Welcome back to the friends series! Three years ago, I met TH while running with a local running group in Baltimore City. After a few months, I realized that we ran the same pace so we decided to branch off from the group and run together during the week and we trained for races together. It turns out that she has a very demanding schedule! She is a play director, a musician, a wife, and the mother of a toddler at the time, who is now 5 years old! To top it off, her love for running helped her to make the decision to participate in the Runner’s World #RWRunStreak which is supposed to last for 37 consecutive days. For those of you who are not familiar with the term “run streak”, Runners World introduced the “run streak” to keep runners running to bridge the gap between training for races as it can be difficult for some people to start over after stopping for a period of time. The goal is for the runner to run at least one mile every day. To date, TH has run consecutively for 1,058 days and counting! There is no end in sight!
Currently, I run with TH at least three times a week. I had the opportunity to chat with her about her motivation for continuing to keep the streak alive and the benefits of “streaking.” Below is our conversation.
Moetips: As of today, you’ve run for 1,058 days in a row! Who does that?! I’m lucky to say that I’ve had the opportunity to bless the pavement with you on some of those days. Throughout this journey, you’ve become an influencer. What motivated you to start “streaking?”
TH: When I first started running, I wanted to do it all of the time. I started fast and loose with bad shoes and wound up with double stress fractures in my feet and ankles. The overuse injury sidelined me for 6 weeks right after I started running, and I vowed to do my best to never let that happen again. Then, the next Thanksgiving, someone from the BGR group whom I’ve run with when I started, posted the Runner’s World #RWRunStreak and invited ladies to join her. I looked into it and I was intrigued. I decided to see if I could run from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, and I did… and I haven’t stopped since. What motivates me to keep going? I have a little bit of a compulsive personality. I get sucked into things, and this streak is no different. I do way better with daily, weekly, and monthly routines. Having this discipline to look forward to every day keeps me grounded. I’m also afraid that if I stopped now, it would be harder to re-start.
Moetips: Most runners participate in races. As a person who runs every day, how do you prepare for a race?
TH: If I’m training for a race, I just run a mile to keep the streak alive on days that I don’t have a running workout scheduled. I also give myself a little extra leeway… letting myself cut a workout a mile short when I know I’m going to be running that mile the next day anyway.
Moetips: Many people say that they don’t have time to run or workout for that matter. You’re a millennial with a busy work schedule and a family. How do you manage to get away from your daily responsibilities to get a quick run in?
TH: I run early in the morning before my family gets up during the week. I also belong to a 24-hour gym, so sometimes I’ll sneak out to get a treadmill run in late at night after they go to sleep. I always keep a gym bag with me so that I can get a run in on a lunch break or when I’m waiting someplace.
Moetips: You go on vacation with your family to relax and have fun. What does your husband think about you “streaking” during vacation?
TH: He’s gotten very used to it. My family is very supportive of the streak (I think they’re afraid of what I’ll look like if I don’t run). We try to set manageable expectations when we’re traveling and talk about when would be a good time for me to run so that it doesn’t cramp the family style. I honestly love vacation running, though– it’s the perfect way to explore a new locale.
Moetips: Sometimes you run at night. What measures do you take for personal safety?
TH: A treadmill is always a nighttime option for me. If I’m only running a mile around my neighborhood, often my family will follow close behind in the car. I always carry my phone with me and turn the flashlight on to alert cars that I’m here and also to light my path.
Moetips: Overall fitness and health include sustaining a healthy diet. What does your diet consist of?
TH: My diet is NOT as healthy as it should be. I just try to keep things in moderation, honestly. A couple of times a year, I’ll really cut things back and try to reset my eating habits. I try to not fall into the trap of eating whatever I want because I run every day, but some weeks that still happens. I just try to keep it in check and make sure I don’t do it too often.
Moetips: A good, high quality running shoe is important to a runner. You run every day! How often do you purchase running shoes?
TH: I generally go through 6-8 pairs of running shoes a year. If I run a few consecutive months of 100+ miles, I’ll change out my shoes every 3.5 months. Generally, I start feeling the need for new shoes between 300 and 375 miles.
Moetips: Can you share any running tips for readers in our community who are interested in running?
TH: I’ve got a couple! 1. Don’t be afraid to start… that’s the hardest part. Everyone is bad at running when they start, but it gets better, and you’ll thank yourself for it once you get into it. 2. Get a good running buddy– the accountability helps keep me consistent. Even though I run every day. 3. Invest in good shoes. And if you’re a lady, invest in some good sports bras. It makes running way happier!
I thanked TH for taking the time out to answer my questions. TH documents her running journey daily on Instagram. If you have specific questions or you just need motivation, follow her @tunderholmes on Instagram. Readers, the winter is quickly approaching. Do you have your winter fitness plan in order?