Guest Blogger Nancy Cook

Me at the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge circa 1990's

When I think of streakers, I think of crazy people.  Remembering back when I was a ski patroller at Killington one of only 5 woman patrollers, we would get the random call of a “nudity” issue on the slopes – whether it was male, female, topless, bottomless or both! :)  My friend Ned was “famous” for streaking through the Rutland mall parking lot and we continuously would laugh about those days! If you are wondering – the answer is no, I never did ski topless.  :)  I did however ski with tights on and my Louis Garneau bike outfit. :)

But now streaking has taken on a new meaning to me. Runners World put forth the challenge to get people up and running every day for at least a mile from Thanksgiving to New Years. Since I was currently running consecutive days and loving these motivations to keep on the pavement, I joined in. I was able to talk a few of my dailymile friends to do the same.  It was Sandra and I who braved it out those short winter days to get our runs in and shared  ”you are a rockstar” motivations!  At first I thought that maybe my body would get tired, achy, and not want to go out every day.  I usually catch a cold in the or feel under the weather that a day off is always so nice, but knock on wood, I have stayed very healthy through this whole timeframe.  I always have looked forward to my run, but something about this streak thing has me craving running even more and finding new ways to squeak in the miles.

The best running partner ever!

Yes – I get up every day and start my day with a run with Oakley, my beautiful 11 year old yellow lab.  (Check out my last post on running with your Canine Companion) We run 2-3 miles in the “hood” and I miss him when I have to travel or coach on the weekends.  Coaching skiing at Mount Snow is my regular weekend gig.  I really didn’t know how it was all going to fit into my winter lifestyle, but honestly it has been AWESOME to run in this mountainous area that I love as my second home.  The hills are challenging, but making me so much stronger!  I have new loops up there that I run every weekend now.  The added bonus is the cheers from my fellow coaches, ski instructors and families as they pass me in their cars.  They think I am nuts, but they are all so encouraging and have become quite a motivator.

Today I have been running every day for 95 days

Me skiing Mt Hood in Oregon - July 2011

Yes that is running every day since before Thanksgiving for at least 2 miles of running per day.  Approaching the 100 day mark is really exciting.  I love counting the days!

When will I stop?  I really don’t know yet, I want to prep myself that I may not be able to keep this up and listen to my body – so when that time comes – I will stop.  Promise. :)  First I will hit 100, then 150 and so on, but ultimately I would like to go a full year.  If I can keep this up during ski season when skiing is my prime sport – I KNOW I can do it during the other seasons too!

Why streak?  It becomes a habit.  It is a challenge. It is another goal to pursue. You have an excuse to tell your story, why you run…. and experience running everywhere you go. You have a reason to change it up, otherwise it will get real boring fast! It is something I haven’t done before and as a cancer survivor, I celebrate every day, so why not run every day!

Today is 51 days till the Boston Marathon.

This will be my 25th marathon (not including my 4 Ironman Triathlons & 50 miler) and my 8th Boston!

I am feeling really strong and I credit this runstreak — nothing gets in my way to get my run in and actually I am known for 2 runs a day to lessen the impact on my body and to get in those additional miles.  I have been doing fairly low mileage weeks lately because I am so darn busy, but hope to increase in the next few weeks.

Things I have learned from “streaking”
1. Plan ahead – when & where are you going to run?
2.”Just do it” – get out there and run!  NO excuses.  Even if it is 1 mile (that can be a rest day)
3. Change the scenery, find new routes – keep it interesting
4. Find friends to run with and talk to, it will keep you going & entertained!
5. Hydration, diet and sleep are KEY to keeping up with any endurance event or goal like streaking!
6. Stretch, yoga, meditation – do what it takes to stay flexible and not get injured
7. Log every day – dailymile is great for posting a note about each day of your streak- tell your story and keep yourself accountable.
8. It’s all a balance, time with family, time to cross train and time to run!
9. Celebrate your success and share with others – people are real supportive of this healthy habit/obsession called running.

The Big 4th Springfield MA 2011- Random fun runners everywhere!

Here are some links of interest on Runstreaks that share the fun and many others that streaking right along with me.  I found some other streakers by keyword #runstreak on Twitter too.  How fun! There are people that have been streaking for more than 1500 days — just incredible stories out there.  I hope that my story of the “Wonder Woman RunStreak” will be just as incredible some day.  Wish me luck and watch me run!

Runners World Holiday Runstreak
Twitter RunStreak Search
Streak Runners International
The Dangers of Streak Running