lessons from 31 runs – a #mileadaymay recap

Mile A Day May - 31 Day Running challenge

One Mile. Every day. For one month. No – it’s not a lot (or at least it didn't seem like a lot) when our international brand coordinator, Allessia, set off on a 31-day running challenge (also known as #mileadaymay) but she ended up covering a whole lot of ground and learned a thing or two in the process.

When I decided to embark on #mileadaymay I didn’t really know what I was in for. The copywriter in me thought the name was clever, the designer in me thought a collage of 31 photos of my feet might look cool (but wait, there’s only 30 photos! more on that later), the blogger in me thought “good content” and the athlete in me was all “psh” but thankfully I silenced her real fast.

so why would I want to run one mile every day?

Despite the name, the distance was never important. It was always about getting out there. It takes the average person 10-12 minutes to run a mile. I consider myself to be a pretty active person but I sensed I was getting all too comfortable with the “not enough time” excuse and I had a feeling I was using it more than I realized. If I couldn’t find at least 10-12 minutes a day to break a sweat I knew I had some serious re-prioritizing to do.

lessons learned from 31 runs

1. Turns out there is enough time in the day. You may have to wake up earlier than you’d like or leave your friends and a half finished brew on a patio or get dropped off a mile away from your volleyball game but there is time – you just have to want to make it. On day 10 I effed up (this is where the 30 photos comes in). I didn’t plan my day out properly and I couldn’t make it happen. I was mad at myself for it but I knew I had to let it go. I considered throwing in the towel right then because I thought I’d failed. Instead I learned that Friday and Saturday mornings were made for workouts (Friday and Saturday nights, not so much). The next day I got back out there and since then, didn’t miss a beat.

2. You can run off a bad day. Holy – running does wonders to clear your mind. That endorphin thing? Not a gimmick. On one particular day I had run in the morning before work and then came home feeling “blah” and threw myself an epic pity party. Right before hitting rock bottom I decided I needed to hit the pavement and I used my frustrations to fuel a second run. By the end of my run my mood and mindset had done a total 180. This two-a-day also brought me back up to 31 runs by the end of the month which made me feel less guilty about missing Day 10.

3. There is nothing more refreshing than a run in the rain. I love it. It’s so serene and you feel completely badass cause you’re like THE ONLY PERSON OUTSIDE RUNNING.

4. Despite the fact that 30% of my runs started with “arrrrgh I don’t want to do this” 100% of my runs ended glad that I did. Also – I surprised myself that for most of my runs I was eager to get out there. I had anticipated a lot more dread than I actually experienced.

5. There are a lot of skunks in my neighbourhood. One day I crossed paths with 4 skunks. That’s got to be a record (note: I managed to make it out without getting sprayed).

6. Not every workout has to be an epic workout. Some days I only ran a mile other days I went to yoga, soccer and got in a 5K run. If you only have 10 minutes to be active then only workout for 10 minutes. It all counts and it all adds up. By the end of May I had clocked 100K. I covered more distance in a single month doing small runs every day than in the peak month of my half-marathon training last year.

7. Enroll others to hold you accountable. This is true for any goal you set for yourself. I enrolled my blog readers, my family, my friends, coworkers and my social media following.  People kept telling me how inspired they were by what I was up to or that my photos on Instagram had convinced them to lace up too (see there is a time and a place for feet shots after all). There were even a few strangers who picked up the challenge (via the internet) and completed it with me! What no one probably knows is that they were, in turn, inspiring me too. I didn’t want to let anyone down – people were so invested in my success and I'm so thankful for the ongoing support I received.

what's next?

People keep asking me “so now what?” and I’m like… uh, hello! Wasn’t running every day in May enough? I feel like when you complete something like this you’re afraid to stop and break the habit. I think in June I’ll take my “there is enough time” mentality and commit to sweating every day but not necessarily through running. There are so many different activities I love to do and I don’t want to restrict myself.

