Why I Ran a 5k a day for 100 Days

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“The secret to your success in found in your daily routine.”

-John C. Maxwell

In Mid-December I felt rather stuck in my fitness routine.  After the closing of the cycle studio I was teaching at in late October, I found myself attending bouncing around different studios but not really knowing where I fit.  Enter stage right Keven Stirdivant, a life-coach and personal development guru (who just so happens to be a real estate agent too) with a new fitness challenge he was taking on.  The premise was simple: run a 5k a day for 100 days straight. No days off, no making up your miles on another day, just you showing up for you for 3.1 miles each and every day.  He would post on social media everyday to hold himself accountable and inspire others to do the same. I watched as 100 days came and went and when listening to a podcast he put out about why he took on the challenge I knew I had to jump in.

I will preface this by saying I don't even like running.  I have done several half marathons and one full marathon but had basically sworn off running all together a few years ago.  Out of all forms of cardio running is on the bottom of my list. But there was something about this challenge that drew me in.  Could I commit to carving out this time every day just for me?  How would I feel after this challenge was complete?  Can I even physically really do this everyday? The doubt and fear of failing (and putting it out there for everyone to see!) was thick but I realized I needed to make a change.  I needed to take back my word and actually commit to something for myself. Teaching indoor cycling for 4 years I was always focusing on other peoples health, and this challenge was the perfect opportunity for me to focus on my own health and well-being.  So I dove in.

In the podcast that inspired me to take action with this challenge, Keven talked about the method he used when approaching each run and how he sectioned off each mile to a theme.  I used this method throughout my whole challenge and I think it is the #1 recommendation I have for anyone thinking about taking it on. Here it is:

The first mile of his run we would play what he called the perfect game.  He would declare everything going on in his world perfect. Deal falling apart? Perfect.  Car not starting? Perfect. Earphones dead? Perfect. The simple act of declaring things perfect that would otherwise be a negative cloud hanging over your head is a real game-changer.  

Mile 2 (my favorite) is all about gratitude.  Keven taught about feeling gratitude from your toes all the way up to the top of your head and meditating on how grateful you are for what you have.  At many points in my journey, I would find myself crying tears of joy on this mile. Thinking about all things that I am truly grateful for and really focusing on them shifted my perspective especially on the hard days.  

Mile 3, Keven taught, was all about your goals. He taught to think about what you need to do that day that would get you closer to where you need to be.  The way Keven set this method up was genius, because once you have declared all the hard stuff in your life perfect, are overwhelmed with gratitude for how awesome your life is, you look at your goals through a different lens. It is so crazy to me just how much the physical can shift the mental.

In my own journey, I chose to run primarily outside.  There is something in me that loves being outdoors breathing fresh air. I ran in some pretty cool places as I traveled too. From the hills of San Francisco (death), to the trails in Pismo Beach, to the white-sand of Huntington Beach, to the yacht-lined Portside of San Diego, to the streets of Downtown LA, I was able to take in some really cool sights that I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise. The first couple weeks were tough as my body was getting used to the new routine, but I noticed after the first month how much it just became second nature. I learned firsthand how habits can be pushing us in the right direction or in the wrong one.  As the weeks stacked up, and the number of days running grew I felt the power of momentum in my life. I learned to take back my word, and actually do what I say I am going to do. I started to use my run as a way to disconnect with the world and reconnect with myself and God, getting centered on what matters and being able to leave my run feeling inspired.

I ran on the bad days, the stressful days, the sick days, the happy days, the “my whole body hurts” days, the “I only have 20 min and have to run as fast as I can” days, and the “all I want to do is curl up on the couch and eat mexcian food” days. But everyday I showed up.  For myself. To keep my word. It is hard for me to type these words but I am truly proud of myself for sticking to what I said I was going to do and not letting excuses get in the way of my success. I wanted to share my story in hopes to inspire others to see the potential they have within themselves.  

What could you accomplish in 100 days?  I think you are worth finding out the answer.