Mindful Runner

100-day running challenge (Day 28)

This post was also shared on Justrunlah at this link: https://www.justrunlah.com/2019/03/02/100-day-running-challenge/

28 February 2019 – I broke my own record of running 10KM every day for 28 consecutive days now since 1st February and I am aiming to continue until the 100th day.

I am inspired by a Japanese man who runs a marathon distance every day for 100 days, his name is Mitsuhiro Ueyama. He is into his 90th day now and he will carry on running till the 100th day. Imagine the mental toughness this man has! His recovery method will be to take a cold shower followed by a warm bath and repeat it 3 times every day and to make sure he gets enough protein. Needless to say about those blistered and bruised toes and feet that only long distance runners understand. Normal runners like us need to take a few days off after running a marathon to recover but this man repeats the marathon again every single day! Amazing? You can find him on Strava and give him your support and kind words.

My average running mileage last year was only around 83 KM a month. I would normally run 4 – 5 days a week. Sometimes lesser when I was injured. Since my plantar fasciitis has recovered, I started to run more regularly again. This year, after reading about Mitsuhiro Ueyama’s 100-day challenge, I decided to set a challenge for myself – Run 10 KM every day for 100 days. I set it at 10 KM because it’s challenging for me and I want to test my perseverance. Of course, I have to make sure that I don’t get injured. Running 70 KM a week and 300 KM a month is something really out of my league. I was worried at first, unsure if I was able to complete this challenge but I am determined to give it a go anyway and see how it will turn out. 28 days have passed in a wink and I am feeling good.

The first 2 weeks of consecutive running did result in tired legs but I would still go out for an easy run every day and only stopped after I had clocked 10 KM. The idea of running easily at every run is to allow me to run again the very next day, without feeling burned out. If the weather is bad, raining heavily with a thunderstorm, I would run indoors. Nothing should stop me from clocking my 10 KM every day other than injury or sickness.

Sometimes I feel downhearted that my running pace is slow and I am unable to push myself to run faster. On the other hand, I don’t want to push too hard because I need to run again in less than 24 hours. I feel accomplished every day after clocking the minimum distance required, no matter what is the pace. I console myself not to preoccupy my mind over the pace and embrace each run, treating it as a MAF training. Occasionally pushing a little harder just to make me feel better. There were days the runs were difficult and my legs felt heavy, and there were days the runs were light and effortless and I felt that I could go on forever.

How do I feel after running every day for 28 days and clocking 280 KM? Stupendous! Other than the usual muscle fatigue and trivial pain here and there and episodes of heartburn (I had to take antacid), nothing is of major concern. There were times I would feel tired and less motivated and asked why do I want to challenge myself?  But 5 minutes later, I still headed out of the door and just ran. It has become a habit, an autopilot and happens naturally every day. The run is non-negotiable no matter how I feel. I will carry on until I reach my goal and see what happens. I don’t think of it as a chore, I think of it as an enjoyment, alone time and it’s a privilege to be able to run.

Although losing weight is not my focus, but I will be happy to see a smaller waistline as a bonus. I already feel my pants are getting a little loose nowadays. If I manage to run till day 100 (clocked 1000 KM), probably I will have a little celebration, treating myself to a good meal, indulge in sparkling juice and take a short break. After that? I highly suspect it will feel weird to stop running even for a day. So… keep running!

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