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  • Writer's pictureCarlie Pipe

Man On A Mission: Joel Benton's 8 Year Running Streak

Updated: Jan 28, 2019

Joel Benton is currently on an 8 year Running Streak and still counting! Listen now to find out where his favourite runs have been (he travels the world regularly), what he loved about running in Barbados, and what his running streak means to him.

Carlie: 00:00 Welcome to Runnin Bout. This is your host, Carlie. Remember you can listen to us on itunes. Just search for the podcast title, Runnin Bout. You can also listen via our website. and you can follow me on instagram at flyy.runnerr. Now, today's guest, I have a very special guest here in Barbados all the way from the UK and you're not on island time. You arrived 15 minutes early, which is wonderful. Well appreciated. Welcome Joel. So great to have you. So Joel Benton - you can follow him on Instagram at lea.j.notneb and I'll let you guess what that means. But um, he's been doing a running streak for eight years. That's pretty exciting stuff.

Joel: 00:51 Well, in the, in the, in the scheme of running streaks, which is a peculiar subset of running, which very few people that

Carlie: 00:59 I want to clarify it. This is running streaks, not streaking while running.

Joel: 01:04 I tried that, but it was inconvenient.

Carlie: 01:08 Scrap that.

Joel: 01:10 Yeah, that was, that was, that was before. But uh, yeah, it is running without having a day off, so with a streak of runs consecutively, which yeah, like I said, it's not something that many people do, but I kind of got into it by accident I guess. And then I've been running so much now that I can't stop because I'm on a treadmill and if I stopped by losing my high score and it would be unthinkable and my wife would kill me, I'd be stressed out. And

Carlie: 01:41 so, so how does she feel about your running streak everyday you go out for a run, how does she feel about that?

Joel: 01:47 She was adamant that she couldn't do it at the start because I started in January the first 2011 as a bit of a new year's resolution. And then I just kept doing it and she was like, I couldn't do that. Couldn't run everyday. I need a break and needs to rest as very much as you imagine everybody would and there's loads of reasons to not run everyday. Definitely could think of a few. And then she started it and she did five and a half years. She, she started like, okay,

Carlie: 02:14 that's not a drop in the bucket. Five!

Joel: 02:16 and a half years is a long time. In terms of the international running streak association, they don't even take you seriously until you'd done at least a year. And a year it's quite hard to do because life throws quite a lot at you in a year that you still get in running. And I travel a lot, which makes things sort of a bit complicated from time to time. But yeah, she was, she, she had to stop because she has back problems and her doctor suggested that she stopped and it was probably the right thing to do, but she was very upset to not run. I can imagine that. Imagine the motivation, like maybe 12 years ago if you'd have told me that I was going to run tomorrow, I've been really lucky that I can think I've got to do this and that and you're not going to fly or I've got to work.

Joel: 03:03 And I think it excuses now if you tell me I'm, I can't run tomorrow, I go crazy, I've completely flipped my motivation on its head.

Carlie: 03:12 You're obsessed.

Joel: 03:13 One of the things, I think it's a virtuous obsession, like if I probably am, but I'm, the only thing I'm obsessed about isn't so much running, it's keeping the streak. To me. It doesn't really matter whether I run far or whether I run fast, I've just got to run and there's something quite a therapeutic about getting up and going for a run. Like this morning, my wife is still asleep. I just got up, put my running gear on, went for a run and it wasn't particularly glamorous run. I run down the highway and then up the hill. And um, it's nice to collect your thoughts. I mean, you know, I always say running gives more than it takes and you know, that's a quite a good, um, uh, exchange really. If you're doing that everyday you get, you're gaining something from the run every day.

Carlie: 03:59 Absolutely. And I love running in the morning, it sets the tone for the day

Joel: 04:03 and you know, it's nice because when I'm working like I travel a lot for work and I did go to conferences and have a billion meetings and you know, when I sit in a meeting at 9:00, first meeting of the day, everybody's kind of coming in a bit bleary eyed and a bit hung over and like complaining and I'm like,

Carlie: 04:20 and you've got a bushy tail and you're ready to go,

Joel: 04:22 you idiots. I've done nothing. I've just run three miles, you know, it's still true. And I feel like if I can do that, I can do anything. And there's a lot, there's a lot to that. I'm sure you're the same like you, if I can, do you know, if I can represent my country in a half marathon?

