Today's thoughts

Category: RUNNING STREAK (Page 1 of 30)

The trials and tribulations of running every single day

Retirement is not without Hassles: Extreme Discipline #2344

As another day goes by with my running streak (#5,268), I continue to amaze myself, if not others. It’s been nearly 14 1/2 years without missing a single day. Yes, there are many other such streaks documented on the USSRA website,, that far exceed mine, but this is solely my accomplishment in extreme discipline. I only wish that I would or could have applied it to other things in life – who knows what I could have achieved?

As it is, maybe I’ve extended my life or at least have kept myself in shape. I can eat pretty much what I want without gaining weight – and often find my sweet tooth to be a factor. As it currently stands since starting this adventure, I’ve run in 31 states and 16 countries. I will definitely add the state of Kentucky into my total when we spend the night there in August and tour the Louisville Slugger plant. Next spring, on our cross-Atlantic cruise, I will add at least 5 more countries and lay claim to six of the seven continents. I have little interest in Antarctica. 

Despite the many years I’ve been running and the daily habit I’ve established, I still find every single day to be a challenge. I struggle with taking that first step, often stalling or trying to sleep a little longer. When I travel, I always keep my running shoes in reach just in case there’s a delay, lost luggage, or last-minute schedule change. The last thing I do every night before getting in bed is get my gear together for the next morning’s run. I try to be as prepared as possible, with a preplanned route or finding the whereabouts of a nearby gym. All in all, I try to eliminate any excuse not to run.

Sickness, stiff muscles, injuries, hangovers, foul weather, unfamiliar terrain, and darkness are daily challenges with keeping the streak alive. My mind tries to come up with an excuse not to do it nearly every morning. It’s rare when I actually look forward to the task. My bones and muscles creak and resist during those first few steps. The first mile is always the hardest and I always seem to look forward to the end. I try to take my thoughts off the monotony with music, rhyming words, counting things like steps, songs, driveways, cars, dogs, people, and/or trash cans, and playing silly mind games. There are many times when I think I can’t go on, but a second wind always seems to ease any discomfort. I do not run enough miles to get that euphoric feeling, except when I’m finally done for the day. 

There is no finish line when you run every day, with nagging thoughts on how I’m going to possibly get up and do it again tomorrow. Yet, I’ve somehow done it 5,268 consecutive times. It’s by far my biggest challenge every day, especially in retirement. I’m thankful that my body has somehow endured and continues to allow me to perform. The time it takes to complete my 5k route is not a factor anymore, as I slog along. Tomorrow will be just another day of extreme discipline. 

Retirement is not without Hassles: Tomorrow is another Day #2336

Over the past few weeks, I have run in five different countries – U.S., Germany, Egypt, Jordan, and England. This morning I slogged around London’s Hyde Park, just across the street from our Marriott lodging. Maintaining this 5,257-day running streak has been tricky of late, utilizing early mornings, treadmills, airport hallways, uneven pathways, and busy streets. I’ve only logged 40 miles in 21-days when normally this would be closer to 65. Plus, my legs have been stiff and sore after miles of touring these wonderous, worldly sights with too many rich meals aboard the Viking riverboat. In many cases, I haven’t had time to get in more than the minimum required mile each morning, keeping with the rules and regulations of the United States Running Streak Association., of which I’m a proud lifetime member. 

This morning I did a little over two miles through the park but got a little turned around trying to get back to our hotel. It was the longest I’ve run in nearly a week, since the 3.1-mile effort along the Dead Sea. This was after yesterday’s 2:30a treadmill mile, lots of steps lugging suitcases through airports followed by London streets, grocery shopping, and a long walk to and from the Ain’t Too Proud to Beg musical theater performance late yesterday. I also didn’t sleep very well last night with some painful bladder issues. 

The crowds were unbelievable throughout the West End streets of Piccadilly Circus, as we navigated our way to the Prince Edward Theater. It reminded me of fighting through the foot traffic in Times Square or during Mardi Gras. The pubs and stores were crawling with Brits and tourists out for a pint, fish & chips, special purchase, or just to people watch. I’d been up for twenty-hours with little luck getting a nap on the flight from Amman. Despite our lack of sleep, we still found the show quite captivating and the performers outstanding. It was a fun introduction to the London Theater District. Two more shows yet to go.

