Fellow Flower + FFCrew member Jayme Butts-Hall just ran 365 days in a row! #WOWZA We checked in with her on what inspired her running streak, her go-to flowers throughout this journey and her advice to anyone taking on a challenge.
Hey girl! WOW. So what inspired you to run for 365 days in a row?
I initially planned to participate in last year’s Runner’s World Memorial Day to 4th of July run streak. I made it about 20 days into the streak and my appendix perforated. I tried running one day but I was physically unable to put my shoes on – so I had to take some time off. At the time, I was registered for the Chicago Marathon and The Marine Corps Marathon and I knew I needed to train. Once I was cleared to run, I decided to start the current streak as a streak from 4th of July to Labor Day – a way to stay consistent with my training. I thought a small streak would be a great way to get back into my training. Plus, I did feel like I had some unfinished business with the previous streak. Once Labor Day rolled around, I kept picking another holiday to streak to – Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, etc. Then, the FF Move Your A$$ streak started, and of course, I participated. Somewhere around January 1 I decided to see if I could make it a whole year.
How did you stay disciplined even when you didn’t want to continue the streak?
I tend to be a pretty driven (i.e. stubborn) person, so once I set my mind on something, I stick with it until the end. I think only one or two of my runs were on the treadmill – all the rest were outside in all types of conditions.
When I started the first streak I created a group on Facebook for local runners and walkers that wanted to participate in the streak. I wanted to have people help hold me accountable, and I knew that if I started the group, I’d feel like I owed it to the other participants to lead by example. Several of the women from the Women Run Arkansas – Saline County Run Clinic joined and we had amazing conversations. We helped hold each other accountable. When I had to restart my streak, I used that same group to keep me motivated, and to help keep all of them moving. Throughout the year I would post on my personal page about the group and more people would ask to join. We have over 100 people who post and help encourage each other. It’s a really fun atmosphere as people post about their challenges, how they missed a day, but pick right back up.
I also posted a picture on Facebook every day during the streak. The picture would either be of me after the run, a scene during the run, or my flowers and shoes after the run. I found that some people really like seeing the photos, especially when I traveled. I also knew that if there was a day that I didn’t post, one of my friends would either text or call me out on Facebook 🙂
The streak was interesting because, as with most days in life, some days were easier than others. Some days I ran in the morning, some in the evening. Only one or two runs were on a treadmill – all others outside, no matter the conditions. I am very fortunate to have an amazing husband who supported this idea from the beginning. On one day in particular, I was at work until really late and had absolutely zero energy after a project at work. Chris met me at the door and said, “I ordered pizza. Eat a slice, get changed, and then we will to get your run done.” We headed out at 9:30p.m. and ran almost 4 miles. (I was also trying to run at least 100 miles each month, too, and was 3.6 miles from that goal)
There were certainly some days that were a struggle to get out the door – the summer in Arkansas is a special kind of miserable that cannot be explained, only experienced. On the days that I struggled, I thought to myself, “what is it going to hurt if you get up and go?” or that snarky part of me would say “you’re the one that decided to go this – get up and move your ass.
If you had to pick one or two flowers that you used the most, what would they be and why?
On the night before day 365 I asked my husband which flower I should wear for day 365 and his response, without missing a beat, “you have to wear the rock star one!” Throughout this journey I’ve reached for my black and yellow flowers the most. To me, the black flower is great to use to tap into my inner badass – that part of me that knows it’s possible to go out and crush the task, no matter what. The yellow flower is my version of no excuses – it reminds me that no one is making me do this – I’m running because I get to. To me, these two flowers represent that I’m doing this (running, life, everything) the way I want to, the way I need to in order to be true to myself.
What I find interesting about this answer – these were my first two flowers, purchased at the LR Marathon Expo in 2013. I picked the yellow one for myself, and asked Chris to pick one out that he thought described me, and he picked the black flower.
What would you say to a woman who is about to embark on a tough and long journey of her own?
You get out of the process what you put into the process/journey. When you look back at your training, what do you want to be able to say about it? It’s not always going to be easy, but be willing to learn from those hard moments – those are the moments that will stick with you, the moments that help define who you are. Take it on, take it in, and let it go. Don’t dwell when things don’t go as planned – come up with a new plan. When it feels tough/impossible, tell your brain to shut the hell up and let your heart take over by remembering why – why are you doing this? Always set that intention from the beginning because it will help you in those low points. Don’t be afraid to celebrate victories, no matter how small they may feel. And never let anyone tell you that a victory is small. Always remember where you’ve been, how far you’ve come. When you do that, it make the journey to where you want to go seem less daunting.
I grew up playing sports and eventually competing at a high level. There have been three quotes that I always think about, especially when things get tough. The first is about perspective. “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time” This helps me remember that I have to look at one piece at a time, and that those pieces will add up to something amazing. The second and third are for hard days – days when I don’t want to, or feel like I can’t, or I’m just not feeling it. “It’s supposed to be hard. The hard is what makes it great. If it were easy, everyone would do it.” Tom Hanks said that in A League of Their Own. Finally, my go to quote, that speaks to me at a deep level is from the movie Rocky Balboa. “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows – it’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
– Jayme Butts-Hall, Little Rock, AR