The challenge was simple: Run for 30 minutes each day. It was both awesome and awful. The awesomeness stemmed from my love of running and my enjoyment of pushing myself past my limits. The awfulness was a direct result of the fact that I hadn’t run consistently in nearly six months.

Here is a breakdown of my times running the 6.2 km path I randomly picked on the first day:

  • Monday: 30:36
  • Tuesday: 29:54
  • Wednesday: 30:10
  • Thursday: N.A. (I forgot my watch)
  • Friday: 29:05

As you can see, my time got progressively better, which was surprising given the fact that I was so sore on the second day I could barely walk. But I still managed to beat my original time by 41 seconds. The next day was a little slower, and the one after that was so miserable, I’m glad I forgot my watch. I was so exhausted it would have been faster to walk. But the whole point of this challenge was to push myself, so I did. I finished the run and vowed to make up for my poor performance by crushing it on the final day of the challenge.

I did, but it wasn’t easy. It was raining, so I had to make a choice. Would I skip my final run and fail the challenge or run through the rain and the pain?

I picked the latter… and it was AMAZING! I was determined to beat my previous record, so I focused on every stride and altered my breathing pattern to maximize energy and efficiency. It worked like a charm. Not only did I beat my previous best, but I shaved 91 seconds off my original time. Not bad for a week’s work.