Runner’s World running streak recap

Prior to joining the Runner’s World summer running streak, I had never run more than 4 or 5 days in a row. I didn’t feel any need to go out every single day. I like my rest days. And more than that, I don’t want to have to wash my long hair daily.

Got in a super short trail run during the hike

That changed from Memorial Day through Sean’s birthday, also known as Independence Day/Fourth of July. I was looking for a way to come back from my post marathon slump when I’d been putting up 50 and 25 miles total for April and May, respectively.

The rules of the running streak were easy enough: run at least one mile for the 38 day stretch between the two holidays.

I didn’t find the challenge tough to follow, but that’s probably because I did the minimum half the time, especially in the last ten days or so.

General observations:

1. My neighborhood is generally safe enough for short late night runs. (Of course I say this with a sample size of one and a few late night runs.)
I’ve always been a night runner, but had never pushed it past 9-10ish. If it got late and I didn’t get my run in, oh well. That wasn’t an option if I wanted to keep up with the streak. I could’ve gone to the gym, but that would’ve added more time and didn’t really seem worth it for a mile or two.

The first time I went out after 11 pm was after a Dodger game. I did it a few more times after parties or when the day was too busy.

I took precautions for my late night runs. I went out for only a mile to keep it short and close, took my phone, stayed on well-lit streets and let Sean know where I’d be. Once I took out the family dog, VR. The only odd thing that happened was getting startled by a dog’s barking and almost tripping on the sidewalk.

2. The treadmill is okay for short runs and warm-ups.
There’s really no reason for me to rely on a treadmill. I can understand that if it’s very hot, but summer in west LA is generally nice. If I was a day/morning runner, I’d consider taking it indoors since I want to avoid sunburns and odd running tans this summer.

3. Short runs are okay on off days from New Rules of Lifting for Women workouts, but not in the first week.
I would’ve preferred resting on the off days from the first few NROLW workouts. After the initial week or two, I wasn’t really sore anymore, but my legs did feel heavy and I tired easily.

4. I’d consider another running streak challenge, but only if it doesn’t coincide with marathon or half marathon training.
If I’m doing long runs or speed training, I’d definitely like to have the following day off. Additionally, I like the flexibility of being able to move a run from Tuesday to Wednesday if needed. Last, the time commitment to a running streak isn’t much compared to all the long runs.

5. Night running in summer really gets in the way of a social life.
There’s so much going on in the evenings, but I ignored it because I had to run every evening after work.

14. Time for today's run. It's sad this is a "long run" these days.

Running streak by the numbers:
61.4 miles for the 38 days, not much I know
15.2 treadmill miles, done as a warm-up for NROLW workouts
9 runs after 9 pm, 1 was lit up by Fourth of July fireworks
4 runs after 11 pm, (I procrastinate, just a little)
18 runs that were just one mile
4 miles = long run (done once)
1 downhill mile run during a hike with my mom and sister in the Angeles National Forest
1 mile run after eating and drinking way too much at Mamá Toni’s 90th birthday part


The new-ish job

“So, what’s new?”

I used to hate hearing that from friends. Well, it was one friend — more like ex-boyfriend — who would started conversations with that question.

What’s new with what? Can’t you be more specific?

Then there came a time when I hated the question simply because I didn’t have anything new to talk about. I was in the same city, same apartment, same graduate program, same part-time job, same relationship status, etc.

That’s changed recently. I left my graduate program*. I got a new job. My living situation will change. I’m getting married. There’s plenty of new in my life.

About the new job, it’s more new-ish than actually new. Since 2006 I’ve worked in a department that runs various undergraduate research programs for science students. In my half-time position, referred to previously as Job1, I was a coordinator for an academic support program for freshmen and sophomores. I loved working with [Program], but knew I couldn’t stay on if/when I left graduate school as the position is intended for a graduate student.

Leaving grad school became a lot easier when I was offered a full-time position in the same department/office. It was an easy to say yes to the job. Rather than go to a new company, university or even department I’m still in the same office just at a different desk. I’ll tangentially work with [Program], but the bulk of my job is managing research programs for upperclassmen. Even though I’ve been in this office for a while, I feel like the new kid as I attend various trainings and rely on co-workers to figure things out. At least it helps that I worked closely with the previous two people who held this position.

I’m grateful the timing worked out and that my boss thought I’d be a good fit for the position. I know the job market sucks right now; I’m lucky to have easily found something in my field and in a great work environment.

*Many thanks for the thoughtful and supportive comments on the graduate school post. It was a tough decision, but the support of friends, family and my Job1 supervisor made it much easier.