Thirty days running. Just like I proposed to my boyfriend while we sat on his front porch on the morning of September 1, which happened to be a Monday and Labor Day and so the end of a three-day, mostly labor-less weekend. The idea had come to me after a one mile run through our hilly neighborhood. “I think I’m going to try to run one mile a day every day this month,” I’d told him. “I know you can do that,” he’d said right away.

One mile I can usually do, no sweat, or with very little. In the three and four mile organized runs I participate in, I always do best in the first mile. Even while I typically regret signing up during the first half mile of the race while finding my pace on what feels like legs made of jello, I still do pretty well by the time I reach the first mile marker.

It takes me anywhere from just under 10 minutes to closing in on 11 minutes to complete one mile. Obviously I’m not in it for the competition – except for me against myself. The variables affecting my time involve whether the course is mostly flat or hilly, if the weather is warm or chilly, what time of day it is and, invariably, what time of month it’s getting close to. I think I run my best as the sun rises on a cool, level path while I’m in a good mood.

Skip Ahead One Week

I use the mobile app RunKeeper and it does a great job recording my time, my pace and my path. It cannot, however, track my feelings, so at this point I decided to begin logging words to go with my miles. 

I’m a week into my pledge and so far, thumbs up, I’ve done it. Seven days running feels good.

Eight days running and I don’t know. I ran on a flat path on a cool, early morning while feeling good, but my time didn’t reflect that. Maybe it was the mile and half walk just before. Maybe it was still a bit too dark and I hesitated subconsciously on the dirt path where I chose to run this morning.

Nine days running and I do know that I’m glad I went out after work and got it done. I had been ready to take off from the front porch at 5:45am, not realizing until I stepped outside that all the neighbors did not have their sprinklers on but that the moisture was coming from above. I decided to gamble on clearer conditions later and sure enough there was a nice break in the clouds right after work. I clocked my fastest mile so far during this challenge and what’s funny is most of my variables were off. My course had a fair share of inclines, and while not warm or chilly, it was humid, and my mood was tense.

Free to Fly

I ran a little different course on day nine than usual, not deciding which way to go until I approached each intersection, fork in the sidewalk, and tennis court – while running through the park I decided at the last minute to take a loop around both sets of double (and I should note, unoccupied) courts. It is really freeing this way, to not have a set course, but just to take off and fly at random. I had the volume of my RunKeeper set low enough that I couldn’t hear my five minute updates. That was liberating too. So maybe I got me some new variables, if not good grammar.

Ten days running and I hoped for a break in the morning rain because otherwise I’d have to use the treadmill at 24 Hour Fitness – and I didn’t feel like driving a mile to run a mile on a mechanical path. But at least I have that as a backup. The rain did slow to a sprinkle and so out the door I leapt at a little before 6am, staying off the sidewalks to avoid low-hanging, dripping branches, and inadvertently stepping in two puddles on the street, thankful each time that I did not twist an ankle.

I could enter the middle part of my challenge (days 11-20) on level footing. Not that it would stay that way long. More about that to be posted soon.