Thinking About Quitting The Streak

So as many of you know, I’ve been running every day.  I have run every single day since June 1, 2009.  I started the streak as a way to motivate myself to run more.  I would run into weeks where I hadn’t run all week, saying “I’ll run tomorrow”.  The streak eliminated that, tomorrow was not an option.  I had to run today.  And it was great, and it worked.

[Disclaimer:  PLEASE do not respond to this post about how running is bad for me, or how running every day is bad for me.  I know how it affects me physically and I have had zero running-related issues over the last 3 1/2 years.  THAT is not the issue here.]

The problem is now that I feel like the streak rules me, rather than me ruling the streak.  It doesn’t feel motivating, it feels like a chore.  Running has lost it’s fun for me.  And I don’t run nearly the distances that I used to.  Not because I can’t, but because I don’t want to.

So I’m thinking of quitting the streak.

But there is a lot of emotion tied up in that simple sentence.  Running every day for 3 1/2 years has become a part of me.  Part of who I am, part of my identity.  It isn’t a decision I can make lightly.  As goofy as that may seem to some of you.  I know I’m close to ready.  There were times during the streak when circumstances looked like I might not get my run in and I was heartbroken.  I don’t feel that now.  Maybe just sadness and relief.

I haven’t decided anything at this point.  I’ll still run today.  And definitely tomorrow (to work off that Thanksgiving pumpkin pie).  But after that?  Not sure.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I am so grateful to all of my awesome friends who supported my running habit.  Those of you who said “not on my watch!”.  Thank you.

  • Jess Stratton

    It sounds like you have already made your decision. ;-) it doesn’t feel quite right yet, and you are smart and wise enough to know that you’re *almost* ready, but not quite just yet. That’s perfectly fine. Soon you WILL be ready, and then it will feel right, and you’ll be smart and wise enough to recognize that it’s the right time. You don’t need our blessing, I’m sure there is a small part of that in there as well. – Jess “not on my watch” Stratton :-p

  • http://www.runningnotes.net Kathy Brown

    Jess, Did I ever tell you I love when I hear “It sounds like…” from you?  You always distill my blathering into something coherent.

  • Roy Rumaner

    Make it through to the end of the year and then decide if you want to continue into 2013 or not. Don’t quit so close to the end of the year. Either way you go, I am more than a little impressed with what you have accomplished. I am lucky if I walk one mile around my subdivision three times a week.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4N4KKBOGN6YITLULRDHZDLKJMQ boconorm

    Hello Kathy.  We have crossed paths a few brief times over the years. You know I like to run and I understand the delima. I think there are many levels of remarkable here. The way you have stuck to it, the way you have made it through fairly injury free and others. My thought is if it was me, I would like to end it on my terms. You are not ending it because you have to, but it is what you want to do. And if the fun is gone out, what purpose is there to continue? However, that being said, the next time we are at the same conference, I better finally get a run in with the famous Kathy Brown.
    –Edit– Did not put my name it the comment. Norman Cox here.

  • http://www.runningnotes.net Kathy Brown

    Ha, I will definitely not be quitting running altogether.  Thanks for your comments.  See you at Lotusphere, errr IBM Connect?

  • Steve Castledine

    Running can become like this fir me and sometimes a break does the world of good in many ways. From personal experience its the getting back on the road is the hard part. Running makes me want to run, stopping makes me ‘can’t be bothered’ until I force myself. Then i create new routes, new varied distances, and time them and make sure I keep getting quicker. Than i’m back on it again. Then about every 12 weeks I stop again, so it don’t rule me, I rule the run. :)

  • http://twitter.com/GarrettWolthuis Garrett Wolthuis

    I was going to post something brilliant, witty, and inspirational but Jess beat me to it. :-p 

    You’ve never struck me as someone who looks back on decisions with a lot of regret. You seem to weigh the options carefully, make a decision, and jump in with both feet. So if you’re concerned that people will look at you differently because you stopped streak, put that thought right out of your head. Your friends care about you for so much more than, and for reasons that most likely have nothing to do with, your running. There’s a difference between a quitter and a finisher. And you, my dear, are a finisher.

  • Nathan Freeman


  • http://www.runningnotes.net Kathy Brown

    Thanks, Garrett.

  • http://www.runningnotes.net Kathy Brown

    lol, I just hear your voice saying “BEEP”.

  • http://twitter.com/the_turtle The Turtle 

    I understand.

    Run if you want to.  Do not run if you do not want to. If there is something more important that day, do it.  Running will be there when you get back.