What I learned from running 30 days in a row

Man running on a street path

Back in 2013 I had a slight health scare that served as the much-needed boost in motivation to get myself in gear and start looking after my body. I jumped on the Couch-to-5k bandwagon in March of that year and by September had lost 50lbs, cut my resting heart rate in half, doing wonders for my diet, mood and energy levels, and was looking better than I had in years. On September 28, 2013, I ran my first half-marathon, and though I performed worse than expected due to ridiculous temperatures and a rapidly inflaming case of hip bursitis, I finished.

I took a break from running to allow the injury to heal and found myself stuck in a rut that would take me two years to climb out of. I gained back weight from the lack of running and didn’t even fully shake off the hip injury. I tried to run here and there, including a few races and a failed half marathon attempt in December 2014 in which the injury caused me to retire at mile 9. Late February 2015 I was in bad shape and decided I just needed to power through and see if I could jumpstart running as a habit again, so I committed to running every day in March. Here are the important lessons I learned over the course of that fateful month:

  1. Rhythmic breathing is vital
  2. It gets easier every day
  3. My muscles didn’t tire as much I as feared they would
  4. I got faster every day
  5. It helped me to make healthier choices in other areas
  6. It replaces drinking as a wind-down
  7. It helped me sleep better
  8. Great motivation to stay hydrated
  9. Good bonding with the wife
  10. I lost weight
  11. I looked better
  12. I felt better
  13. My awful posture improved (though not as much as I’d hoped)
  14. The confidence in my own running ability returns
  15. I ran too much too quickly last time and my speed suffered as a result
  16. Apple’s Health App step counter isn’t as accurate as you might hope, especially when you are
    roughly the same height as Slenderman
  17. 5 days in Vegas is more than enough to undo a month of progress

Ah well, onward and upward.