Friday, September 15, 2017

Book Review: Every.Single.Day: Unstoppable Wisdom From a Year of Running

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Every.Single.Day: Unstoppable Wisdom from a Year of Running from the author in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Runners, have you ever streaked? I'm not talking about the running naked kind of streaking. You know you're a runner when you associate the word "streak" with running every.single.day. I've always been amused and intrigued by runners who streak. Personally, while I understand the appeal, I'll never streak. There are days that I just don't have time to get in a run. It isn't just the running, it's the pre and post run activities that factor into a run. And the laundry...

But I digress. When Julie van Amerongen asked me to read and review her book, appropriately titled Every.Single.Day: Unstoppable Wisdom from a Year of Running, I was intrigued. What makes a runner want to run every.single.day?



Streak running is A THING. There is the United States Streak Runners' Association, an organization that keeps track of runs participating in a streak. Runners must apply and submit their data after one year of streak running. Runner's World hosts several streaks throughout the year. Recently, the magazine featured a 78 year old runner who ended the longest streak ever, at 52 years and 39 days. I follow several runners on Facebook who streak. My friend Liz is on day 1274 of her streak!

Why streak? There are many different reasons for streaking, but van Amerongen started streaking after the loss of 2 dear friends and colleagues within 2 days. Out of a project they had been working on grew an experiment where she decided to take on a variety of 30 day challenges, which included meditation, writing, connecting with family members, organizing her home, and running. Running a mile per day didn't seem all that daunting to her--after all, she had been "dabbling in running" over the years.

After the 30 days were up, van Amerongen kept on running. The book Every.Single.Day. chronicles her journey of daily runs. Spoiler alert: she's still streaking. As of 8/29/2017, she's listed at #652, streaking for 861 days. I'm not a streaker, but I am compulsive and after a certain point, for me at least, it would be unthinkable to quit running!

With daily entries, the book reads like a journal. But it's more than just logging miles. Van Amerongen shares insights, challenges, and advice as well. For example, she talks about trying to run when you don't feel like it--which I can imagine happens when you're streaking. Heck, it happens to me and I don't run every day. The author's advice:
"When you're just not feeling it, get out there anyway and use the run as an opportunity to express your gratitude for running...for anything. Just get out of your head and onto your feet! Be thankful you got to run today."
"It's not always going to be easy or fun--do it anyway."
"As I'm running,  I'm thinking that some days you're just not feeling it, and that's all part of it too. Just keep moving."
There's lots of motivation here.

As the streak moves forward, van Amerongen increases her mileage from one mile per day to 3 miles per day. She runs on vacation. She runs while on business trips. She runs on a cruise ship. She runs while sick (1 mile). She ran on a hotel treadmill in Chicago because the weather here was too formidable! No matter what was going on in her life that day, she made a run happen.

Bottom line, she runs. Through her journey she shares with the reader gear that she loves (Knuckle lights, Skirt Sports skirts, Altra shoes, Champion running bras). She starts to learn about injury and recovery, buying a foam roller. As the year winds down, she looks to trail running and gasp! ultras.

She sums up her journey like this:
"If someone had asked me at the beginning of this challenge if I had four to five hours a week to commit to a project I would definitely have said, 'no way'. Yet here I am running at least as much per week. Funny how the streak can allow these things to sneak up on you!"
"The fact that I have stuck with this every single day for almost a year tells me something is right about it."
"I have never once regretted getting out for my daily run. Not once. BOOM!"
Through her year long journey, van Amerongen conveys her love for running loud and clear. If you are looking to start a run streak or just need some running motivation, this book provides plenty. I've bookmarked quite a few pages that I will return to when I'm looking for that little push to get out the door. This was a fun, relateable read!

As Julie says, streak on!

Have you ever "streaked"? If so, how long did you go? Why did you stop? If not, would you ever streak?

I'm linking this post with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for the Friday Five 2.0!


While I'm no longer hosting a link up for the book club, please send me the links to I'm book reviews and I'll include them in my blog post! Be sure to link back to this post--sharing is caring! If you haven't read the book but plan on it, it's never too late to join in!


Next month's selection really intrigues me. We runners often talk about running as a moving meditation. Mackenzie Havey explores this concept in her to-be-released book, Mindful Running: How Meditative Running can Improve Performance and Make you a Happier, More Fulfilled Person. The release date is October 10. I'll post my review on October 20. 

42 comments :

  1. Formidable weather in Chicago? Imagine that. ;p I'll never streak either. I already know the running I do is well beyond the limits of "health". Nothing good would come from streaking for me.

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    1. Nothing is too formidable for me! Well, maybe ice...

