A Year of Running Daily 2020-2021

Although I trained regularly for the last few years, this year I started a running streak. Beginning June 9, 2020, I did not miss a day. I kept my streak through a pandemic, a new job, and a move to a new city. Weather ranged from high humidity heat in Washington, D.C. to freezing-cold and icy streets in New Jersey. Distances ranged from the marathon, which I did twice, to one mile, which I did on recovery days after the marathons. Some runs were in direct sunlight, while others were in the deep darkness of early morning.

Daily Routine

While in DC, for the first part of the year, I did mid-morning runs as it was much better to run in the daylight. I had the benefit of not working in the mornings, so I was able to do long slow runs (LSRs) in the mid-morning and enjoy the sights of the city. I would have a light breakfast and run somewhere between 8-10 in the morning.

In New Jersey, both because of teaching and traffic, mid-morning runs were impossible. The second half of my year was almost entirely composed of runs before the sunrise. I woke between 4 and 4:30 and began my runs between 4:30 and 5:00 in the morning. Weekend runs started slightly later. This means that I usually have to sleep early, which isn’t a problem given the challenge of the daily grind. Nearly all runs were run without any nutrition and only a little water, tea, or coffee. Long runs usually started with a Clif Bar and cup of tea.  

Monthly totals

My biggest month was July, where I ran for 33 hours and 228 miles. My lowest month was February, where I ran for 18 hours and 132 miles. My average was 171 miles a month and 26 hours. 

Races

I ran both in-person and virtual races: Two virtual half-marathons, two virtual 5ks, one in-person 8k, two virtual 10ks, and two in-person marathons. 

5k: 18:49 (Gritty 9/20/20); 19:36 (Thanksgiving 11/26/20) 

8k: 32:32 (Moorestown Scott Coffee 6/5/21)

10k: 41:59 (Corrida dia do Pai 3/20/21); 42:23 (Crescent City 4/3/21)

Half: 1:30:14 (EOT 4/9/21); 1:33:50 (Comrades 6/11/20)

Full: 4:20:23 (Naked Prussian 3/27/21); 3:22:23 (Jim Thorpe 5/23/21)

Lessons

Running is only one of the habits I do everyday, and rewarding. I am nearly at a year of meditating (5 minute-minimum using the Insight App) daily and at about a half-year of language study (at least one successful duolingo lesson a day). There are other things I do daily as well, such as reading and drinking coffee, but I don’t keep track of those by number.

The Future

I am going to continue to run, perhaps fewer miles per month. This October, I will run Boston and I don’t have any other races currently on the list.

I’d like to get back to training Muay Thai and continue to explore new incarnations of the Hour of History podcast and blog.

If you want to hear more about running, check out my conversation about Cross-country on the Hour of History:

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