What is DANuary?
This month we feature two employees and one store that started and completed a Run Streak of all Run Streaks. In January, =PR= staff and stores battled it out all month long to complete in a calendar challenge known as “DANuary”. A calendar challenge is when you run the amount of miles for the day. For example, on January 1st you log 1 mile, on January 2nd you log 2 miles, and so forth all the way until January 31st. DANuary, named after our =PR= One Loudoun Manager, Dan Harding, was created by both Dan and another staff member after reading about the great marathon runner and 2018 Boston Marathon winner Des Linden. In October, Des completed the first ever DEStober calendar challenge. Staff members competed for both the individual title as well as the store title.
Dan, creator and =PR= One Loudoun manager, was the only individual to go all 31 days. Including January 31st, which if you recall was when we got a snowstorm. He was the 1st place winner. Brent, =PR= Leesburg staff member, was the 2nd place individual logging completing 18 days of the challenge. After Day 18, he didn’t stop; instead he continued to add to his store total. =PR= Leesburg, led by store manager Kailey, was the top store completing all 31 days with a grand total of 865 miles combined. Dan, Brent, and =PR= Leesburg took home the grand prize of the Golden Shoe. A closer runner up coming in 3rd place was =PR= D.C. staff member, Kellie. Learn more about their full adventure in this month’s =PR= Employee Spotlight. Be sure to stop in and ask them about all the details too.
All About the DANuary Challenge from Dan (1st Place), Brent (2nd Place) and Kailey, =PR= Store Manager (1st Place Store)
Here’s how Dan’s idea came to life:
Our =PR= Online Store manager, told another staff member (Gina, Marketing and Community Outreach) and me about Des Linden’s October challenge that she called “Destober.” She ran the day of the month in miles every day, and we thought that sounded like fun! Unfortunately, we were already most of the way through October. November and December are pretty busy with the holidays, so we settled on January. I suggested “GINAuary” and Gina voted “DANuary”. I had to admit that her vote sounded better, and now how could I NOT complete a challenge called “DANuary”? We set up an individual and store team challenge, and “DANuary” was born.
Just how many miles did Dan, Brent, and =PR= Leesburg run?
Dan: “My total miles for the month were 502.44 (I logged a few bonus miles in there somewhere). I ran nearly the entire mileage on the W&OD trail because it’s within running distance and I couldn’t spare time to drive anywhere!”
Brent: “I made it to the 18th, but I ran every day of the month and I completed 323 miles total.”
=PR= Leesburg logged a whopping 864.75 miles as a team. The Leesburg store includes 7 members that contributed to the overall total. We asked store manager Kailey to describe each member with one word for the month of DANuary and here’s what she had to say:
Robert: Hype Man
We asked Dan and Brent about the hardest part or hardest day. Here’s what they had to say:
Dan: “The hardest part was fitting the last week’s 196 miles into my schedule! I did a lot of running in the dark before sunrise and after sunset. I’m now good friends with a particular skunk who hangs out on the trail in the very early morning between Ashburn Rd. and Smith Switch. His name is Chris. I’d say the hardest day was actually the 30th as I worked a busy Saturday at the store and had to fit 30 miles around that. Thankfully I had the 31st off work!”
Brent: “The hardest part was just feeling tired all of the time. It got really hard to put up 16 and then 17 and 18 in a row. Plus, trying to find the time to get it all in between teaching, coaching high school swim, PR and most importantly being a good husband and father. Also the physical toll on my body, I just felt beat up.”
And the best part?
Dan: “I love running in the snow, so a snowstorm on the 31st and a 31 mile run was a perfect way to end the challenge. My legs were cooked after that!”
Brent: “The best part was challenging myself both physically and mentally.”
We asked the =PR= Crew what advice they would give to anyone starting a run streak and here’s what they had to say?
“Run easy, be flexible, and where there’s a will, there’s a way! I was at my parent’s on January 1st without my running shoes, so I ran my 1 mile barefoot on their treadmill. If you’re trying to duplicate “DEStober”, recovery is key! Every little thing you can do to recover quicker, from nutrition to compression, will help you make it through the tougher weeks. If you have a spare set of legs, save those for the last week.”
We asked Dan what shoes and products did he use during the month of DANuary….
Short answer, a lot!
Shoes: On Cloudflow and the Saucony Kinvara for shorter runs. Altra Escalante and Hoka Carbon X for longer runs. I also use Currex insoles in all my shoes.
Nutrition: Honey Stinger waffles, Huma gels, and Tailwind drink mix. After runs, I refuel with Nuun drink tablets and Clif Nut Butter Bars.
Recovery: I’m on blood thinners for an artificial heart valve, so I sadly can’t use rollers or massage tools, but I make up for it by living in CEP compression socks! Especially when mileage gets high, I wear the CEP Recovery Socks all day, every day.
Other Gear: On Weather Jacket, Garmin Forerunner 230, Armpocket phone holder, and (last but not least) Aftershokz Aeropex bone conduction headphones plus a phone filled with audiobooks and podcasts.
So What’s next for Dan?
“I’m currently training for a 100-miler at the end of April, so that’s the next goal. Technically, that’ll be my first official ultramarathon race, so wish me luck! And if that ends up being cancelled, I’m sure we’ll think up something else fun to do. Maybe a virtual race across the US? That would keep us busy for a while!”
And how about =PR= Leesburg? Just how good did it feel to be #1…
Kailey noted “We felt very proud, it brought us closer together as a team” Stop by Leesburg and check out their award on the top shelf!