Tuesday 27th August, Run Streak Day 1000. One thousand days of running every day. EVERY SINGLE DAY. I have to be honest, this seems so ridiculous to even be saying this. I never intended this to have happened, it just kind of did. Another ridiculous thing to say. The stats for the last 1000 days look good, 4308.3 miles, two “12in12”s, and numerous pairs of trainers.
It began as a run streak for December, in 2016. In itself that seems wild. I ran at least 5k a day, like most people who do marcothon or a December run streak. It got to January first, and I went out for a run again. By January second it seemed that I may as well keep going. I went to 100 days, and then ran on day 101…and so on and so on. Day 500 was meant to be the end but then I realised that I had Brighton Marathon on day 501. So, yeah, that’s how that worked out. So I carried on (eventually some days I ran only 1 mile – I figured as the legendary Ron Hill allowed this in his streak I could do the same) but for the most part I stuck to the 5k minimum. The last 1000 days have proven a lot to me about myself, mostly that I will continue to do something that seems completely pointless, but hey who hasn’t done that?!
I have been asked a few times how I would celebrate 1000 days of a streak. It’s not something that I had really given much thought to. I know I should, but I also feel like it is just something I stumbled (literally) into sometimes. I know I should want to give myself a massive high 5, but that feels weird and sad, whilst also completely logical.
The streak started as something to do, maybe a distraction, off the back of the first 12 ending and the fundraising I was doing for MND Scotland. Cleary I wasn’t able to let go of it yet, but distraction or not, I do believe that everything happens for a reason.
As I was running the 12 last year through Ireland another event was taking place for Irish Motor Neuron Association (IMDA). Fr Tony Coote, who is living with MND, began his 550-kilometre Walk While You Can pilgrimage began in Letterkenny. Fr Coote completed this in his wheelchair arriving 27 days later in in Ballydehob, west Cork. He raised over €700,000 for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association. This money has been used to fund an additional MND nurse, as well as support ongoing research into the causes and treatment of MND and to fund an additional MND nurse in Ireland. This year The Walk to D’Feet MND took place in Dublin on the 21st July and it’s from following what Fr Coote has done I read about this event. A line in one of the articles struck me really hard, and I read a phrase I never had heard before.
"MND is often referred to as the 1000 day disease as most people die within 1000 days of first symptoms"
Now in all my reading and work with MND I and never heard it referred to as this. But as I read this, wondering how I should mark the 1000th day of the streak I realised that I should just be thankful and grateful that I have been able to use my body over these past 1000 days, grateful for the support and money that we have raised through the 12s and privileged and honoured to have worked with and welcomed by the people I have met along the way. 1000 days is a long time, but it can pass in the blink of an eye.
So, day 1000 will be marked by running with friends who have run so many of the “12” runs with me, training runs, and fun runs, and stupidly awful weather runs. Runs where we’ve talked some amount of nonsense, come up with some incredible patentable (I’m sure) designs. We’ve talked chaffing and having to “go” (a topic that produced unexpected disagreements). We have sung, we have laughed. I may or may not have snotty cried more than once. Tomorrow, however, I will try to just limit to singing with/at them and we can see what day 1001 brings.