It was Fall 2010, and I was the heaviest I've ever been in my life. So I started to run. I made it a quarter mile. But I went out again the next day. And I kept trying. I ran a mile. I ran 2 miles.
In December 2010, I ran my first 5K. I was hooked. I was losing weight. So I made a vow to run at least one race every month. I thought it was just going to be for a few months.
4 years later. 56 races later. A triathlon, 6 half marathons, and a marathon later. 1,000+ miles of running later. Here I am.
And I am done.
I decided that it was time for me to end my streak. I struggled making this decision for months, but in the end it was easy. And here's why.
The streak isn't for me now what it was for me then.
It has evolved over the past 4 years into many different things.
In the beginning, the streak was about one thing - accountability. I figured that no matter what, once a month I would push myself. I struggled to run a couple miles, so this was that chance to see if I could do it, and if my race didn't go well, which many of them didn't, it served as the motivation I needed to keep going.
Then, once I started being able to run 3+ miles consistently, and the weight kept coming off, my running turned into a test to see how far I could take it. So I built my way up to a 10K. Then I built my way up to something I thought I could never accomplish - a half marathon.
That's when my running went crazy. In a 2 year stretch, I ran 6 half marathons, a Tough Mudder, a triathlon, and a marathon. The streak became the incentive I needed to push my body to every imaginable limit and keep pursuing the impossible.
It was after these feats that the unimagined happened. The streak became a burden. My fitness declined. I gained weight. I ate too much. I ran too little. So every race I've done, I have been declining. And declining.
Here I am, back at a place where I don't want to be with my fitness and my running.
It's time for a fresh start.
I've realized that I need to fall in love with running again, and the only way I can do that is to let the streak go. I won't even be tracking miles in 2015. Get back to the root of it - nothing but me, some headphones, and the pavement. No pressures. No stresses. Just running.
I plan on running many, many, many more races in the future. As long as I am able to move, I hope that running will be a part of my life. And I will race again soon.
It's just time that I get all the other junk out of the way, find races that will drive me to be at my best, and run for the love of running again.
See you on the roads and the trails.