The joys of streaking!

It’s not what you think!

‘Streaking’ is a running term for running every day for a lot of days in a row.

You were thinking something totally different, weren’t you?

It’s not something I have ever embraced before, I’ve always felt the need to have at least one day a week off running, to keep myself fresh and prevent injury.

The thing that got my ‘streak’ started was the ‘Run Against Violence’ virtual run. I was part of a team of 10 that got pretty competitive, and to, I guess, pull my weight, I decided to run every day during the 18 day challenge. Even so, I was not contributing anywhere near the miles that some of my teammates were! We reached our 1300km goal in just 9 days, but decided to keep going (albeit not running such crazy distances!) for the full 18 days to see how far we could get. We got to just over 2000km and I contributed 175km, significantly more than I would have, had I not run every day.

My first run of the ‘Run Against Violence’, and Day 2 of the streak. I called it ‘Junk miles’ but I’ve since realised that a run for the sake of running, doesn’t necessarily have to be junk!

The next thing that motivated me was a little thing on the ‘parkrun adventurers’ Facebook page called ‘Streaky September’. I found out about it after September had already started, but I hadn’t missed a day yet, so I decided I’d run (the rules say at least 2km each day) every day of the month.

So what has streaking done for me?

Well firstly, I’ve started a new routine of running Monday and Wednesday mornings (normally my ‘rest’ days) straight after my Pump class at the gym. It’s a way to get my run in in the morning, and without cooling down too much after my class. I mapped out an easy 4k loop which included a bit of uphill and a bit of downhill.

I’ve now run this loop 4 times, and each time has been significantly faster than the last! I doubt this trend will continue but it seems that it’s good speed training (which works out well, because I haven’t done ‘proper’ speed training in quite a while!)

This is a pretty good looking graph!

It’s interesting to see how I am going on each of the Strava segments (I’ll get a CR on one of them, one day!) but there is something a bit sus about this one…

Check out that average pace! That HAS to have been done in a car!

SA’s biggest running event, City-Bay, happened this weekend just gone. I’d run it 4 years in a row, but this year I’d decided for the first time since I started running, to give it a miss. My main reason was that I didn’t think I would be able to do a time I’d be happy with. I wasn’t even sure if I’d get sub 60 minutes (which would have made it a personal worst!) so I thought it was better if I didn’t run, and trained properly for next year.

Because I wasn’t running City-Bay, I went up to the launch of the new Nuriootpa parkrun in the famous Barossa Valley, and, because most fast runners were resting before City-Bay, managed to snag the course record (I expect for one week only!) and celebrated in the only way I felt appropriate, with coffee followed by wine tasting!

There was more wine later in the day too – my friend Donna is getting back into running after a long break, and was keen to do a run up in the Hills with me, suggesting we could go wine tasting afterwards! Of course I said yes! (I had previously convinced her to enter the 5k at the upcoming McLaren Vale Half Marathon, with the promise of wine tasting afterwards – are you sensing a pattern here?)

Part of the tasting menu at Hahndorf Hill Winery. I hadn’t really heard of this winery before but they had one wine, the Blaufrankisch, which blew my mind!

Then on Sunday, I wanted to go down to the finish of City-Bay at Glenelg to see my friends. Driving there wasn’t really an option, as the main road to Glenelg, Anzac Highway, would be closed. And I wanted to keep my streak going. I could have run there and back, but I didn’t really want to run that far. I thought 12km was ideal, as that was the distance of City-Bay. So I decided to drive to Seacliff, about 6km from Glenelg, with the bike in the car, and run a little ‘out and back’ 12km.

Cracking day for it!

My time for the 12k was 1 hour 1 minute, so that pretty much justified my decision not to run City-Bay. Sure, I probably would have run the race slightly faster but there’s still an excellent chance I would have been slower than my slowest and first City-Bay.

I then jumped on the bike and rode to Colley Reserve where I saw a lot of people I knew, all happy with how they’d gone! My old nemesis Graham was there and asked me why I hadn’t run, and I told him. He then said “But you’re doing Yurrebilla next weekend, aren’t you?” to which I replied “No, and for the same reason!” His response was “You do realise that not everything has to be a race?” This is true, but I don’t really fancy running an event when I know I probably will be slower than I have been in the past. It’s the same reason I’m not running the Heysen 105 this year. Tower Trail Run back in June was an example of a run I went into, not expecting to do well, but just wanting to go and enjoy it. So it is possible! (And I DID enjoy it!)

It was good to get in a little ride on the road in my bike shoes too – the first time riding on the road since I’d bought the bike. I haven’t quite figured out how to turn right yet – oh well, all in good time!

The streak continues! Yurrebilla 56k is on next Sunday and I will be volunteering. I have been asked to MC the start (the first group starting at 6am so no chance of a run beforehand!) and also to help out at the finish. I said yes, absolutely, on the condition that I get the chance to go for a sneaky run sometime in between the start and the finish!