Many of you who know me either well or mostly through Facebook, know that I run. Whether or not I am a "runner" is rather debatable, as running does necessarily institute being a runner. Just like playing a round of golf does not necessarily make you a golfer. I have been running consistently, mostly year around, for about 5 years now. Since that time I have completed 4 marathons, over a dozen half marathons, and a few other races including the brutal "wilderness race" called Crow Pass Crossing. So in December when my uncle posted that he was interested in running every day in 2011 I was intrigued at the challenge.
Over the Christmas holiday we discussed the challenge and even laid out our own rules, run at least 2 miles ever day in 2011, if you cannot run, a minimum of 4 miles on a bike would do. After pondering this challenge I was hesitant to fully commit, but I began the challenge anyway not entirely fully committed (I also got a bump in motivation with the GPS watch I got for Christmas).
A few days into the challenge something very ironic happened. My aunt, having flown into town a few days after Christmas, brought gifts with her so the family had another gift exchange event. The gift for me was a shirt that she soon realized was all too perfect. It was a Nike shirt that read on the front "Every Damn Day Just Do It." With that the Every Damn Day Challenge was born, or as we have called it, EDDC.
We (my mom also joined my uncle and I) are only 3 weeks into the challenge, which is just over 5% of total days in the year. So far in these 3 weeks we have had sickness, sub-zero weather, blowing snow, rain, late night runs, early morning runs, airport layover runs, and a swollen ankle. I can only imagine what the next 49 weeks will be like!
For those of you worried about the health risks of running everyday, head over to runeveryday.com, the official site for the United States Running Streak Association. Yes, this organization actually exists. There is a great article of caution to those looking to run every day that is a quick little read. But be sure and check out the active list. Here you will find 257 runners from all over the country who have run each day, at least 1 mile, for at least 1 year. For those who don't go there, the active streak and overall record is held be Mark Covert. This man has run at least 1 mile, every day, since July 23rd 1968! What is more astonishing is that there are 3 others who have also ran every day for more than 40 years!
Needless to say, I am looking forward to the next 11 months and the challenges (and pain) that it will bring. I am already seeing improvement in both my stamina, strength, run times, and endurance and its just the first month. I can't wait to see what other months bring!
Update: While I have really enjoyed the gains in my running from the EDDC, it has been a difficult year in that I have been running every single day. With that said, I do not plan on continuing this challenge beyond 2011 and would not recommend it to others (I have been very fortunate and lucky to not get seriously injured).