Last Friday, a 90-day running challenge (May-August) ended in which I participated. It was hosted by Sonic Boom through my wife’s employer. (The pretty effective Pavlovian carrot-and-stick idea is this: Sonic Boom encourages people to play healthy “fitness” or “foodie” games online and win points, which can be accumulated to get cheaper insurance and/or win free prizes. You can also track diet, water consumption, weight loss, etc. (You also accumulate online trophies at least for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place which makes it seem like you actually did something worthwhile.) I joined the challenge in hopes of being more active and keeping my running mileage up as long as possible. I also knew that there were some serious marathoners in the group so I knew winning the challenge would not be easy. Not surprisingly, I felt somewhat lazy about running after the Lincoln Marathon in May. So I started way back in the pack of 31 or so people in the Sonic Boom challenge, not taking it too seriously. After a few weeks of laziness, I started run-streaking (44 days). Near the end of the streak, I had jumped up the leader board on the Sonic Boom challenge into the top 3. (The top 3 of us passed each other constantly, almost daily for a while.) Then came the “month o’ craziness”, the July running challenge. Suddenly, my running mileage was over 200 for July. Then, near the end of July, I decided to accept Pavement Runner’s challenge to run 200 miles in August (while working in “real” rest days).
By this point, I was 100 or so miles in the lead over the second-place person, a fellow marathoner. I knew she could still surge at any moment so I decided to keep my mileage up and try to win the challenge.
Funniest moment of the challenge: when a lady in the top 5 entered a 20,000 mile run into hyperspace so she could “temporarily” surge into the lead (passing me). This made us all laugh and she eventually corrected the mileage. She couldn’t have done it unintentionally with that many zeroes.
Finally, near the end of the challenge, I noticed my lead widen. The others seemed to be slowing down. After time expired Friday, I won the challenge with a 137 mile lead with 654.37 miles (counting running and walking miles).
So I won 35 points and a 120 point score increase for getting cheaper insurance, prizes. More importantly, I won a lot of confidence and consistency in my running and was able to comeback and beat some accomplished marathoners who could have just as easily beaten me. Slow and steady wins the race! It was a three-person race essentially and I was fortunate to win, partly because my support system for my running has become so expansive and so strong from my running friends. THANK YOU RUNNING FRIENDS-sharing this trophy with you for all your helpful support!
Ciao for now! Stay in the running groove and good hunting for your next magical, wonderful run, Jeremy