At A Glance: Three things I've learned 30 days & 100 miles into my current #5keveryday running streak
1. Plan your runs ahead of time; pick a time and stick to it.
My work schedule can be extremely flexible, yet sometimes travel and events can make it a bit more challenging to fit in 3.1 miles/day. During April, I traveled to Atlanta to put on a corporate event, so that required some early morning treadmill runs (blah) and also allowed for a great stroll through Piedmont Park from my hotel. Planning the run and sticking to it requires some discipline when you're sleep-deprived or your body clock is off by 3 time zones.
2. Knock the run out as early as you possibly can.
Even in my first go-round of #5keveryday before my knee injuries, I fell prey to many nights where I'd be running at 10 or 11 pm just to keep the streak alive – some of those I'd already been asleep and woke up with the startling realization that I forgot my run. If I knock out the run early I also don't have to worry about how long to wait after eating, etc. With all the things that can creep into my schedule during any given day, the best plan is to get the run done early so I can go about my day. That's not to say that I don't enjoy a late-night run from time-to-time, but it's much more fun if I choose a night run versus an “oh crap, I forgot to run today” run.
3. Don't run on a ‘yucky' stomach unless you really have to.
There's a saying amongst ultramarathon runners “never trust a fart during an ultra” and what's true for long runs can also be a good reminder for short ones as well. Many trail runners will tell the tale of a run where they came back with only one sock after some stomach issues, and in Arizona, many of the longer-distance runners I know have answered the (ahem, second) call of nature behind a cactus or two. Coming off of a year with some serious gastric issues and a colon surgery to boot, I can't really afford to take chances running with a distressed stomach – that's why points #1 and #2 are so important. If I find myself running out of daylight and limited options, a less-than-optimal stomach condition can lead to an extremely uncomfortable run!
100 Miles By The Numbers
Inov-8 Shoe Mileage:
- TerraUltra G 260: (9) runs, ~30 miles
- Soft, light, and comfortable without being “squishy”. For a 160# guy, the foam actually feels a little stiff for the first mile before giving you that “go ahead and run all day” feeling.
- Fit Scale: 4 (Learn more about the Inov8 Fit Scale here)
- F-Lite 230: (3) runs, 9.5 miles
- Road racing flats! Light, nimble, neutral, flexible, and fast as hell!
- Fit Scale: 2
- TrailTalon 235: (2) runs, ~6 miles
- Roomy, light, soft, and I sincerely can't tell this is a trail shoe whether I'm running on sidewalks, trails, or walking around all day. I find these equally as comfortable as my all-around favorites… see ParkClaw 275 below.
- Fit Scale: 4
- ParkClaw 275: (2) runs, ~6 miles
- I love these shoes for everything, and they will absolutely be the ones I wear out first. Comfortable and light with soft foam, the ParkClaw 275 is usually the first shoe I grab when I'm running out the door and have more miles than any of the shoes above, considering I've had them about 3 months longer.
- Fit Scale: 5
- RoadClaw 275: (10) runs, ~35 miles
- Everything I love about the ParkClaw 275 with a road sole – I really dig these as well. The ParkClaw is a tiny bit softer due to the lugs vs. outsole, and I like the laces on the PC better (see “Laces” below)
- Fit Scale: 5
- RocLite 290: (1) run, ~5 miles
- The RL 290 feels a tiny bit narrower than the RocLite 272, even though they are both listed as a 3 on Inov8's Fit Scale. Weighing in at half an ounce heavier than the RL 275, I feel these are an all-around shoe for a racer who favors a tight-fitting shoe with good grip from medium-sized lugs. They are versatile and comfortable, but when the RL 275's are right next to them on the shelf it's a tough decision which ones to grab.
- Fit Scale: 3
- RocLite 275: (2) run, ~6 miles
- The RL 275 is a bit narrower than the TrailTalon 235 and nearly an ounce and a half heavier and feels more like a fast OCR shoe for moderately-rough conditions. While I have a set of MudClaw 260 (not pictured) for really muddy racing, I'd pick the RocLite 290 for rough conditions with little mud and the RockLite 275 for all-around conditions that require a little bit more loose-surface traction.
- Fit Scale: 3
Other Awesome Gear
Every run has been in Mudgear 1/4 Trail Socks or No-Show Running Socks, and I'm still thrilled with their performance every single day. As the only sock I've worn for nearly 3 years now it'd be really difficult for me to ever say anything bad about 'em. (In reference to the “poop behind a cactus” #3 above, I have never, ever used a Mudgear sock in this way.)
My head is as stylish as it's ever going to be when I'm rocking Goodr shades each day. The best-fitting, no-bouncing running glasses in a myriad of different color combinations in (4) tried and true styles. I'm a huge fan of the unisex OG‘s, and if you're a guy or gal with a bigger dome you can opt for the BFG's. Runways are the ladies' style shades and their newest collection with a distinctive retro look are the Super Flys.
100 Miles Done, 1100 to Go!
I'm really starting to find my legs again and have pushed the distance to 5+ miles the last couple days to make sure I pass 100 this month, the 3.1 mile/day average would have me creeping into the high 90's, but I'd like to hit triple-digits each month and surpass 1200 for the year.
While my legs are feeling good, I can't get too carried away – yet. Each speedy run has been followed by some additional aches and pains the following day, and since I can't take any days off, I'm playing it cautious with my mileage and pace no matter how good I feel mid-run for now. Since I'm healthy for the first time in nearly two years I'm starting to eye a few marathons and trail races that I'd like to get on the calendar, but for now I'm going to keep consistent and see where the next few months take me!