Yes, I am streaking through the holiday season!

I love a good goal. And the holiday season is the ideal time to set a few fitness objectives. Like many runners, I need an extra push at this time of year.

The holiday food orgy unofficially begins with Halloween and runs right through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and all the way to Easter. Sure, you know the drill.

I really don't want to turn into a couch potato -- or even a sweet potato.

I'd rather not wind up in any spud-like form at all. I’ve had winters in which I’ve become something of a slug, hunkering indoors without exercising nearly enough. And I’ve paid for this inactivity in the spring, when races picked up speed again. It's hard to come back, if things slip that far.

(Besides, I have a pretty significant 
personal running goal coming up in 2018, 
so I have to stick with the training. 
Watch for more on that in an upcoming post – 
when I have the official paperwork!)

This year, I’m doing the holiday streak again. 

That means I’ve committed to run at least one mile each day – from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. Sure, one mile doesn’t sound like much. But there are days when excuses can abound:

  • Sloppy white stuff can fall from the sky.
  • The wind chill can drop to dangerous levels.
  • Family and friends can drop by … and stay for a while.
  • Party invitations can come along.
  • Holiday baking may beckon.
  • Year-end deadlines can pile up.
  • Christmas decorating and gift wrapping may need to be done.
  • Winter flu can hit.
  • Or I might just not feel like doing much for once.

Those are the times when a holiday streak commitment can come in handy. Even if it’s just a mile.

A race director I know runs an annual challenge called The Holiday Mile. Participants sign up to run a mile a day (during the same period) and report them on the event website. Then they can earn finisher medals (for the virtual event) and buy the event tee shirts. I didn’t sign up this year, but I’m tracking my own similar goal. (Bills have piled up lately, and I don’t want to admit how many running tee shirts I already have.)

Runners World has the #RWRUNSTREAK, which is similar.

Hey, it all helps. 

Some of us need an additional motivator.

At the same time, I’m participating in a holiday fitness challenge with my fellow Team RWB members in our city. We’re tracking at least 30 minutes of physical exercise each day, also from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. And we’re posting our workouts in an online group.

This is fun. We check in daily to spot snapshots of activity trackers and treadmill screens, sweaty selfies, and group gym photos. The game is on!

So bring on the turkey and pumpkin pie. Pass the Christmas cookies. Fill my cocoa mug. I’m gonna get out there and burn those calories anyway! Who else is up for it? The more, the merrier.

Gotta love the holidays … and holiday challenges.

Adapted by this user from public domain image

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Sick days are setbacks for runners!

Days are slipping by, and I’d sure love to slip on my sneakers. But I’ve been stuck in my slippers for a few days. OK, I’ve stepped out for essential errands and meetings. But my running has fallen back a bit this week.

Blame it on a respiratory infection, bringing a stuffy and pounding head and a racking chest cough. And an ear infection. And a whole constellation of related symptoms.

Setbacks indeed!

Thank God for antibiotics, even if they make me feel pretty yucky. Hey, people used to die from fairly simple infections before these wonder drugs came around. So I’m truly thankful.

Right about now, I’m waiting for the meds to kick in and do their stuff. It’s been 48 hours since I left the walk-in clinic and started prescriptions.

But I still can’t get out there and break into a real run without breaking into a cold sweat and a coughing fit before the first mile marker. I’m jogging and logging shorter distances and sticking to indoor options. (Did I mention I hate the treadmill?)

OK, this might be an exaggeration. Not actually dying. Just dying to run.

C’mon, recovery! I have miles to run. I have a year-end total to chase. I have dogs that need to run off some steam. I have a longer race coming up in one week. And I have a brand-new Garmin to test out. (I had to ditch the Fitbit. That’s another story!)

Time is running out for this runner! Can’t wait to feel better.
Adapted by this user from public domain images

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