While we had unpacked earlier in the day upon arrival, I had turned on live Indy 500 qualifying coverage on SKY TV and once again failed to nod off. It was hard to believe that I could watch from across the pond, but viewership of the local event was blacked out in the Indianapolis area. Time has been confusing these past few weeks with 7-hours difference in Egypt and Jordan that changed to 5-hours upon arrival at Heathrow. By 5a it was light outside, so I got up, took some Advil, and readied myself to run. My legs were stiff and heavy as I made my way to the park where only a few other Sunday morning runners and walkers were on the empty pathways. As “The Streak” sputters on, tomorrow is another day. 


Retirement is not without Hassles Abu Simbel #2328

My wife and I celebrate 9000 days together today, as we cruise down the Nile River. She’s a planner and I’m a counter. In this spirit, it’s also the 5,267th day of my running streak, our 23rd Mother’s Day tomorrow as a couple, and only 37 days until her birthday. Twelve days of this fabulous adventure remain, perhaps the trip of my lifetime. Planning wise, I’ve already taken care of her birthday request, but the landscaper planted the wrong palm tree – not a foxtail. I hope I can get this straightened out but unfortunately, he doesn’t speak English. It was supposed to match the one he installed next door – but doesn’t! I should have left it to the planner because she can’t count on me. 

Ramses II, whose tomb we walked through yesterday in the Valley of the Kings and his beloved queen Nefertari, mummified in her elaborate resting place in the other Royal Valley, are once again presented larger than life in the giant structures outside Abul Simba Temple. It was at least 100-degrees as we walked down the unshaded pathway to their separate entrances. These remarkable structures would not exist today without funding from UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization). They now look over Lake Nasser rather than forever submerged and out-of-sight, its intricate carvings washed away by the underwater currents. They might never have been found in their original location if not for the young boy, Abu Simbel. His sharp eyes and youthful curiosity spotted the top of their heads, buried under the sand, and reported it to archaeologists. The popular tourist site is therefore named after him. The monuments were eventually uncovered and moved to the present higher elevation location. 

It was a lot of money, work, and hassle to see these magnificent religious, works of art. Two bus rides, roundtrip Egyptair flights, along with numerous security screenings, a long walk in the brutal heat, admission tickets, and fighting off the vicious vendors, much worse than attack of wild dogs, were required to visually admire them. I was forced to buy a belt to keep my shorts from falling down. The belt I brought with me on the trip fell apart when the screws fell out this morning. Negotiations lingered on far too long for my liking. My wife bought an alabaster camel, miniature pyramid, zebra mask (her high school mascot), and a Terracotta baking dish.

The long, hot day ended with more tips and another bus ride back to the Ra. We have a spacious suite on the top level with a short walk to the restaurant. This was fortunate on a night when we were dragging, with another early start looming and more temples, tombs, and pillars to explore after another morning run. Farewell, Abu Simbel. 


Retirement is not without Hassles: Monumental Task #2326

I deserved a power nap rather than sitting through a falafel cooking lesson, but I did learn to write my name in hieroglyphics before nodding off. It was dress-like-an-Egyptian night for dinner and a Nubian dance performance once we stopped for the night in Aswan, the Land of Gold. My wife had bought an appropriate pink-beaded dress at the market. She was once again the Belle of the Boat. Other souvenirs purchased include several scarves, an embroidered pillow cover, cookbook, magnets, scarabs, and a Bes figurine, the god of laughter. The vendors were very aggressive!

We needed to get to sleep promptly for an early flight to Abu Simbel. At least the boat was docked by an area where I could get in a 2-mile run. As was the case every day, I had to grab a pass to leave the Viking Ra, but at least today there were smooth surfaces to navigate and I could actually enjoy my surroundings rather than focusing on my feet. I haven’t had time for a full 5k since Luxor, so only 25-miles so far this month in 12-days applied to “The Streak.” 

On the way to the airport, the Viking bus made a quick photo stop at the top of The Aswan High Dam. It was Damn fine, but certainly not as impressive as the Hoover Dam, however it is actually a combination of two – High and Low.  We’ll be flying round-trip this afternoon just to see the ancient monuments that were moved to rescue them from the flooding that occurred during dam construction. It was a monumental task!




Retirement is not without Hassles: Run Like an Egyptian #2321

Today was Wordle Puzzle #676 but I was not an early adapter, playing only for the 404th time out of 405. I’ve been playing well over a year now, somehow missing a day at some point, inadvertently ending another streak. Yesterday, I got stumped for only the 5th time with the word JOKER, interrupting my longest streak at 119 straight and a 99% solve rate. I will need another run of at least 100 to get back to that percentage, starting with this morning’s success. LEAFY was another memorable stopper, but JOKER was the first time I missed with multiple letters – both J and K. 

