensure you succeed but it's in times like these where perseverance, dedication, commitment, and downright stubbornness kick in. I have to believe that as a streak grows over time, it's not just the running that benefits. That commitment just has to trickle into the other parts of your life...as a parent, spouse, partner, friend, employee, etc.

You see? It's not "just a mile." Well sure, it is. But it's BIGGER than that...it represents more. For me, it's only Day 22 and most days, you won't see less than 6 miles on my log. But today, it's about something I committed to. To NOT do it says a lot about my character, my level of seeing something through...and on the flip side, to DO it says a lot, too. As a man of integrity (which is my #1 pet peeve), it matters...to me...I promised myself. I will.not.fail!!! I think of Jon Sutherland of West Hills, CA. He is a writer and is 63 years old. As of today, his streak is over 45 years long and 16,482 days long, per the registry located here. Yes, you read that correctly. Crazy, eh?! Well, that's a matter of perception, now isn't it?!

So let me encourage you today. Do whatever it takes to achieve what you want to. Commit. Put some kind of accountability in place. Do it. (oh geez, I just went all "Nike" on you! I'm a Brooks Running guy!) ...

It's not "just a mile."

I posted this on Instagram back in May but thought it quite fitting today. Public Instagram feed here.

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