Carlie: 04:39 Yeah. Um, and it's interesting you mentioned that because we've actually turned the tables today because you interviewed me, um, about a week ago and now I'm interviewing you and you interviewed me for your Youtube Channel. It's a new thing. Tell me about it.

Joel: 04:52 My new youtube channel. It's, um, really came from some of the best runs I've done, I've been with other people. And

Carlie: 05:01 don't like your own company?

Joel: 05:02 Well, part of the reason I'm running is I like the headspace of running and not talking. Like I don't listen to music when I run. I just liked it.

Carlie: 05:10 So we're good ideas for you to run with people and talk to them for the whole time, right?

Joel: 05:14 Yeah - Well I've had some experience where I've run with people that I don't know and you get to know people and it's curious. I hadn't really thought about this until I started it. As an adult, you rarely get the chance to meet new people and talk to them. Like if you met somebody, like if I met your husband and said, Hey Simon, can we sit for half an hour and have a talk? You'd be like, no, I don't want to do that. That's weird. Why would you, why would you want to? And so there's very few social ways of getting to know people. Whereas if you say, Hey, do you want to come for a run?

Carlie: 05:45 Oh yeah, cool. Definitely don't even know you. I'll come and meet you for a run, which is sort of, you know,

Joel: 05:51 and consequently we spent half an hour of me trying to keep up with you and you talking and we kind of sort of got to know one another in a small way. But it's, it's been really good like that. I've made some really good friends that I really value just from running with them and you know, the excuse of running with them and she's really cool. So with that in mind I thought well could I expand that out and would, would other people be interested in watching this back is still tbd. I don't know how interesting it is watching people running and talking. I think runners would love to watch people running and that's what I, that's what I think, like if, if I, if actually youtube channel was available with interesting people talking about running and how they'd run in their relationship with running, I'd probably watch it and you know, my channel is extremely amateurish video wise.

Joel: 06:38 Like I don't edit it. It's just me running with somebody and talking.

Carlie: 06:43 It's raw. Natural and organic.

Joel: 06:43 Good. Well that makes it sound like I did it on purpose, which I like. But uh, it, it's, I think it's quite, it's interesting to do. I may meet some interesting people. Uh, it's, it's an I've got to run anyway, so I might as well just film it. It's not like I'm going out of my way to do a run. I'm doing that anyway. Um, which, uh, you know, it's been, it's been quite a, it's quite, I've quite enjoyed the process. The first one I did was in California a couple of months ago with a guy called Gary Rust and where I'd been running eight years, so I was coming up to the end of eight years when I ran with him. I started in January, first 2011.

Joel: 07:27 That was my New Year's resolution. Yeah, obsessive New Year's resolution. He started in 1983.

Carlie: 07:34 Wow. That's before I was born. Sorry to say that.

Joel: 07:37 I know I was 12 in 1983. Right. I can't imagine the life that you've lived right from that time has been an eternity and he's got to run in every single day that you've been alive. That is, yeah. That's mindblowing. Incredible story to hear. He's a great guy and he's in his seventies, married to a woman who's about 25 or something. His son is 18 and he's got an eight year streak. He looks like he's about 45. Incredible guy. Very funny. And he's a big racer and you're a big racer and he liked the competition, but I've never really been. I appreciate the dedication it takes to train for anything and the sort of pain that you have to go through in competition, um, and like I really have a deep appreciation for that, but I'm not particularly competitive person.

Joel: 08:26 Like I don't really care for that sort of thing. Any competition I've ever done, I've just sort of done it for the sake of doing it. And inevitably I run too fast and I hurt myself the next day I can't recover it, so I've got to go for a run and I hurt my achilles. And so I don't tend to compete. But he did a, he's done hundreds of races as part of the street marathons, half marathons. He's a kind of 10 K guy. Yeah. He, his mile time was extraordinary. It's like 4:54 per mile, which is pretty impressive, right? Yeah. But he, he did track stuff and he used to teach and coach and amazing guy, but 35 years, imagine what life throws at you in 35 years that you can still get a run in? He had his prostate removed, he had knee surgery, he had foot surgery. And he's still got to run in every day. It, it blows my mind. And if you can do that again, you can do it.

