The chances are very high that you'll never break a 4:00 mile, you'll never run a marathon in all 50 states in 50 days, you'll never run from ocean to ocean across the United States… but you *can* do something extremely memorable with a daily dose of motivation: Go on a running streak.
I've been talking about running streaks a lot lately, and for me, it has been an eye-opening experience for the past couple weeks to have one singular and simple goal that needs to be completed each day; running one mile. For a week or a month it may not be a big deal, but when stretched to a year – or the longest streak ever at 52 years set by Ron Hill, it can become daunting. Excessively cold or hot temperatures and horrible weather are just a small part of the obstacles which include travel, a proper area to run (what happens if you're stranded in an airport?), and of course injuries. But what about even a simple upset stomach or headache? During “normal” training, you may just skip a day and pick up the miles later on when you feel better, but with the rigid confines of 24 hours to squeeze at least 1 mile of running in, passing is not an option.
While I cannot imagine the number of difficult days Mr. Hill had to endure (in the article, he explains he quit because he thought he was dying) but in my own 16-day streak, I've already had to run in the cold, through rain, in the dark, and with a very uncomfortable stomach bug that made each step rather interesting.
It's just a mile, every day. Sure, it's a challenge, but very doable for anyone willing to stick with it!
Mystery Bonus – Elimination Diet
Why does my belly look puffy? What foods make me gassy? Will beets affect my endurance?
It can be pretty difficult to nail down what foods affect you in certain ways, whether it be allergies, mood, athletic performance, indigestion, etc. An elimination diet is usually prescribed to isolate the causes of nutritional issues, and that can be pretty miserable to implement if you're not already on a particular nutritional regimen – lucky for me, I'm in the middle of one now!
Since I know exactly what I'm eating & drinking each day, I can get relatively real-time feedback on items that I swap in & out of my nutritional plan. Right now, I'm trying something new 3-4 days/week. Here's what I've found so far:
- Raw broccoli, cucumbers, and jalapenos are 3 examples of things I like to eat that just don't like me back. While I used to be an iron gut for hot foods, even a thin slice of jalps will put me out of action the following day and broccoli & cukes make we way too gassy and bloated to enjoy.
- I've had to cut way back on carbonated drinks to possibly a seltzer a day; and even that I drink over the course of a few hours while it slowly goes flat. This one is relatively new to me as I never really had a problem before, but anytime I have a full can of diet soda or ginger ale, my stomach remains bloated and uncomfortable.
- I've lost all taste for bread, even tortillas. I'd much rather have a salad, lettuce wrapped sandwich, or get a burrito in a bowl. The few times I've had any bread lately, I felt a bit lethargic – while that may just be in my head, I'll get my carbs from veggies and I get 36g/day from (2) SmashPacks
I like eggs every day as a snack, but hate hard-boiling and peeling 'em, so I resorted to buying them pre-cooled & shelled at the supermarket… until this week. Even after a few days in a sealed container in the fridge, a few started to get slimy & disgusting. Now, I'd be lying if I said I didn't wipe one off with a paper towel and eat anyway, and I'd also be untruthful if I said it didn't make me feel a little queasy afterwards. So, no more of those grossly-overpriced peeled eggs for me, and I've moved on to something really easy and inexpensive: Muffin Tin Eggs. My recipe is waaaay simpler, I heat up the oven, rub each cup in the tin with a little coconut oil, then whip up 8-10 eggs, give a dash of seasoning and some bacon bits, then pour into all 12 cups & cook. They stay good for a week and you can eat 'em cold or warm up in the microwave for 10 seconds (NOT 30, as Kristen found out). At about 65-70 calories each, they are a fantastic snack with about 5g of protein!
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