This past Thanksgiving I started my first running streak. It came from a challenge at Runner’s World. The goal of the streak was to run at least a mile every day between Thanksgiving and New Years. I normally run 3-5 days a week, giving my body plenty of time to rest and recover from any muscle damage during runs. Since my marathon in October, my running has been rather sporadic, lacking a goal or passion. So I decided to embrace a new challenge.
The key for me was to keep my normal rest days easy, just a slow-pace mile or two. I wear a heart rate monitor so it was easy to check my pulse and see if I was pushing too hard. I have discovered that doing an easy mile was both relaxing and a great way to start the day.
I added to the challenge by making every run an outdoor run. Treadmills and indoor tracks have their place, but I wanted fresh air. This became more challenging when our first Minnesota snow fell in mid-December. Fortunately I had a pair of Yaktrax that gave me good footing. Still, for an outdoor run I often took twenty minutes to dress for a ten minute jog.
I did get a short break when I traveled to Austin, Texas, for a memorial service after Christmas. A ten-mile run in warm sunshine and shorts lifted my spirit and confidence.
I am not sure how long the streak will continue into the New Year. My legs are feeling strong and injury free. I have developed a habit that I enjoy and that promotes health. I suspect sometime in the next month a cold or tight schedule will end the streak. I don’t plan to be obsessive about it. I am confident that my running friends will be both encouragers as well as wise advisors.
It has got me wondering about my own spiritual practices. I pray daily, but my devotions have become sporadic and unfocused. The memorial service I attended was at an Episcopal church and it had more liturgy than I normally used. I found the prayers helpful and healing. So I have decided to use a written liturgy to guide my prayers during the month of January. You can see a copy of it here.
Thus, I am committing myself to new streak, a prayer streak. My first goal is to use the daily liturgical prayer format each morning for the month of January. Care to join me?
Lord Jesus, thank you for your tender mercies in 2012. Guide me deeper into your love in 2013