Monday, February 14, 2011

dailymile- In More Ways Than One

I started blogging, using dailymile and getting serious about my running all at the same time last May. The 3 feed off each other in many ways. When I run, I get to post on dailymile and/or blog about it and often get great feedback from the DM/blog community and FB friends. When I read blogs or dailymile posts from others, I get motivated to run. By keeping track of my runs on dailymile, I'm able to detect patterns, figure out my strengths and weaknesses and adapt my training accordingly. Likewise, by reflecting on past running blog posts of my own, I can see how much I've improved and create new mental and physical racing strategies. I really think the 3 (blog, DM, running) are inseparable at this point!

So, in part, I'd like to use this as a plug for dailymile for those of you out there who exercise but don't yet keep track of your exercise. dailymile is like a limited version of facebook that focuses only on exercise. You post your workouts and comment on those of your friends. It's a fun way to meet like minded folks and make virtual (or even 'real') friends. You can motivate others and get motivated by others. You can post up-coming races and connect with other dailymilers pre-race (like I did w/ Alisyn before the Maui Oceanfront marathon! Thanks for the pic!). Lastly, you can use dailymile to track your own progress. The analytic tools aren't super advanced but they are definitely good enough for me. For example, here's my daily mileage graph from January 16th to February 5th.

Notice all those one mile runs? What's up with that? Why would a marathoner run just 1 mile? I certainly don't mean to minimize a mile. It is a long way and when I first started running I could not run a mile. But now, it's a pretty small distance in my running world. (But it's like a marathon to me in my swimming world.....have to work on that.) So why get suited up and sweaty just for 8-10 minutes of running? Many of you may have guessed that it's because I am streaking! (Not that kind of streaking, people, the running kind.)

Streakers are a rare (and dare I say eccentric) breed of runners who by the definition of the United States Running Streak Association "run at least one continuous mile within each calendar day under one's own body power". The runs can be performed on "the roads, a track, over hill and dale, or on a treadmill". Once a runner has streaked for one year they may apply for membership in the USRSA. There are currently 343 members of the USRSA. I have no idea how many add'l folks have streaked for >1 yr but I gotta think it's not that many more. I mean, it's such an odd and inconvenient thing to do, right?

Even more crazy than the idea of streaking for 1 year is the idea of streaking for 40+ years as 4 members of USRSA have! Other fun facts about the official USRSA streakers:

  • There is an 80 yr old gentleman who has streaked for >35 years!

  • There are only 2 women who have streaked for >30 years. Methinks childbirth probably gets in the way for many members of the fairer sex.

  • There are 8 physicians who have streaked for >5 yrs.

  • There is a jet pilot, a missionary, a circus owner, a homeless shelter director and a school bus driver on the list.
But back to me (isn't this all about me in the first place?). Why am I doing this? The main reason I am streaking is that I am competitive and stubborn so when my husband (also a runner) said he planned to run 1 mile every day this year I said "me too!". I couldn't be shown up by my own husband, could I? Especially since I've been running for longer than he has! I've toyed w/ the idea of streaking before but never really took it seriously. Now I am. I'm so glad he came up with this idea and I love that we are both doing it. It makes it much easier to force yourself to get that mile done when you are both supported by your spouse and don't want to be the first one to break the streak!!

For me, streaking is another way to really prioritize exercise and cardiovascular health. Virtually all of us (I hope!) brush our teeth twice a day. Running 1 mile doesn't take a whole lot more time that that. When you combine the time it takes for teeth brushing w/ taking pills/vitamins, putting in contacts, shaving etc, setting aside 10 minutes a day to take care of your heart seems darn near mandatory compared to the probably 30 mins-1 hr a day we spend taking care of the more superficial parts of our bodies. For me, the hardest days will be post-overnight call. After being up for 30 hours the LAST thing I want to do is run. But do I brush my teeth post-call? Yes. Do I eat post-call? Yes. Do I put on my anti-wrinkle cream post call? Most of the time. So, for pete's sake, I can run 1 mile!

It's only 10 minutes.

Have you ever tried streaking? (Again, not THAT kind;) )

(Special thanks to Adam for coming up with this streaking idea in the first place:) )


  1. I just want to put my two cents in here and say that I recommend clothes when you run. Oh, wait - not that kind of streaking, right? :) All kidding aside, I think if it keeps you motivated it's a good thing. And I love Daily Mile - it's Facebook for runners!

  2. I've often thought of trying this, but then feel sometimes it's a bit too compulsive. Plus, I'm terribly lazy some days.

  3. wow, awesome streak! i also love dailymile. :)