The neighbors probably think I'm weird. Several times a week I'll go out and circle the block three times--no more, no less, because just about three full turns around is a mile and that's all I need to do per day to keep up with the Runner's World Run Streak. My neighbors may think "There she goes again--oh and now she's done."
I tried the streak last year. A mile a day (per more) every day between Thanksgiving and New Years. Having done it last year it feels less momentous this year (aside from the fact that, ideally, I won't be interrupted by a stomach virus this year.) I'm happy to have the streak a way from staying indoors and a way to take care of myself a little bit during this time when I am thinking greedily of all the Trader Joe's treats I will eat.
Last year I enjoyed pushing myself a little bit farther than just a mile a day and even went on a run with my friend Steve (not my husband Steve) which was a really fun way to hang out. This year, and I think Steve will agree, nobody wants to have a 40 minute outside conversation outside in Chicago this year. I always say that winter in Chicago doesn't really start until January because it's typically pretty tolerable up until that point, but it was intolerable unseasonably soon this year. Between the snow-over-the-ice and the cold, I do not want to do more than the bare minimum each time I go out. A few days I've gotten that nice little "I'm alive!" minty winter feeling, but it was just enough to make me end the run on a positive note, not to make me want to go further. Also, with the cold comes the laundry. I have a whole laundry system and needing to wash my own clothes every other day is throwing it out of whack and I really resent having to put clothes away very other day instead of once or twice a week. Pretty much every day I grimly check off one more box as I eagerly await January 1 when I can stop spending 11 minutes layering up for an 11 minute run (I don't bother going to the gym because I could be done by the time I get there.) Also, I'm creaky. And I'm tired of taking showers every day.
But I've come this far and I might as well finish it. Plus, I was probably due for a crappy session of running. I ran a half marathon earlier this year and had such a positive experience training for, running, and recovering from it. I'll get through this, going around and around the block, and then hope I have more fun on the next thing.
So that is running and that is also writing and also relationships and life. Sometimes it is not great but if you have enough hope from experience that not-great things can be followed by great things, it makes the not-great-things a tiny bit easier to get through.
This is my last post for 2016--and here is my last clip of it, too--a story at Fast Company about people and companies who decided to go above and beyond when it came to charity this year. Happy holidays and peace.