50 Lessons in 50 Days in 50 Runs

Today was my 50th day running in a row.

I know, you think I’m crazy. Most people do. But like they say, running is cheaper than therapy.

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I previously posted about someone doing a 50 day running streak and posting 50 things they learned. I don’t think I could come up with 50 things, but this is a great list.

Here’s the start. Link to the rest is below.

50 things I’ve learned during my 50-day running streak

by Matt Frazier

1. I finally understand those “Running is Cheaper than Therapy” t-shirts. The difference in my mood before and after my run is so noticeable that my wife has several times suggested (on certain, grumpy mornings) that I make today an early run day. And rightly so.

2. You can dramatically lower your breath rate (and as a result, your heart rate) if you learn to breathe through your nose and focus on taking more steps per breath.

3. If you don’t have the same trigger for your run every day (waking up, lunchtime, etc.), it’s easy to forget, and find yourself running at dusk to keep the streak going.

4. On that note, running hills right after dinner is a terrible idea.

5. You can go from zero motivation to full-on, can’t-think-about-anything-else mode in only two weeks or so. The key, for me, was inspiring reading and using the tools of habit change to get started.

6. The 10% rule really doesn’t matter much.

7. Hiking up hills can be a much better exercise than struggling to run up them, especially if you’re training for a trail race where you’ll have to hike.

49. A daily run is the perfect trigger for a quick set of pushups, situps, pullups, or whatever you choose. These things are so easy to do, and so easy not to do. Running every day has helped me to remember to do them.

50. This has been way too good, for both my body and mind, to stop at 50 days. I guess it’s 100 or bust!

41 more at this link: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/50-lessons-running-streak

Thanks Matt for these insights!

Now I need to decide if I am going to continue this streak. But for today, I’m putting my feet for the rest of the day.

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Criss Crossing the Neighbourhood

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Criss crossing the neighborhood
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Finally accomplished!

We did it!

We ran every single road, alley, side street, pathway, trail, and side walk in our neighborhood. It took us the whole of the December run streak and 90.5km. All but 7 of the runs were in this neighbourhood. Each color on the map is a different day. Most days were 2-3 km but on some of the last days we needed to get 6-7 km in to get some of the further away streets. And we had to keep checking the map each day to make sure we had got them all.

My teen daughter was very determined to get to every street and to run every day. Glad I had her for motivation.

We can confidently say that we saw all the Christmas lights in the neighborhood and we never repeated a single route.

It was a blast to change it up a bit!

Bow River Run

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We live in a beautiful winter setting. This run was right out my back yard.
13 km on the single track snow covered trails right next to the Bow River.

On New Years Day morning there were a whole lot of other runners all seemingly in a great mood. It was a great day for a run.

The geese and the ducks were huddled in the hundreds trying to ride out the winter in the icy river.

This run streak won’t last more than a couple more days since my normal schedule will jerk me back to reality. But in the meantime I am still counting.

Day 42 running streak

Happy New Years!

Objective: Burn Energy

We had some energy to burn on our long drive home after Christmas. It was still light so we stopped in the middle of the mountains at a rest stop and went for a run.

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Couldn’t ask for a better backdrop.

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We were eyeing up a nice virgin snow covered trail but upon closer inspection it was clearly only for skiers. Unfortunately we couldn’t see any other trails at this rest stop, so we had to go on the road. But this little side road had almost no cars on it. It was a significant uphill but that meant significant downhill all the way back.

2km completed

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This was near Field, on the road to Emerald Lake, just outside Banff National Park.

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Activity Objective: burn energy.
Objective completed.
Continue to next objective.

Running in New Snow

After a long day of skiing this run was really hard to get in. Our legs were tired, and it was dark.

But there was new snow again!

Running in new snow is the best.

Luckily we were able to scrounge a few dry items to wear after skiing.

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2.1k from the grandparents place on snow covered sidewalks.

Day 36 of the run streak

Winter Running in the Rockies – Lake Louise

We did a quick stop on our drive through the Canadian Rockies on the way to see the relatives for Christmas. We just couldn’t help ourselves and had to get out and run a bit. Beautiful.

We followed the trails groomed for skiing in Banff National Park in the town of Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies following the river upstream.

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I would love to get out here a bit more. Even though it is only 1.5 hours from home we don’t get here enough.

-15C, snow in shoes, wet socks, frozen fingers and nose. But super fun.

We kept it really short (2k) so we could get back to the road.

