35 days

This past May I turned 35. Really. It’s hard for even me to believe I’m 35. To celebrate I decided I would challenge myself by running at least one mile a day for 35 days straight. Crazy, right? Sure, except I’ve ran the standard 5k, 8k and 10ks as well as a half marathon back in May 2011 so I figured running 35 days in a row wouldn’t be that hard. Plus, my husband had finished quite the running streak over the winter by running none stop from Thanksgiving through New Years and then some.

My initial goal was to increase my weekly distance week over week by 10%. Mind you I wasn’t planning on running any more than 3-4 miles on what I would call my “long run” days. Below are my weekly mileage totals and I have to say I’m pretty happy considering I ran 51 miles in 35 days. I didn’t accomplish the 10% weekly increase but I’m still happy with the results.

The most challenging part of the entire thing was organizing my personal life around my daily mileage requirements. You would think running one mile wouldn’t be that bad, but when you take into account the amount of time it takes to gather your clothes, get dressed, pull your hair back in pigtails, grab your phone, keys, ID bracelet and put on your running shoes, you’ve already wasted about 20 minutes. I’m no speed demon when it comes to running so my average mile during the entire experience was probably 11:30.

The biggest surprise was how fatigued my body felt after the first week and a half to two weeks of running. I think that’s why you see a drop in my mileage for week three. But my body eventually recovered and week four turned out to be the best week out of all five weeks.

The best part of the entire experience was having my husband, who runs marathons and is getting ready to run his first 200 mile relay with friends next weekend, ran with me on the last day of my challenge which just so happened to be our four year wedding anniversary. Normally, my husband wouldn’t run with me because I’m so much slower than he is and he’s almost a foot taller than I, but he was sore from a long run the previous day. It was a perfect ending to a fun run challenge.

I encourage others to get out there and challenge themselves to something similar even if it’s only walking one mile a day. You’ve got to start somewhere and why not start today. You can do it!

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