The End of the Run Streak

After 1,100 days and countless miles, my run streak is complete!

Over the past 3 years, I have run at least a mile per day on every terrain imaginable. I started the run streak on November 23, 2017. Initially, my intent for the run streak was to change my relationship to running. What was supposed to be a 40-day streak to get back in the running groove turned into—if I’m honest—a bit of a compulsion to prove to myself that I had will power to dedicate time to myself every day.

Over these past few years, running has brought me to some interesting places. I’ve run in the Australian outback at 3:30 in the morning, in many an airport (remember airports?), on the beach next to sleeping seals in the Galapagos, and in my living room, when it was too cold, I was too tired, or the schedule of my day didn’t line up.

The run streak permitted me to take time for myself. Running allowed me to be with my thoughts and to keep my body in motion. In the early days of the pandemic, I would use the run streak to cry while listening to the stories coming out of New York City and New Orleans hospitals, talk with my family across the country, or wave hello to the many new runners I saw who were just like me—trying to make sense of an unfathomable experience. It was grounding, and my runs carried me through some dark times.

To me, running is an excellent way of staying close while being apart. Each run is unique and universal—anyone who has run for a while knows the jubilation of a run well done and the frustration of a run that didn’t go quite as you had planned. The little waves that I would give my fellow runners on the trails made me feel like I was still connected with my community, even when we ran on opposite sides of the street.

I stopped running on November 26, 2020, at 1,100 days. I was in the midst of my second trimester, and I wanted to choose my end date rather than having my body choose for me. Not running these past months have been strange. I appreciate the time and the freedom to exercise how I want to (or don’t want to) each day, but I feel like I am missing a daily check-in with myself. I keep going back and forth over whether I’ll start a new run streak in the spring after I’ve been cleared for exercise. I know I will need the dedicated time with myself, but I want to keep the door open to more exercise options. Thankfully, running will always be there when I’m ready to pick it back up.