Holiday running streak going strong

Karla Bruning pledged to run at least a mile a day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day as part of the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak. Two weeks in, her streak is going strong. Photo: Phil Hospod

NEW YORK, December 8, 2011—It was a cold and snowy Thanksgiving morning in rural Quebec, where I spent my holiday. The night before, a snowstorm blanketed the farmland around me, and a haze of flurries continued to drift down. It was white as far as the eye could see from the hilltop where I was perched. But I had to do it. I had to go for a run. 

I’d pledged to run at least a mile a day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day as part of the Runner’s World Holiday Running Streak. A little Canadian snow wasn’t going to stop me. Now two weeks in, my streak is still going strong.

I can’t believe I’ve made it this far. This streak represents the most days I’ve ever run consecutively, my previous record being a measly—and more normal—six days in a row. It’s been a smooth ride for the most part, but there have been a few close calls. Like the night I ran home from dinner—at 10 p.m. and in street clothes with steak and creamed spinach jiggling in my stomach—because I had completely forgotten to run earlier in the day. Whoops! But I was determined to keep the streak alive, so I did what must be done.

I spent the first four days of the streak in Canada, which proved to be a rude awakening to winter running, before heading back to the tropics of New York City, where 60 degree December days awaited me. It’s made keeping the streak much easier, as I usually knock out my daily mileage with my dog during her afternoon walk. We run 1 mile at the least—and I’ll admit there have probably been a few too many 1 to 2-milers—and up to 3 miles when we’re both feeling good.

I totaled 16.15 miles in Week 1 and 15 miles in Week 2. My average run length is 2.25 miles, which is a 20 to 25 minute run for me, depending on whether I’m sweating or sauntering—and I’ve done a bit of both. My shortest run is exactly 1 mile and my longest exactly 5 miles. If I can hang between 15-20 miles a week, I’ll have fulfilled my original goal: maintain a nice base through winter, while off setting my holiday sweet tooth.

Karla Bruning and her dog run along a country road in Quebec on Thanksgiving. (Photo: Phil Hospod)

So far so good. The holiday running streak hasn’t been a cakewalk—mmm, cake—but it hasn’t been too hard either. And despite maintaining a less than model diet, I haven’t gained any weight. That’s a near miracle after a visit to Quebec where poutine—an unholy concoction of crispy french fries and cheese curds slathered with gravy and, occassionally, smoked meat—beckons.

As I enter Week 3, I want to nudge my mileage toward the 20-mile end of my weekly goal range, and steer clear of the holiday feeding frenzy. We’ll see how that goes.

Onward streakers!

Karla Bruning is an award-winning journalist and running nerd. She has completed four marathons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. Follow Karla’s “Notes From a Running Nerd” at, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning.

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Karla Bruning

Karla Bruning is the host of On The Run, a TV and web show from New York Road Runners. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, American Athlete Magazine,,, The Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, Orlando Sentinel, and two dozen other outlets including ESPN2, Universal Sports and ABC in New York. She and her work have also received mentions from The New York Times, Runner's World, Fox Sports, Canadian Running, The Baltimore Sun, and PBS among others. She also covered the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver for The Washington Times.


A former Newsweek reporter, Karla has won a Fulbright scholarship for American journalists and reporting grants from the Scripps Howard, Carnegie and Knight Foundations. Karla holds degrees from Amherst College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.


When not pounding the pavement as a reporter, Karla is pounding the pavement as a runner. She has completed seven marathons, four triathlons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. She is a writer, editor, and on-camera reporter dedicated to covering the sport of running from a runner’s perspective. Find Karla on, Twitter@KBruning, Facebook and Google+.

Contact Karla Bruning


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