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  2. I am definitely in awe of someone who can keep up a run streak for that long. I like the idea of having a number of 30 day challenges as well to try out all kinds of new activities. Your next book looks really interesting too!

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    1. I agree--I'm so not a daily runner! It was fun to read and see how dedicated she was to her quest.

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  3. Yes I streaked for 92 days two years ago. I had to have skin cancer surgery so that put a stop to it. I've tried to start again, but can't seem to commit. I did streak 21 days before this last surgery and haven't run in 4 weeks. I don't miss it as much as I thought. I've enjoyed just getting outside and walking. I have not done well sitting lol!

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    1. I have never streaked! But I had surgery and I did miss running.

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  4. I have a streak of eating! ANd I had a mini streak earlier this year, but it still wasn't very long. Rest is too important. But I know people who have streaked for years. I just am overly cautious, I guess.

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    1. I have no streaks to speak of. Except...well, never mind.

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  5. AS you know, I do the Runner's World streaks to get me through the start of my off-season (Thanksgiving thru New Year's Day), but that's where it ends. I have no desire to streak for the rest of my (running) life. I do like the 5-week commitment aspect of it, though. I also like the challenge of doing all of those runs OUTSIDE in the Iowa weather. It proves to myself that I can hold myself accountable and I can persevere through anything (maybe that's why Fate handed me this surgery thing? LOL).

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    1. I just can't even commit to a daily run for even a short period of time. That makes it like a chore for me. Kudos to those of you who can!

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  6. I have never been on a running streak. I think the longest I have went was a week. I'd love to read the books in your book club. They always sound so interesting. But I can never finish a book in a month. I am just finishing up Fitness Junkie. I downloaded it and listen to it on my long drives.

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    1. I do love these running books! But right now I'm reading a tell-all about Van Halen written by their manager. It's total trash and it's fun!

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  7. I have and will never streak. I think only running 4 days has kept me free of overuse injuries. Then there's the time and weather factor thrown into the mix.

    Nope not for me!!!

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  8. Streaking is not for me, but I'm in awe of those who find the time and energy to keep up with it. In addition to the time factor, I always worry that if I did start to streak that I'd further risk injuring myself.

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    1. There is that aspect for sure! Altho if you were just running a mile on those off days, you probably wouldn't increase your injury factor much.

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  9. This book looks really interesting. I would definitely be injured if I didn't take at least one day off per week!

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    1. I've cut back even more on my mileage! The cross training is key for me.

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  10. What an interesting book! I will have to check it out.

    I was a streaker in college, but not the running kind... well, we did run when campus security tried to arrest us ! And it was only the one time.

    A running streak sounds tiring to me, and my schedule simply doesn't allow it, but i admire those who do them.

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    1. Right there with you! Not on the naked streaking, but on the admiration for the streakers...

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  11. Sounds like a great book!! I've heard of streaking, but I've never done it, mainly because I am injury-prone and like my rest days. Does it still count if you're running just a mile? What qualifies as streaking?!
    Hope you enjoy your weekend!

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    1. It does count if you run a mile. In fact, you could run a mile every day and be considered a streaker. Which is how the author started out. Interesting how she's looking at ultras now!

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  12. I would never do a streak - that's just asking for trouble for me. While I am impressed by those who do streak, I wonder at what cost, like running when you're sick, or injured? Just not worth it for me.

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  13. I've never regretted getting out for a run either!

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  14. I don't think I could streak, honestly. Maybe I would feel differently if I weren't in training for something?

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    1. I don't think I could do it either. No matter what. I actually enjoy my rest days.

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  15. I've thought of streaking... but then I think that I really like my rest days ;-)

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  16. I didn't know there was a streak association. I've done the Runner's World Streak a couple of times but that's about it. I like rest days especially while marathon training. Sounds like an interesting read though.

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  17. I would love to do a running streak but there is no way my body can handle it. Then there's the weather to consider and also other commitments. It will probably never happen for me!

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    1. I think it would really difficult too! I'm amazed at people who maintain these streaks.

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  18. This sounds like such a great book! I typically do a running streak every December and love it!!

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    1. Good for you! I just can't run every day--some days there is no time at all.

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  19. Interesting! I tried doing those Runner's World streak but ended up missing a day here and there. I think there are/were two each year or so?

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    1. I think they host run streaks twice a year--next one is coming up over the holidays.

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  20. I have never streaked but have wanted to try. Though I dont think it'd last. I sometimes try those IG post every day challenges and never can get past like 2 days lol.

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  21. I am not a streaker. I worry that injury would come too quickly. I love my rest days. But I do admire those who streak! this sounds like a fun read!

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    1. I'm with you on the streaking. I'm so afraid of injury. I enjoyed her journey, though!

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