What I learned doing 5K a day

5k a day for 31 days.

We started on Jan 1, 2019 on accident. New years day I met up with a girlfriend for a casual run and the next day, one of our friends challenged me and Matt to 5K a day for 31 days straight. We already ran on day 1 so we figured, why not.

The only rules were:

Minimum 5K run or walk

Must be outside

31 days

31 of 31 5k's

I have to be honest, I am not good at challenges. I always have great intentions but then seems to never finish them (literally never).

I decided I had a few good people to help hold me accountable (or I would never hear the end of it if I quit...EVER) so I joined in.

By day 3 I was worried about the commitment but was all in by then.... I mean, it was on social media so I had no choice, right? Besides, it was only 3.1 miles a day and I could walk a few days.

Here are some simple things I learned over the course of 31 days of 5k's

1. I love to run. Walking is really nice some days too.

2. The weather is very confusing. Running in the rain only sucks if it's a cold rain and snowy roads make it a real challenge to stay upright.

3. Trail running is more fun than running the roads, but sometimes the roads are just convenient.

4. Starting Feb 1, my dogs will hate me. Because, even though they will get the excitement of daily walks and a few runs a week, 5K a day became their norm and anything less I am sure they will make me suffer. (have you ever gotten a flat tire or tripped over two 75 pound dogs 45 times? Because I have)

But, there is something to be said about running a 5k a day challenge and how it SO MUCH aligns with getting your health, fitness and nutrition on track.

1. YOU NEED TO SHIFT YOUR MINDSET TO SUCCEED. MINDSET could not be a bigger contributor to success. I had days I started a run and just DID NOT WANT TO. I bitched and moaned and wanted it to be over before I started. I might have even been a bit sassy to Matt a few times, imagine that. But, every single time, 20 minutes into the run my entire attitude and mindset shifted and I wanted to stay out running longer than 5K.

2. YOU NEED TO PLAN IN ADVANCE IF YOU WANT TO SUCCEED. TIME MANAGEMENT is key. I learned really fast that if I didn't plan my day in advance, a 5K at the end of a 14 hour work day is not always the funnest. I needed to think ahead for each day and find a good time to get my run in. This forced me to plan out not only my run, but my nutrition a bit more and in general, manage my time better.

3. YOU NEED TO ASK FOR HELP AND AS MUCH OF IT AS POSSIBLE. ACCOUNTABILITY. I know that if I didn't live with Matt, I would have quit. I know that if there weren't 4 other people getting creative each day to get the miles in, I would have quit. Having someone hold my hand, other people to encourage me (or threaten to give me shit for quitting) was a huge contributor to my finishing.

4. YOU NEED TO HAVE A DEEP SENSE OF UNDERSTANDING WHY YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE A CERTAIN GOAL. Understanding WHY is numero uno. I love to run. I don't feel like I need to run every day for a certain period of time because, I already love it. That being said, the last 31 days showed me that I need to have a deep sense of WHY when doing something. I had no real reason (other than a fun competition) to complete a 5k a day so the motivation just was not always there. Now, alternatively when I was running to qualify for Boston a few years ago, I was motivated AF and every run was attacked with purpose and intent. I wanted a certain time and I felt that "why" in my bones.

Would I do another 5K a day challenge? If you ask me now, I would say no, I am OUT for next year. But, ask me again next year...this year taught me a lot of interesting lessons. Who knows what next year might look like.