As for those photos - I'm thinking I'll do a little StickyGram action on them and make them into magnets! Unless, of course, you have a better idea?

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Your perspiration is my inspiration!!!! <3 <3 <3 xoxoxoxo

Comment by Alyson — June 4, 2013 @ 9:01 am

Allessia, thanks for the inspirational post! I’m trying to get back outside running after a long winter and rainy spring inside on the treadmill and am having a hard time finding the hours in the day to get out and run. You are right, you just have to make the time. I’m going to try to get up an hour earlier and get a 30 minute run in before I start the rest of my day. After a few days of that, I should be used to it! #4 is great too, once you are out running, and get back after the run, you are always glad you got out and raI’m with you 100% on that one!

Comment by Timothy — June 4, 2013 @ 6:27 pm

So true what you said about running clearing your mind and having the capabilities of parting your from daily stress. This is one of the reasons I love it so much. Have a good day!

Comment by Sally — June 5, 2013 @ 6:23 am

Hey Timothy! Thanks for your kind comment! Yes – It’s just a matter of making a habit out of it. Believe me the first day I woke myself up at 6:00AM to get in a run I was like “who are you kidding girl!” now I spring out of bed at 5:50AM and am ready to rock. You can do it!

Comment by Allessia — June 5, 2013 @ 10:28 am

Sally, it’s a pretty incredible feeling eh? Hope you have a great day too!

Comment by Allessia — June 5, 2013 @ 10:29 am

ALLESSIA!!! you are a rockstar. Congratulations! Love, E

Comment by Elim — June 5, 2013 @ 12:08 pm

Very inspirational ! good job !

Comment by Elizabeth — June 6, 2013 @ 2:24 pm


I love this so much. I am running a half marathon in 2 weeks but after that I want to do 30 days of runs!

Favorite part of this post: “Despite the fact that 30% of my runs started with “arrrrgh I don’t want to do this” 100% of my runs ended glad that I did”

Comment by Jane — June 7, 2013 @ 11:22 am

oh bestie, you never cease to amaze! love you and your little legs too!

tiff xo

Comment by tiffany — June 7, 2013 @ 11:37 am

Great post and a great idea for a challenge. Makes me want to try it!

Comment by Jill Thistle — June 7, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

Wow what a great idea! I love this a mile a day as after training for half marathons sometimes get in such a mindset that if can’t run at least 6 miles not worth it then skip all together. This is a good reminder that not true.

Comment by Melissa — June 7, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

Lester…you are the wind beneath my wings. F!#king awesome.

Comment by Alexis — June 7, 2013 @ 2:58 pm


This is exactly what I needed at the precise moment it was required. Thanks for your inspiration. My 30 days starts today… and on a Friday night! Gail

Comment by Gail — June 7, 2013 @ 3:01 pm

Jane – That is so awesome, good luck with your half-marathon! I love that this sort of challenge appeals to people who are avid, long-distance runners and is still attainable to someone who’s never run a mile at all!

Comment by Allessia — June 7, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

What a beautiful, honest and inspiring story. Thanks so much for sharing! Wish I’d done it with you!

Comment by Kate — June 7, 2013 @ 4:45 pm

Thanks for the inspiration! I have started running outside again and using the idea of #7 has really helped. Even if it is just my dog who has now come to expect a good run through the neighborhood. :)

Comment by Autumn — June 7, 2013 @ 9:20 pm

I absolutely love this!!! i think i might have to do this challenge as well! great idea and love that you wrote how it changed you and how you viewed running in the end:)

Comment by Tiare Vincent — June 7, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

Saw this on Friday ans started yesterday so far only a mile run but I hope to work up from there and if not , hey I still ran a mile!

Comment by Brit — June 10, 2013 @ 5:25 pm

I just started a program and tonight was supposed to be my 2nd workout but it was raining. Well I kicked my ass with the mindset that I also was a badass and it turned out easier than I though. Thanks for the inspiration!

Comment by Melodie — June 11, 2013 @ 7:08 pm

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