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.