thrity-one days later: #writeandrun31

Yesterday marked the culmination of running and writing every day for the thirty one days in January. And this morning, February 1st, I rolled out of bed to complete a 32nd day. I checked off the usual items as I put them on: fleece lined leggings, thick socks, headband, gloves, watch. Fenton eagerly clambered at the door for me to fit him with his harness. I actually smiled when I saw the blanket of snow covering Boulder. Finally, I get to run in snow again. Finally, I can test out my new YakTrax. A month and a half ago, that would not have been the case.

Back in December, I think I ran a total of about 4 miles. Over the entire month. Unlike this morning, I would not have rejoiced at the snow for the sake of my running, or purposefully woken up early on a weekend morning to run when not training for anything specific.

December came shortly after I declared I wanted to run a marathon in 2015, and instead of putting in the miles to make that dream a reality, I caved. I had a nagging feeling that I wasn't following through on a promise to myself, but all the same, I hardly ran at all. Part of the reason was that I failed to implement a new structure following my half marathon in October. Without a plan, I never ran.

But now I'm pleased to say that in January, I ran a total of 40 miles, thanks to #writeandrun31. For someone who wasn't in the midst of a training cycle, #writeandrun31 was both as simple and effective as I needed it to be. A number of participants have run 150 or even 200+ miles this month. Maybe one month that will be me, but for now, this humble accomplishment feels like a big victory for where I am. Low mileage, high consistency.

Like my utter lack of running, in December, I wrote a total of 0 words on my own time, despite knowing that I've always had a career aspiration for it. I wanted both to journal again, as I used to several years ago, and to start a blog, which I've been intending to do for years. But I didn't do either of those things in December. And now, in January, I've written more than 11,500 words. Which, as I said above, might be a low number for some. But for me feels 11,500 times better than where I had been before. Low word count, high consistency.

I feel extremely pleased about my progress and what the community of #writeandrun31 has done to support me.

At the beginning of the month, I thought the daily commitment to writing and running might be difficult, but in fact, I think it has made both pursuits easier. Last night, when I was drifting off to sleep, I knew it was not a question of whether I would run on the first of February, but what time. And when I got up this morning, there still was no question in my mind. I ran today because I couldn't not run, if that makes sense. And as I pulled on my sneakers, I thought about today's blog post. I knew I had to write today, because it wouldn't feel right if I didn't.

The official #writeandrun31 is on a bit of break until the next 31 day challenge starts in March, but the Facebook community is still open and I'm intending to continue for as long as this feels right. So, February is unofficially #runandcreate28. I'm curious to see if I can make my thirty-one day running and writing streak a fifty-nine day one. And I would love it if you joined me.

Whether you're running or writing or not, what's one new habit you're going to cultivate for yourself in February?

Iris Rankin

Soulful questioner, exuberant organizer, here to find the balance between discipline and delicious relaxation. Iris Rankin is the founder of Project Intention, a values-based community focused on living day-to-day with purpose, planning, and heart. Iris encourages women to adopt the self care practices that make them feel divine, the planning tools to hone in on their essential wants and needs, and the emotional resilience to express their most authentic selves.

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