As we leave Austin, Texas this morning, I’m reminded that my running streak started here on December 29, 2008. I don’t remember the first day because I really planned on starting New Year’s Day. That early decision to begin has kept me ahead of 6 other runners currently on the USRSA Active List. We had to fly back from Indianapolis holiday festivities that particular morning because I had to get back to work at the clothing store – the only job of my life where I was forced to punch the clock, even on New Year’s Day.
Eleven-and-a-half-years later, 4,265 days ago, I ran on the very same street, Congress Avenue, just across the bridge from where we stayed last night. A daily habit of getting out of bed and lacing up the track shoes was born and continued this morning on the hot, sweaty Texas streets. I was probably running two miles a day back then at a much faster pace just to be sure that I got-in the minimum mile required to maintain “The Streak.” This morning it was 3.1 much slower miles, the current standard, that included the paths they built along Lady Bird Lake – non-existent when we lived here.
The idea of running every day was presented to me at a dinner my wife arranged with a woman she wanted to hire. We met at Fast Eddy’s and while the women talked business, her husband and I discussed running. It was the first time I was aware of the organization that celebrated continuous running streaks. At the time, they were sometimes over 40-years long – now 50-plus!. He explained that members had to complete a full-year, 365 days, to qualify. His personal streak ended at about 565 days after he fell asleep and failed to get-in his late night habit. I decided that I could do a full year but planned to run first thing every morning to avoid excuses not to complete the daily challenge. We got together for drinks with this couple again last night. I once again told him that his suggestion all those years ago changed my life, but I curse him every morning as I prepare to pound the pavement.
Today we’re headed to Foley, Alabama, about 10- hours of driving away. It’s Day 11 of our Coast-to-Coast adventure that will ultimately lead us to Florida in a few days. Tomorrow I will summarize my lunch with a half-sister that was discovered through Ancestry.com DNA testing. This will be our second get-together, another chance discovery that changed my life. To be continued…..