On March 20, I challenged myself to run at least 1 mile a day for 30 days and decided to document it on my Instagram. I started this challenge because I wanted to develop discipline and prove to myself that I could accomplish a long-term goal. After 30 days I didn't want to stop so I told myself I'd do 60, then 100.
At this point, I don't know when I'll stop, but what I do know is that I've benefited so much already. I feel that I've grown in this period of time at a faster rate than ever before. Well, maybe I grew at a faster rate when I was a toddler. For example, I went from crawling to walking in just one day. Now that's a really big improvement in life if you ask me.
Anyway, here are the cool insights I've gathered by running a mile every day for 100 days straight.
It Does Get Easier
I know it seems like this should be obvious but let me tell you, it wasn't obvious after the 30th or even the 60th day. There were lots of days when I did the bare minimum and wondered if 1 mile would ever feel like a piece of cake. Now I can say that it does feel that way more often than not. Don't get me wrong, there are still days when I reeeeaally don't feel like running, but once I get out there that feeling usually goes away and I'm done before I know it.
Without any rest days, I thought I'd be exhausted by now, or that my legs would wear down, but that couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, I was recently able to run 13 miles (my longest run yet) and in two days I was ready to go hard at it again. No soreness whatsoever.
Of course, this can only happen if I take care of my body, which gets me to my next point.
It Leads To Other Healthy Habits
I drink water now! Hooray!
Before this challenge, I sometimes went days without drinking any water. Now I can't afford to do that, so it doesn't happen anymore.
I know that if I eat chips or drink soda, I will soon feel weak and not have the necessary energy to do a long run. I had to go through a few runs where a felt extremely weak before I learned that lesson.
Because I work on my body constantly, I simply don't feel okay with mistreating it anymore.
Side note: I've found that I get great results if my pre-run meal is just a protein shake. It sits a lot lighter in my stomach and gives me long-lasting energy. I especially like a vanilla protein powder and a banana mixed in with coconut milk.
You Can Learn To Love Things That Make You Uncomfortable
If you told me I would learn to love running a few months ago, I wouldn't believe you. I just couldn't fathom liking something that brought so much discomfort. In fact, I still can't fully understand it; I just merely feel it.
I started running almost a year ago but I only did it for health, not for fun. Now, the health part is just a bonus.
Before I started this challenge, I would dread the days when I've committed myself to run more than the minimum. Like when I ran with my local running club, for example. Now I have no fear of that inevitable pain. And during the runs, I don't constantly wish for the pain to end.
Because of this challenge I learned to be okay with being uncomfortable.
It Increases Self-Efficacy
There's no denying it: a daily dose of accomplishment does wonders to your psyche.
Every day I have accomplished a goal I set for myself, thus increasing my confidence to accomplish things. Running every day has changed the way I approach new goals, tasks and challanges. I'm now more of an optimist and risk taker.
A case in point is when I took the initiative to create a website for my local running club even though I had no coding knowledge. I don't think my past self would have done that.
Photo by aquachara on Unsplash