What Forrest Gump and I Have in Common

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It was a little over a year ago when I decided that I was going to go on a bit of a running streak. Before this I ran frequently, and in the last few years I trained for and ran both a half and a full marathon. So it’s not like I’m new to this running game.

I made a deal with myself to run for at least two kilometers every single day for as many days in a row that I could. I had no specific ‘end goal’ in mind, the whole point was just to run more.

At first it was relatively easy. I mean, I started in the month of May, when the weather is great and only gets better from there. I sailed through the summer months without giving it a lot of thought.

In mid-August I hit the 100-day mark. Whoa! 100 days. I’ll admit, I felt pretty bad-ass. And yet, I didn’t feel quite finished. I decided to continue with the streak and see where I ended up with it.

And so…I kept running. Some days saw nice long runs…10…15….even 20 km. Other days, I only hit the minimum (2 or 3 km). It really depended on how early I managed to get up in the morning and how good I was feeling. If I felt like I needed a “rest”, I would run a couple of kilometers and call it good. If I was feeling great, then I would run for as long and as far as time would allow me. I toyed with the idea of training for either a half or a full marathon, but life kind of took over and I failed to make it a priority.

Still…I ran. Some days feeling a little more like Forrest Gump than I would have liked.

That's me. Just without the  beard and the gaggle of adoring fans.

That’s me. Just without the beard and the gaggle of adoring fans.

And then…winter hit. And it wasn’t just any winter, kids. It was a particularly brutal one. Storm after storm after storm hit.

But guess what? I kept running. Every day, for at least 2 km. There were plenty of days when I thought that this was going to be “The Storm” that finally stopped me. But then the plow would come by and I would think, “Well, it’s not THAT bad out there…” and I’d lace up and head out.

Now, let’s stop and think about this for a moment. I am a self-professed wimp when it comes to the cold and particularly winter running. I run in the winter a bit, but I also struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder every year, too. Which makes things more…complicated interesting.

Y’see…exercise really helps when you’re feeling emotionally and physically low. Getting a bit of a sweat on is one of the recommended treatments for S.A.D. The only problem is, when you’re feeling tired and cranky and sluggish, really the last thing you want to do is go out in the dark and the cold and run.

As the winter pressed on and it began just beating people down, I got pissed. And stubborn. I decided that there was no way I was going to let the winter defeat me.

Not this time.

The result was some pretty effed-up running conditions, if I do say so myself.

I bring you, Exhibit A:

Uh...yeah. Those are my footprints in the unplowed street. Which street? Not so sure about that anymore. Does it really even matter?

Uh…yeah. Those are my footprints in the unplowed street. Which street? Not so sure about that anymore. Does it really even matter?

How ’bout Exhibit B?

I trudged through this out to the main street, which was cleared. This was after our biggest storm of the season. IN MARCH. I was ready to punch a snowbank by this point.

I trudged through this out to the main street, which was cleared. This was after our biggest storm of the season. IN MARCH. I was ready to punch a snowbank by this point.

And this photo, friends, perfectly sums up my feelings about this past winter:

 

Screw you, Old Man Winter.

Screw you, Old Man Winter.

And then finally the snow began to melt. Milder temperatures (eventually) prevailed. And, like our friend Forrest Gump, I kept running. And running.

And on May 10th I hit the goal that I’d had in my sites for a while now: One Year. 365 days solid of running…all outdoors…in one of the worst winters we’ve had in recent memory.

Crazy? Stubborn? Dedicated? I dunno. Maybe all three. All I know is that it’s now May 25th and I’m still running.

felt like

Only time will tell where it will take me.

3 Responses

  1. This post just made me laugh out loud. I would however argue with you about the gaggle of fans! I know you have many

  2. […] I wrote about last week, I recently completed a year-long running streak. (And felt like a certain fictional character in the process). I’ve been thinking about this […]

  3. […] been muddling through and trying to deal with the stress as best I can. Running definitely helps. So does ice cream – that is, until I start worrying about my pants getting […]

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