Carlie: 09:17 Exactly. So everybody's excuses. You know, you come up with an excuse in the morning, it's lame. Like, oh, I just don't feel like it. I mean, well, they're all very trivial now when you think about it,

Joel: 09:30 that's the beauty and simplicity of the running streak is I know that if I didn't have my streak going, I'd say, well, I can't run today because I've got I've got to go and drive and see Carlie and do this podcast thing. And then tomorrow, well, you know, it's the last day of the holiday, I won't run. I run when I get home and then I get home and I think, you know what? It's Thursday, I'll run on Saturday. And any kind of excuse you is the thin end of the wedge, which opens up and becomes an excuse. You just never do it. Right. Whereas with the, it's not, you know, I know I'm going to run tomorrow, I'm going to run everyday for the rest of my life. If I can, until life throws something at me to prevent me from doing so. I've got no excuse. It's not if I'm going to run, it's just the only thought when I'm going to run, I'm going to do it or you know, what's the route going to be, what time am I going to do it? Yeah. What shoes am I going to wear? All of these other questions, but there's no question of whether I'm actually going to do it or not. It's gonna happen. It's gonna happen.

Carlie: 10:25 Right. So Gary Rust, what's his. Do you have like a ranking system or is there like a people with the highest number of years

Joel: 10:35 Well there kind of is. And it really is all tracked by this international running streak association run by a guy called Mark Washbrook is extremely helpful and uh, if you can go on there and it sort of tracks in real time how many days because it's useful because it's hard to remember how many days it is. Do you remember how many years? But he can't remember the number of days I come on, 2,900 and some, but the guy who had the longest streak was a guy called Ron Hill who is an ex commonwealth runner, English guy, amazing sportsman generally. And he had 54 years. That was the longest running streak in the world. Imagine 54 years. Um, and he stopped, which was very sad, but obviously everybody was slightly happy because everybody's moved up one in the ranking order

Carlie: 11:17 Now you know, where the goal is, right?

Joel: 11:22 Think I'm a fourth or fifth in the UK and in the world, I don't know, probably three or 400th, but the Gary Rusty he's 41st in the world

Carlie: 11:32 And he's top in the UK?

Joel: 11:34 He's in California. So he was in California. I don't know, there's a Scottish guy, I think he's got the number one in the UK. I was thinking of going and running with him on my video and then like kicking him in the legs so he can't run the next day. Moved up one ha ha!

Carlie: 11:53 It will be on film! So yeah. So your youtube channel is three mile run down. You interviewed some really interesting people not talking about myself. Gary Rust. You also met another person in Barbados. Allison.

Joel: 12:08 Yeah. She was amazing. The run I did with you. I enjoyed immensely. And you're an incredible runner. Far better than I am. Um, and far faster. My legs were really slightly faster pace than I normally run by. Enjoyed it and I didn't really notice at the time it was only afterwards

Carlie: 12:26 we saw some cool stuff. We met to Bridgetown, we saw some history and what's not to like finished on the beach.

Joel: 12:30 We're having it run and a chat in Barbados. To me that's a good start with a good day. Yes. But Allison Allen who lives over on the east coast, which is a wild and rugged land. She's an ultra runner and um, she uh, I just emailed her from her website and um, again she was happy to run because she was out running and you know, it's, it's a good leveler. Everybody that runs kind of likes other runners. You've got something in common.

Carlie: 12:56 I don't care anything else. And once they know you're a runner, it's like, oh great, we are friends,

Joel: 13:01 you know, it's nice to have something in common where every time you meet a new person you search for something that you have in common and if you both run, you've automatically got that in common. So we arranged to meet for me to film this thing and it's all very chunky, amateurish filming that I do and uh, so she, she did a, she emailed me a pin drop on Google maps and I just went to that location and was waiting for her and she showed up and we ran the three miles and then she ran home. But she'd run 21 miles before we even started. She turned up, she didn't look like it, she looked like she just got out of the car and we did this run and it was embarrassing for me looking back at it.

