Challenge,  On Writing,  running

Started Another Streak

I Have a Monster Streak Going…

That is the one I wrote about blogging every night here for over 11 straight years without a miss.

So I know how to do a streak successfully. And over the years I have started a lot of streaks and challenges for myself. Some are writing streaks like a short story a day for over a hundred days that I did in 2022. That was fun.

And I have started a ton of streaks that just went nowhere for one reason or another. Mostly I gave them no power, or they had no end goal.

I think a solid goal is maybe the most important, and the goal needs to be something you really want.

Well, I have started an exercise steak I have done before. 10,000 steps per day minimum. I know how easy that is on some days and how hard that is on others. For my stride that is five miles per day.

And I started swimming a number of laps every morning. (Have never done the swimming in my adult life, but I was a great swimmer at one point. I am so out of shape it is stupidly hard.) The swimming should help with the breathing. My goal is to lose enough body fat to be able to actually stay under water and swim one length of our pool under water. That might take a while to attain, but it is a good goal. (When I was younger I would have been able to go two lengths of the pool under water without straining. Younger is the key term there.)

Also on top of that, I will spend two days a week lifting (not weights, boxes of books and big shelves in our storage units.)

Later this fall when a big new driving range opens a short distance from us, I will see if my eyes will allow me to hit balls. If so, I will add that in as upper body exercise. I used to be able to hit a thousand balls a day. Right now I would get winded on a small bucket. (I have no plans on playing, just hitting balls on a range. Great full body exercise.)

Part of the 10,000 steps every day will be running. Slowly at first, then more as the weight drops and the knees strengthen.  I ran a quarter of a mile today, more than enough.

Why am I doing all this and giving this much focus to it?

1… Lose weight… 30 extra pounds I gained from the years of the pandemic. (Yes, I have reduced calories and am eating very healthy.)

2… I have a 5K run on September 30th. And that starts weekly 5K charity runs until Christmas and some into next year. Some of the runs I am signed up for 10K. (Easier to win the old geezer age group in a 10K because almost no one my age runs that far. (grin)) Key with 10K is you have to run most of it or everyone goes home while you are still out on the course.

3… I have a half marathon I would like to be better at in February this year. I have finished that half five straight years, none have been pretty.

4… In 2021 I finished a full marathon. (26 miles) I was 70, had done a little pandemic-style training, but not much, and stepped on a large rock at mile six that punctured the bottom of my foot. Still finished, but it was not pretty. I would like to do that run better in the spring this coming year.

So I have real motivation to hit the streak on the 10,000 steps per day, increase my running, lift a lot of boxes, and swim a ton of laps.

The first run is the Vegas Strong 5K run. Thousands and thousands will be running it all over the downtown Vegas area near our place. My goal is on one of these 5K runs to break 30 minutes. My personal best is 31 minutes 19 seconds.

My best 10K is 1 hour, 15 minutes, and 88 seconds.

My best half marathon is 2 hours, 56 minutes, 32 seconds.

So another goal is to beat all of those this year.

Goals are critical for streaks, both in writing, publishing, and exercising. I’ll let you know how this goes.


  • Philip

    One of the fun little surprises about setting big, specific goals (measurable) is you reach little milestones along the way that feel great.

    So far in 2023 I’ve lost 60 lbs and, for the fellow diabetics in the crowd, lowered my A1C from 9.6 to 6.1. I achieved this by setting up a bunch of mini streaks to build to a big one (X days without eating sugar, X days fasting X meals, X stepx X days in a row etc).

    This is exactly what you’re doing here. Instead of letting it ride on one goal, you’ve diversified your portfolio. Best of luck.

    • dwsmith

      Congratulations, Philip!! Sixty pounds is fantastic and lowering the A1C is wonderful. Uncontrolled diabetics is what killed my best friend Bill twelve years ago. Fantastic job getting it under control.

      And I agree. I have promised myself that if I miss on anything, I restart the very next day. But small goals to attain large ones is the way to go. One day at a time really does work.

    • S. H. Miah

      This certainly helps with writing goals, too. Instead of thinking about how large pulp speed sounds, breaking it into daily amounts needed for my personal goal, then dividing that by approximate hours, means I can just tell myself, “If you can find just a X number of hours a day somewhere, you got this.”

      • dwsmith

        Yup, pulp speed is 2,800 words a day. If you write a 1,000 words an hour, under three hours. Very possible and attainable.

  • Kate Pavelle

    Those are awesome goals! I let my watch count my pool exercise as steps. 20 minutes of laps adds up! Re: breathing, I got a lot of mileage from the Total Immersion (TI) method. I used to be hopelessly winded with freestyle so I swam only breaststroke (even in a triathlon.) Scott gave me a weekend coaching seminar in TI and I turned into a long-distance swimmer with a bit of practice. I bet you can find some instruction in Las Vegas if you’re interested. I will be adding fins for a higher calorie burn once my ankle loosens a bit more. Have fun with it!

  • Desikan

    Hi Dean,

    Great goals on the running. All the best !

    Thanks for continuing to inspire in multiple areas.