My other streak, the running version, is still intact at 5,232 days, with the challenge of boat travel ahead. I’ll probably have to use the deck or treadmill on our upcoming Nile River tour, as I walk then run like an Egyptian!

Here’s the Bangles’ version of that tune, although Steve Martin made the strut famous:

All the old paintings on the tomb
They do the sand dance, don’t you know
If they move too quick (oh way oh)
They’re falling down like a domino

All the bazaar men by the Nile
They got the money on a bet
Gold crocodiles (oh way oh)
They snap their teeth on your cigarette

Foreign types with the hookah pipes say
Way oh way oh, way oh way oh
Walk like an Egyptian

The blonde waitresses take their trays
They spin around and they cross the floor
They’ve got the moves (oh way oh)
You drop your drink
Then they bring you more

All the school kids so sick of books
They like the punk and the metal band
When the buzzer rings (oh way oh)
They’re walking like an Egyptian

All the kids in the marketplace say
Way oh way oh, way oh way oh
Walk like an Egyptian

Slide your feet up the street
Bend your back
Shift your arm, then you pull it back
Life is hard you know (oh way oh)
So strike a pose on a Cadillac

If you wanna find all the cops
They’re hanging out in the donut shop
They sing and dance (oh way oh)
They spin the clubs, cruise down the block

All the Japanese with their yen
The party boys call the Kremlin
And the Chinese know (oh way oh)
They walk the line like Egyptian

All the cops in the donut shop say
Way oh way oh, way oh way oh
Walk like an Egyptian
Walk like an Egyptian

Songwriters: Liam Hillard Sternberg. 

RUN like an Egyptian
RUN like an Egyptian

Retirement is not without Hassles: Wave of the Hand #2316

Today is another Borrego Boyz luncheon, a gathering of neighbors who mostly live on our Islandwalk street. A few of them have moved away, so we pick restaurant locations to accommodate their presence like Pelican Alley, today’s dining destination.  While living in Portland, I would organize similar functions called “Leadership Meetings,” usually at a Buffalo Wild Wings location. 

Last evening, I joined the guys on the next street over, Rinella, for their get-together at the Cool Today Park Tiki Bar. It was first time I had strayed outside the Borrego Street group. These were guys that I had never officially met, with the exception of two, but run by their homes every morning. Today was 5,225 straight, without missing. Rinella Street is my main daily route, encompassing about half of my run, so most of them see me wave as I pass by. I was curious to get to know them a little better. Several of the women on the street are in my weekly Chair Yoga class, so little by little I’m expanding my neighborhood network. 

There are a couple of runners on Rinella (I should call it Runella) that I’ve gotten to know at local races, but they were not there last night. I will undoubtedly have trouble remembering all the new faces that I met. One problem is that I don’t wear my glasses when I run, so passers-by are somewhat of a blur. Also, hats, helmets, and sunglasses often hide their identity, especially with women. I try to consult the address directory, but all too often are not listed. To make getting to know them even more complicated, at least half of them will be gone for the summer months, going back and forth between their two residences.  They will all undoubtedly miss me “pounding their pavement” most of the month of May because of our Egyptian travels. 

The Rinella homeowners all jokingly seem to set their clocks by me, since my running routine is pretty consistent. Every day at seemingly the same time, I pass by. Typically, I only cover about a block of my own Borrego Street with the exception of those rare days when I only have time for the minimum mile route. However, the Borrego Boyz luncheons, and Borrego Street “Meet the Neighbors” events have been a consistent means of getting to know the people that live close by. They often get more than just a wave of the hand. 

Retirement is not without Hassles: Obituaries #2309

I was a bit sluggish this morning from too much wine last night, coupled with the rain, led me to shorten my run to just over the minimum mile. No one else was out this morning with the dark clouds and drizzle that is expected to last all day. Checking my phone, it was day #5,218 since I last missed a day. My sister was supposed to arrive this morning, but I haven’t heard a word. It will not be a sunny beach day, as was the plan. If they do show up, we’ll “pivot,” as was the attitude of the Chris Pine character in the Dungeons & Dragons movie. This will, of course, drive my wife, “the planner,” nuts. 

I love my sister, but she’s never well organized. Throw in her daughter and grandkids, and I should not be surprised by her lack of communication. I did give them plenty of flexibility, considering travel time, a sick ex-husband, and weather. She’s trying to herd a party of five, including two teens and a 10-year-old, on Spring Break. I don’t envy her but “the planner” would like to know soon… if we’re to be involved… or NOT.