Joel: 13:47 Now I'm embarrassed by that run. It's interesting. It's a good chat. She's an amazing woman and she told me some incredible things, but I'm basically just trying to not throw up because the hills are so steep and I'm running with one hand and holding, holding the selfie stick, which is annoying and, you can't run with your arms running up a hill. So I'm asking her questions to which there are long answers just to give me a chance to sort of get my breath back and she's like chatting away like nothing is happening and I say, tell me your life story. Exactly. The beginning. It was a bit like that and the route that we did was beautiful on a ridge overlooking the Atlantic. It was fantastic. But um, the downhill bits are fine, but the uphills are a bit of a struggle. I think we've got it. I think it came out okay. But I do sound a bit like Panty, you know what I mean? I'm panting much more than I ought to have been, but the whole thing is raw. As soon as you say people are going to like that or they're not,

Carlie: 14:48 you must have a brilliant story. I'm really looking forward to watching that because as an ultra runner, like you said, she runs 20 nuff miles all over and she was running while pregnant. It just sounds like a really, really cool story, so I'm looking forward to that one for sure.

Joel: 15:06 She gets up at 2:00 AM and runs till midday. That's just a Saturday. That's just a Saturday. And she was the first female finisher of the Badwater ultramarathon, which is the hardest foot race in the world.

Carlie: 15:16 I really wouldn't even want to look at it directly in the eyes, you know,

Joel: 15:20 Unbelievable. But yeah, she was fascinating, but all the people I've run with a really, really interesting and it's just a great privilege to be able to do that. And I feel like I've got a bit of a, you know, people take me a bit more seriously than some because my story is relatively unusual, right? Because I run everyday for eight years, so people are all right. He's, he's clearly insane,

Carlie: 15:44 but we like it. It's the kind of insane that runners like, I hope for sure. We're all a little insane.

Joel: 15:51 Yeah. You're like a racing snake, your like built for speed and I'm certainly not like, I don't really consider myself a natural runner, but I'm not, you know, if somebody said to me, you're a runner, I'd sort of dispute that because I don't feel like a runner. Well, I am because I run every day and that's kind of what defines a runner. But you know, I'm certainly, I'm too heavy, I drink too much, eat too much, and my gait isn't particularly good. Thankfully I haven't been injured during my streak so it can't be that bad, but you know, I'm by no means natural. Looking at you when you run, you are like a running machine, a snake. It's a symphony of like biodynamics. It's wonderful to watch,

Carlie: 16:32 That's the best compliment you could give a running a woman who runs "a symphony of running machine dynamics." That's a great comment. Yeah,

Joel: 16:40 you're very welcome. And I mean it. It was a pleasure to run with you, but I really struggled like, uh, every, every footstep I have to work out,

Carlie: 16:49 but you've done it every day for eight over eight years now. That's a great story and that's a great success and a great triumph.

Joel: 16:56 I hope. I think I've inspired a couple of other people to do it largely because they look at me and they think, well, if that fat idiot can do it. Anybody can.

Carlie: 17:08 Speaking of that, like, have you seen physical or like emotional changes in you?

Joel: 17:13 Yeah that's a great question. Um, yes is the answer. They're not so profound as you'd noticed them overnight, but I've run through some.... Well obviously you mentioned the eight years lots of stuff happens, but I've run through some extremely difficult times. You know, personally, we've, you know, we've come through some really rough times professionally and having that run everyday, just to balance your head is a really good thing. You know, if you, you probably know if you're in a bad mood and you go for a run, it's impossible to keep the bad mood as you run. At the end of it, it changes your mood. It levels you out. And uh, with the streak, I think, uh, you know, it's really helped me cope with some amazing stuff. There's an expression that I'm sort of coopting, but like I, I started for the vanity and I ended for the sanity. Like I'm, I'm, I did it for the vanity of losing weight and getting fit and I stuck around for the sanity of just doing it everyday.

Carlie: 18:08 Yeah. I like that saying. What was your original goal like a year or.

Joel: 18:12 Well, that's a good question. Prior to this streak. I've always in my, in my twenties and thirties, I'd get fit. I do a lot of running. I go to the gym, I look good, look good, look buff, meet a girl, immediately stopped running and going to the gym. Yeah, mission accomplished. You eat too much, get fat, feel crappy, finished with a girl, feel shitty about myself. And then immediately start the cycle again. And I thought I can't keep doing that. And I was about to. I was about to turn 40 and uh, uh, you know, I thought well I'll try and even out some of those peaks and troughs and that's why I started running, you know, everyday and remove the excuse to not run.

