Oh, is it Leap Day? No one mentioned it.
Yes, it's the wonderful day when we make up for the fact that Earth's year is not a nice, round 365 days, but actually 365.25, and we must make up the difference. Personally, I say we all just give ourselves an extra six hours of sleep on New Year's Day and call it even, but no one asked me, so here we are.
I guess I've never realized just how big a deal this day seems to be for most people. Unless your birthday happens to fall on the 29th (Happy Birthday, Samantha!), it really doesn't affect most people. You don't get presents or candy. You're not required to attend church. There are no offensive cultural stereotypes to mimic in the name of alcoholic frivolity. Overall, it's just another day in the life. A fun bonus that helps me remember presidential election years and when the next summer Olympics are going to happen.
This year, it means something a little more to me, however. It means the end of February. Of course, it always meant the end of February, but it means the end of my personal challenge for the month of February. Each day, my alarm went off at some time before 6:30 a.m. and I did my level best to get out of bed. I only failed twice in 29 days, which for me is a pretty good success rate.
Looking back over the month, I noticed something else. I haven't been complaining as much as I used to. When the day starts on the road, it makes everything else a little easier to take. I've been (slightly) more focused on the rest of my life and, particularly in the last week or so, I've felt great.
What's more is that I've also blogged every single day of this month, a first for me. Sure, it's a short month, but that's still pretty good.
And here's the big one. By running each day and keeping myself on an increasing but reasonable run schedule, I broke my record for most miles run in a single month. By 20 miles. And I'm still feeling great.
I'd like to think that I'll continue getting up on time, but without fear of monetary penalty, it'll be a little more difficult, I'm sure. My more immediate concern is coming up with a challenge for the month of March. After January's water and February's wake up, I really want to have something that I challenge myself to do for the month of March. Something that will better my skills as a runner, but also contribute to overall physical and/or mental health. Something that won't require a dispensation for St. Patrick's Day.
In the meantime, I do want to plug the One Day Run that's going on for the rest of the day. It's simple. You follow them on Twitter or Facebook, and then tell them the miles that you've run for the day to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities. Hey, if you're going to run anyway, why not do it for a good cause.
And while you're at it, think me up a good challenge.
68 Degrees, and dark all day