Streak Reaches 1,000 Days for Minnesota Runner
I admit it. I'm a streaker. While I might shed a shirt on a hot day, the streak I'm referring to is a running streak. For the last 1,000 days I have logged miles everyday. Everyday. No matter the weather. While on vacation. While covering the state wrestling tournament on the radio, changing clothes in the bathroom at Xcel Energy Center between sessions and running the riverfront in downtown St. Paul.
Before the streak began, I didn't know such a thing existed. It was the holiday season of 2018 and I was in a Facebook group that encouraged each other to stay active. I read a post from a guy who had just reached 400 days of consecutive running. I was running regularly at that point, a few times a week. But thought, "This sounds interesting. I should give it a try."
My Streak includes two marathons, too many half-marathon distances to count. Though I could if I wanted to, as I record each day's jog in a series of journals. I ran my first ultra event in July, a 50K along the trails and hills of Afton State Park, organized by Rock Steady Running. Not afraid to call that grueling.
Several extreme events include a 17-mile run/walk/crawl through the hills of Zumbro State Park in southeast Minnesota. I really was questioning my decision to participate as I limped across the finish line and gingerly folded myself into my car afterward. But while driving home, I thought, "That wasn't so bad. And this hurt is a 'good' hurt." Then I signed up for the aforementioned ultra.
Nine of the days doubled as part of Relay Iowa, a team-based, three-day border-to-border crossing on the Hawkeye state. There are more hills than I would have imagined there. Met some great people while rolling across the state with fellow sweaty people in a car, sleeping on wrestling mats in a high school gym, and gulping down spaghetti meals in little towns along the way.
Such a streak doesn't have to include such events, but to put dates on the calendar to train and prepare for helps during the regular doldrums of doing the same thing everyday.
I've gotten lost in Nashville, TN and Castle Rock, CO and gone the wrong direction on one-way trails at Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan and been chastised by walkers. I haven't been derailed by injuries, though I did crash a few steps into a run in Kaplan's Woods in Owatonna and skinned both knees and elbows, and gashed by calf. Thankfully Jason M was there to help pick me up and continue the run.
I've seen a hawk cart away a squirrel for breakfast and watched a bald eagle swoop down to a pond but come away empty. I almost stepped on a snake. I came across a cute, baby skunk along the Straight River in Owatonna. I stopped to try to get a picture, but decided I'd better scram before mommy came out of the bushes.
I can probably thank (or blame) my daughter for this passion I've discovered. She started running with her friends. My wife and went to a couple of events. I saw people of all shapes and abilities participating and I thought, "OK. I'll give this a try." I was already running, a little, for some regular exercise. But this opened the door to going to events and getting a little more serious.
I have also been doing the Owatonna Rotary Club's STRIVE Run at the Steele County Fair for a number of years. But for awhile that was the only event I signed up for.
My wife has started running with me at times. It has been a good family activity except for that time that the kids and me accidentally ditched Mom, on Mother's Day.
The people I've met are incredible. All are very positive with can-do-it attitudes. Completing events is so much more important than how fast you complete it. To finish last (DFL) is a badge on honor. You'll have to figure out the acronym, as I can't print one of the words.
A few stats:
- 1,000 consecutive days, as of Tuesday, September 7, 2021
- 4,600+ total miles
- longest run: 31.1 miles (50K)
- shortest: 1 miles (generally considered the minimum for a running streak)
- hottest day: probably 100 degrees (during relay run across Iowa)
- coldest: -45 wind chill (lots of layers and a mask or two)
- highest location: southern CO (9,000 feet-plus)
- zero: the number of toenails I have lost
As pleased as I am with where I'm at, it doesn't even come remotely close to a record. A Rochester, MN man recently surpassed 50 years of running without missing a day. And that's not the record either. I understand there is an International Streakers Group I should look into. I believe it's a running group. But there might be a group of streaking streakers out there too. I'll avoid that one.