Just after I finished the last paragraph, the word came down that they are not coming. We now have two free days to do as we please. I’m just glad that I went out for pizza last night, as if another night of pizza would have been horrible. I’m now sitting here watching Curse of Oak Island, while composing this post, a Wednesday morning tradition.  I also just signed up to me a subscriber to the Facebook page, Indy Radio Alums and Fans, another source for obituaries. Thankfully, I didn’t see my name this morning. 


Retirement is not without Hassles: No Foolin’ #2299

Another day of doing nothing. The run is done as I prepare to take a seat for chair yoga, followed by a shower and “Theater Tuesday,” most likely ‘Dungeons and Dragons’. The new hallway light fixtures are finally in place, while the Tally-feared unicorn floats in the pool, a leftover from granddaughter Nora’s afternoon swim. My son was once again very patient installing the overhead lights, while I stood by trying not to get in the way. 

The temperatures are heating up without much chance for rain over the next few weeks. A month after time change and I still haven’t adapted, although my run was finished by 9:30a. Three months ago, I was done by 9a, so hopefully I’ll get back to that schedule by the next time change. Further adjustments will be necessary after Cairo and London stays. 

I only managed a little over 80 running miles throughout the month of March, meaning that I’m behind the 1,000-mile annual goal. Las Vegas and Disney World took me out of the routine with a couple of short runs, knowing that we’d be doing a lot of walking. In order to reach it I need to average about 85-miles monthly, thankfully January was 97, so I’m still on target, despite the March shortfall. The important thing is that “The Streak” continues at 5, 210 consecutive days after a 5k trot this morning. April will be better – No Foolin’

Retirement is not without Hassles: A Week of Company #2294

Blogging has once again been put on hold this past week, with this short post between visitors. My I.U. buddy from Indianapolis came to town and we kept him busy. We watched the Sweet 16, went boating, dined at several area restaurants, toured the neighborhood on the golf cart, played bocci ball, went to a baseball game, and escorted Tally to the groomer. My friend managed to go to the driving range, while I got my mileage in every morning. It was an easy five days of entertaining, before my wife’s brother and his wife take over the guest room. Tag you’re it.

I was able to reconnect with a childhood friend yesterday morning after responding to a post on the “I Grew Up in Elkhart, Indiana” Facebook page. He lived a block away in the same neighborhood, before we both ended up at different elementary schools, junior highs, and high schools. We were fast friends through the fifth grade, but lost track of each other. Thanks to Facebook, we’ve started to catch up. It’s exciting to find someone after sixty years of going our separate ways. I have several more questions to ask once my life settles down to normalcy, as it will next week. 

Today was the 5,200th consecutive day of my Running Streak, a 5k jaunt through the neighborhood. Thanks to last week’s boat ride, I now know the identity of several more people that I cross paths with every morning on my standard route. There are still many bikers, walkers, and runners that I address every day that remain nameless. However, it is a friendly neighborhood, so a nod, wave, or word is commonplace. We’ve now lived here just short of two years, so in many cases familiar faces have become friends. Our week of company continues this afternoon, so expect more delays in my daily posts. 





Retirement is not without Hassles: Burning the Candle at both Ends #2287

I am finally caught up on my logging, slogging, and blogging. My diary is up to date, entries on the blog have been made to compensate for missing posts, and the daily 5k slow jogs (slogs) through the neighborhood continue at their regular time each morning. ‘Home Sweet Home,’ although we’ve been out every night this week, and fight over use of the car or golf cart for travel to baseball games, doctor and chiropractor appointments, not to mention tap, aqua fit, bridge, or chair yoga classes. Tonight, we dine at home after a week of restaurants or fast food in Vegas, Orlando, and Venice.

The NCAA basketball tourney starts today. We might even get back to watching an episode of Lost after the travel hiatus. I’m also giving blood and pee this afternoon, but not at the same time. In addition to these lines of excitement, I am dealing with an electrical box recall. An Indy friend will be here on Monday followed by my wife’s brother, so there’s little rest for the weary. 

A mysterious injury to my right bicep has prevented doing my push-up regimen and it’s been too cool to get in the pool. Flabby arms are not attractive. My stamina has also suffered as a result of some congestion and light-headedness. I took a Covid test as a precaution and it proved negative. New medication may be a factor, but “The Streak” continues despite these struggles (consecutive day 5,191).  More likely it’s just a result of burning the candle at both ends. 


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