Posts Tagged ‘chongqing’

Happy New Year! Ok, now that we’ve got the obligatory greeting out of the way, I want to address a topic near and dear to every UVA graduate’s heart: streaking.

Don't try this at home

No! Wait, not that kind of streaking, THIS kind of streaking:

Now THIS is how you streak!

That’s right, as of today, I’ve successfully run 1 mile or more, for 370 days in a row. That’s every day of 2015 and then some.  Hooray for me for keeping alive an unbroken chain of an arbitrary action!

Seriously though, I wrote a blog post approximately this time last year, where I discussed where my inspiration for a running streak came from. Since that day, I kept the streak going, and some great things came of it:

  • I managed to run despite a number of work trips (both domestic and international). I also saw some really amazing things because my streak forced me to get out and run where I might not have otherwise.
  • The logistics of travelling to China were one difficult (I ran at 11:00 at night the first night I arrived there, and had to impress air travelers in Dulles Airport with my running prowess on my way back, when I ran the length of C and D terminal until I completed my minimum 1 mile effort the day I returned to the States). But I was determined, and the smog/fog in Chongqing didn’t stop me the two days I was there, where I ran outside along the Yangtze River and even stopped to take a photo of some playful children:

Look, it's a bird, it's a plane - no, it's a statue pointing at a tree!

  • I also managed to have a much better set of runs in beautiful Genoa, Italy, where the weather was perfect and allowed me to explore part of the city. I even found a statue honoring Christopher Columbus in one of the town roundabouts (Columbus was reportedly born in the Republic of Genoa, a fact that the locals take great pride in):

They really like this Columbus dude

  • I certainly can’t forget about the time I ran in Plymouth after a giant snowstorm hit the Northeast. I ended up running laps around a Home Depot parking lot after the plows came through and cleared the snow – it was the only clear path in the area!

Iceberg, Goldberg, what's the difference?

  • A riverfront park in Linz, Austria also provided me with some great scenery. I was “stuck” in Linz for about two weeks, and took advantage of my time there to explore both the city and the surrounding countryside.

Even more comfortable than they look

  • Once you get a streak going, it’s not a matter of if you’re going to run, but when and where you’re going to run. I explored the parks and paths of Bahrain (thankfully, not during their hot season!), waved hello as I ran past a giant Mr. and Mrs. Potato-Head at the Disney Resort my family and I went to for Spring Break, and jogged across cobblestone streets in Savannah on our one night “layover” on the drive home.

How can you NOT wave back?

Of course, it wasn’t all glamorous routes that could belong on the cover of a Runner’s World magazine issue. I had countless days when I slogged through my mile (or more, when I was on a training plan) doing half-mile laps around my neighborhood at 10pm when I realized I had forgotten to get my run in that day (or had just procrastinated doing so). I inhaled a bug on one run that I SWEAR was the size of my pinky-nail, and ended up in a horrific coughing fit for the next 5 minutes. I suffered from most of the typical runner’s annoyances at one time or another (no need to go into detail, this humorous video does just fine). But through it all, I kept the streak alive, which I am inordinately proud of.

I’m also proud of my TWO (that’s right, two!) half-marathons that I ran this past fall. The first was the Charlotte Thunder Road race, and after months of training, I ran a great race and set a new personal record. The second was a month later on Kiawah Island (coincidentally, the day after aforementioned bug-sucking incident). I didn’t do quite so well in that one, possibly due to the 70 degree temperatures near the finish. But finish I did! Two half marathons in one year is another new record for me, and you really can’t complain when you set a record, right? RIGHT?

Some of my coworkers have asked me if I’ll keep the streak going for 2016. After all, I’m already over halfway to 730 days in a row! For now, I’m just giving them a smile and say, “We’ll see.” But between you and me – that streak is calling to me, asking me to extend it, maybe even improve it. And thinking of all the fond memories that came from doing my 2015 challenge, I feel myself caving to the power of the streak. So 2016 will be the year where I do a minimum of 1.5 miles a day, every day. After all, I streaked 365 last year – how hard can it be to keep the streak alive for another year?