Running with Rhyno: Two challenges in December

I know what you are thinking.

And you’re absolutely right.

There’s no way you will catch me running outside while much of Central Alberta and the rest of Canada is suffering through this bloody deep freeze.

This week, I have been sweating it out on Bjorn, my faithful treadmill. My pace is moderate as I keep myself occupied watching episodes of Friends or viral YouTube videos. I run between 8K and 10K.

It’s about all I can do before I go completely out of my mind. Running on a treadmill was my last resort. If you have ever spent any quality time on a treadmill, you know it can be mind numbing.

But I have to run because I am mere days away before completing my two December challenges: run at least one mile (1. 6 kms) every day and run 70 kms each week.

So far, so good.

For the first challenge, I joined the annual Strides Run Streak. The Calgary-based running store has been encouraging runners to stay active over the holiday season. Years ago I attempted the Runner’s World running streak but I lost my steam on that first day when the temperatures plunged to -30 C.

This time I am grittier and more determined to get in those kilometres. (It also helps that I have a treadmill.) What’s really cool about this streak is the community on the Facebook page and Strava (social media network for athletes). I can keep an eye on how my friends are doing and I can draw off the energy of the participants. We can all gripe about how miserable it is in Alberta this week. Misery loves company.

I set a weekly mileage goal in December in order to stay running consistently and to end 2017 on a good foot. My 2017 was a whitewash in terms of races and training. I have big goals in 2018, and I needed to start training yesterday.

Seventy kilometres seemed reasonable.

There are seven days in a week, and surely I can find time to spread out 70 kms over those seven days.

My first week, I ran 70.6 km followed by 71.8 km in week two and 70. 5 km last week.

I am under no illusions that this week I will barely get in the 70 km (especially if I have to run all 70 kms on my treadmill).

Mother Nature had my back until this week.

When you live in Alberta, you are used to the crazy weather patterns (not to mention global warming) but there’s always that ounce of hope that just maybe this winter will be different.

As I write this column on Thursday afternoon, I have 40 kms and four days left to run before the end of Sunday.

While I am not patting myself on my back yet, I have no doubt I will meet these goals.

I still know what you’re thinking.

After all it is that time of year, and you’re starting to think about your own goals or dare I say, resolutions. Maybe you want to start running or you want to up the ante in your running game. Go for it. But make sure you set specific, reasonable and measurable goals.

Next week, I will share my 2018 running goals and how I plan to smash every single one of them. I would love to hear your goals for 2018.


Find Running with Rhyno on Facebook and @CrystalRhyno on Twitter. Send your column ideas, photos and stories to

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