Friday, June 29, 2012

Day 28 (The Final Day): Running Challenge

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have completed my first perfect month. I ran every day excepting Sundays from May 24 to June 24.

I mentioned in the last post that I didn't go into this goal with any particular expectations about what it would do for me. I decided instead to just do it and observe how it affected my life. Now that I have completed the experiment, I would like to reflect on what effect my perfect month of running had on me.

At first, each run just got harder. I felt more tired and I dreaded it every day. After about the first week, I noticed a slight increase in my general energy level and that seemed to continue until the end. My running didn't seem to be getting any easier, but I was keeping track of times and distances on, which I highly recommend for those of you who are like me and like tracking progress. Though it didn't feel like they were getting easier, I found that I was running the same distance consistently faster, so I began to add some distance. When I got to the mile it was up and down. Some days I was surprised at how easy it felt. Others, even at the end, I was hating every step of that mile. This often depended on when I ran (evenings were easier) because the time of day seemed to affect where my mind was. Thinking about everything that happened during the day made the running much easier.

Here's the quick version of what I got out of running, in order.

  • Tired (About days 1-10)
  • Noticeable increase in energy throughout the day (days 10-end)
  • Increased morale in my daily life (From day one and increasing to the end)
  • Increased optimism, particularly about my capabilities in general
  • An opportunity for some quiet, alone time to reflect and think 
  • Although it's arguably just water weight, I weighed myself today to see if I lost weight, and I'm about 5 pounds lighter than I was at the beginning of the perfect month. This seems to fluctuate enough that I would guess I lost about two or three pounds
  • I don't look any different (hotter) physically but I feel much more beautiful and this started after only about a week. 
My favorite outcome was just the self-esteem and optimism that naturally came from achieving something hard that I set my mind to. I'm glad that this was the most noticeable outcome because I have hope that other "Perfect Months" will give me a similar feeling. 


Jaime said...

This is beautiful. You are inspiring, Cam!

Christina said...

Very cool, thank you Camel! :) I'm so glad you did this!

Teri said...

Yay! So sorry this comment is late - I keep checking your blog on my iPad but then it's a pain to try to comment. I am very happy to read the benefits you've gained from your perfect month. I have been a bit discouraged with my results so far, because a lot of times I have felt pretty tired for the rest of the day after running and I'm not seeing a huge difference physically yet either. But I have been getting a lot of these less tangible benefits, i.e. increased self esteem and feelings of optimism and a "can do!" attitude. :)

Emily said...

Also sorry to be so late to comment, but I am really impressed with your perfect month! You really did inspire me, and now I have a few goals of my own that I'm working toward. Hope you're doing well, and I look forward to reading about your next perfect month! :)