Last weekend I celebrated my second anniversary of every day running. I wrote a post on Facebook about it. In between the likes a perfectly reasonable question was asked: Why? I will try to give an answer, and also to give a few glimpses of how these two years have been. But first, why.
It started up with bad knees. My right knee hurt when I went out running. Therefore, I didn’t run that often. And when I did, most of the time I ran too far, so my knee started to hurt again. A vicious cycle, you know. I went to a specialist who gave me a choice: either surgery, or just see what happens. I chose the latter, already regretting my choice on the way back home. But specialists like that don’t usually sit around waiting for people to drop by through the lack of something to do. So the months I already waited connived me to let it go; now I had to try to see what happens. Later on that spring, the daily newspaper Corren carried an article about a man who was suffering from similar injuries, and that what was recommended by his physiotherapist was to run shorter distances more often. And in the article every day or streak running was mentioned. I thought that this was an insane idea. We all know that it is important to have a good old rest between workouts. And, of course, I had to give it a go! The same day I started to run.
The first week I just thought, give it one week. And then I can quit. So I gave it one week; and then two. Still surprised that it was possible. Then the third week came. And I just carried on, probably a bit surprised about it all, if I remember rightly. Around this time my mental approach to running started to change. Gradually my focus shifted from ‘is it possible to run every day?’ to ‘for how long is it really possible?’ Perhaps a subtle difference, but for me the difference was quite apparent. I went from having a laugh, to more of a serious curiosity about how long.
Before I go on, I think that I have to clarify what I mean when I talk about running. I’m not in a hurry. I’m not participating in any races. I run once every day, in the morning, evening or even in the night. I have one rule: to run more than 1 mile, 1.61 km every day. Actually I’m lazy and don’t push myself if I don’t want to. Most of the time I’ve run a bit more than 2 km, but many times 5 km and sometimes 15 km up to 20 km. But that is on rare occasions. I have a family, and there are other things that have to be done every day. So I can’t be out for hours. But I can always squeeze in 2 km. And if I feel good, am healthy and not injured, and I have the time, I go out for a longer run.
This is my philosophy of running, and it suits me fine. The best thing about running every day is that if I’m tired, or think it is boring, or I am short of time, I don’t feel bad if it is a short run, i.e. at least 1.61 km. During the two years since I started to run every day, I have never felt bad, or stressed for not working hard enough, or that I’ve run too short a distance; because I always know that I will run tomorrow. It is a sort of guilt-free running. Running always makes me feel good. But of course I don’t train for anything particular. So I can’t fail – I can only be a winner. This is my philosophy, and most of the time my practice. But not always. Sometimes logistics are in the way.