I'll begin with a disclaimer. I have no intention of disparaging running streaks—neither my own nor anyone else's—with what I'm about to say in this post. It just became obvious, for reasons I'll go into, that it was time to end mine.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a definitive reason to start running more frequently. While an ongoing running streak (which I'll now refer to as 'Romeo,' as a reference to the post title) wasn't the objective, that's what happened. After an undetermined amount of days of consecutive running, Romeo began to take on a life of his own. He became an 'entity' as much as a number. That's something I wanted to avoid, before my running-related decisions became influenced by Romeo. That, however, was beginning to happen. One would think that a 1-3 mile easy run would still allow for complete recovery between harder efforts, and one would be…mostly…correct. What seemed to happen was that there was an accumulative effect. The fatigue gradually built up. It became most noticeable after two consecutive weeks of 30 miles of running. Not high mileage compared to what I used to run, but I hadn't totaled 60 miles for two weeks in over TWO YEARS. What started as 1-mile easy runs with the dog on my recovery days gradually grew to 2.5 mile, slightly faster, runs with the dog (the dog needed it, believe me.) Add to that some speed work and a couple of long runs in the second of those two weeks, and the graffiti appeared on the wall. I ended up not only becoming fatigued and slightly re-injured, but I came down with an upper respiratory illness (that's still with me, as I write this.) Whether or not Romeo contributed to the illness, I'm not sure. It has probably prolonged it, though.
With that said, though, Romeo was enjoyable and helped to keep me motivated to run.
[Okay, 'Romeo' has run his course. From here forward, the streak will be called 'Amos Otis'—center fielder for the Kansas City Royals during the '70s and early '80s.]
Amos Otis did teach me that I could do far more than I realized. When Amos Otis began, I had no idea I'd be able to run every day for even a week, let alone 11 weeks. Aside from the latter stages of Amos Otis, I felt like I was in a groove and getting stronger.
However, as much as I enjoyed most of Amos Otis, I remembered that my main objectives as a runner are to:
1. Stay healthy & injury-free
2. Recover fully
3. Race well
4. Have fun!
I feel like I can achieve these objectives a little more effectively without Amos Otis. Hey, chin up, Amos.
Now what? Since I'm planning on riding in the Seattle to Portland bike ride next summer, I'm going to dust off the bike (and the trainer, and the bun-hugging cycling shorts. Sorry, ladies, I'm spoken for) and start putting in some time on the saddle. At least a couple of runs per week will be replaced by bike time. I also plan on taking AT LEAST one complete rest day per week. That means no cardio, no strength training. Just letting my body rest & recover. I'm an old guy, after all.
I'll wrap up by giving you the final Amos Otis numbers:
Consecutive days run: 77
Avg. Miles Per Day: 3.5
Long Run: 9 miles
Minutes: 2317.78 (38.63 hours)
Average pace: 8:42
[FYI—any future references to Amos Otis will be changed to Count Dracula]