Day 33 run streak

Places to Run – Nose Creek Park

It was a beautiful day today for an afternoon run in the brisk cold air on a sunny day. I had a small window to get my run in between errands. After dropping someone off at the airport I picked a park I don’t often go to near the airport.

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This park, Nose Creek park, has mostly flat trails in a large open space but it is surrounded by subdivisions.

At this time of year the trails can be a bit tough and uneven, but I wasn’t in a hurry.

There were a bunch of dogs and their people out today but mostly it was a pretty quiet lonely trail.

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I definitely bundled up today even with no wind.
-15C and sunny.

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Nose Creek park is very popular with cyclists in the summer and walkers in the winter. Access and parking is not great since it is accessed off some big roads. But I guess that’s what keeps it a little less busy.

Today was 8.9km with 100m elevation going in and out of the small valley along the creek, mostly staying off the pavement. Trails through the fields are way more fun.

Run Streak Day 29

It’s not always pretty

Getting in a daily run during a run streak is not always prerty. Sometimes you need to pull out all the stops just to get it in.

Like yesterday.

My daughter needed to be at school extra early so I didn’t get a morning run in.

I didn’t remember my running shoes (or winter running gear) so I didn’t get a lunch run in.

I had to be home early so we could leave right away for our evening meeting, so I couldn’t get a pre-dinner run in.

We would be home after 9:00 and I didn’t want to run in our neighbourhood quite that late.

We got to our evening meeting 10 minutes early which was just enough time to squeeze in a 2 km run. But I only had my work shoes (Vibram insoles though), work shirt and heavy coat.

But I ran anyways.

And my daughter came too. But her “formal” evening shoes were bright green running shoes. It’s not fair that I can’t get away with that.

It wasn’t long enough or fast enough to really get all sweaty. But we did get it done.

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It’s not always a great run, but it was a run, and runs have benefits.

Run streak day 18 (23 to go)

Elbow Valley Trail – Places to run

Today I ran with an avid group of trail runners in the foothills between Calgary and the Rockies. There sure are some amazing trails, even in winter conditions.

There was uneven hard packed snow the whole way which made the trail very difficult. Cleats were absolutely necessary today. My ankles will be sore for a few days.

But the views were amazing.

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Mostly single track with a little double track (5 minutes max). Only two bikes, three horses, 8 hikers and no other runners – for 3.5 hours! You don’t get that kind of loneliness on a lot of trails.

Fresh bear tracks only once although it was right beside a fresh kill. We definitely keep the adrenaline flowing on these runs.

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Bragg Creek is 20 minutes west of Calgary. Go another 15 minutes along highway 66.

We ran Elbow Valley Trail starting at Station Flats and turning around at Prairie Mountain.

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It was a great way to start off a Saturday.

21 km – 700m vertical (ie lots of hills!)

Run streak day 15. 26 to go.

Running with Teenagers

So I’ve created a big problem for myself. My wife says she had nothing to do with it, and it is my responsibility to either fix it or work through it. She didn’t create this and is quietly laughing as I figure out how to resolve it.

I have two teen daughters (14 & 13). Both daughters are avid runners. I have encouraged their running for many years and they both really enjoy it. They are in every race they can find, school cross-country, school track team, and run club cross country series.

But the big problem comes in that both daughters want to train with me, and only me. Not with each other, and not alone. We don’t have a treadmill, so every run is outside, and every run must be done with me.

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Both daughters race or train up to three times per week, especially in the Spring, depending on how close a target race is at. And now it is Run Streak month (#RWRunStreak) and one daughter is determined to run every day until the end of the year.

I love running and spending time with them. We talk about life, homework (eg. the importance of the Renaissance Period, and reciting pi to nth decimal places), running, and lots of other stuff (eg. how to dance the jive).

I don’t mind all the running and their pace has definitely quickened in the last couple years so I am not really going that much slower than I would normally.

But coordinating our evenings is getting rather complicated. Our evenings lately have been spurts of heading out the door with #1, going back out again with #2, and if I have energy left, going for a stroll with my wife.

The upcoming half-marathon in the Spring is also going to be difficult to figure out. I ran the half with daughter #1 (her first) in 2015 with the younger being jealous that she didn’t get to run a half. This year, daughter #2 wants to run her first half as well. So I’m figuring out how to pace both daughters (and one of their friends) when they all run at different speeds. Wish me luck as I figure that one out.

Running with teenagers can be complicated. But I feel pretty lucky to still have something in common with them.