Carlie: 18:53 I like that. So you've also been all over the world. Yeah. I have a running various terrains versus temperatures versus urban versus city versus very, very rural. What are some of maybe like the top three countries?

Joel: 19:11 I'm fortunate because my job takes me all over the world and I have clients all over the world, but you know, the downside of that of course is having to fit a running into, around travel. And I've, in my, in my memory, I have a couple of sorts of runs the I like when I was in Las Vegas last year in a place called Red Rock Canyon, which is one of the most beautiful places in the world they're running is spectacular desert, isn't it? And the, it's quite hilly and the rock formations are amazing. Obviously the color red, they look incredible. So it was the end of a conference, uh, and a guy, one of my clients happens to be an ultra runner as well. So he and I said, well, let's just go for a run 10 miles. That's just go up to red rock. Yes, it's Las Vegas, right? It's going to be great on the way up to the run. We were in the car worrying about, uh, you know, to have any sunscreen, you know, we're going to get sunburned. Maybe we'll run in the shade to avoid the sun. And as we were running, as we were driving up to red rock from the big, you know, the Las Vegas Strip, there was some weird cloud formations and we, well maybe, maybe we won't have to worry about sunblock. And we got to red rock. It started snowing.

Carlie: 20:25 No Way.

Joel: 20:27 This is for the whole run. It was a blizzard. So we ran five miles up in shorts and a tee shirt and we were freezing. My hands just went totally numb because it was so cold and the wind was blowing and we were like, we kept looking at each other going, this is Las Vegas. So that was quite memorable. And again, it's nice when you know, as you know, extremes of everything and Nice when you run your hardest when you were doing your half marathon, competing, you know, it's not a pleasant feeling, but when you finish you feel fantastic and when you get really cold when you're running or really tired, it feels good when you finish. I was in northern Sweden in Noumea. I've got some clients up there and all my clients and little company of 14 people and they um, most of them run.

Joel: 21:15 So they all came out running with me knowing that I run every day and it was minus 22 celsius, which is really cold.

Carlie: 21:25 Is that the coldest you've run in?

Joel: 21:25 Yeah, that was really cold. But it was extremely memorable. It's beautiful sunny day, but just super cold and you know, that was quite unusual because most of the time when I'm traveling for work, I'm running around cities and I tend to go to the same places. So I judge everything by well I'll stay at that hotel because I know the running's good round there. And I know some people who I can go and run with know San Francisco. Everybody loves San Francisco. Uh, I disliked San Fransisco personally. I don't mind a hill or two, but where we stayed near Union square is difficult to get down to the embarcadero but along there, if you go and run towards the Golden Gate Bridge is amazing.

Joel: 22:05 On the other side of the Golden Gate in Marin County is incredible. Uh, you know, running down the beach in Los Angeles is pretty, pretty memorable I suppose. But, you know, I was running in Kiev in the Ukraine and that was horrible. But then I, you know, I came around the corner and found the river and ran along the river and it was fantastic again. So I, you know, I choose everything, travel time, where we live, where we stay because when you know, you've got to do it everyday, you know, there's, there's no, there's no choice about that. I'm doing it every day so I've just got to make it as good for myself as I can.

Carlie: 22:44 So. Do you have a common routes that you use at home?

Joel: 22:47 Yes. Well

Carlie: 22:48 do you like to switch it up a lot or do you just kinda keep it same?

Joel: 22:52 I think if you came to my house and if you ever come to the UK then please come running with me. But you'd find that runs amazing cause I live in a lovely part of the world and it's very rural and running through the woods and stuff. It's nice and some lovely hills but because we do them every day, I get extremely bored with them.

Joel: 23:15 I used to run with my dog until she got a bit old and didn't want to do it anymore. But he was a good excuse to get out with her. And you know, there's a guy in a sandwich shop by little, like a, like a trailer that serves food by the road and every time I run past him and wish them good morning and he's Turkish, so I'm learning like a new word of Turkish to say to him every morning. Yeah. So that was kind of fun. Well, I have to think of fun things to keep my mind engaged. Otherwise I get so bored of the same runs over and over again.

Carlie: 23:47 Yeah, yeah, yeah. For sure. Now I want to, like, I checked the definition of what a running streak is. So for anyone who doesn't know, it's one mile minimum per calendar day, which can be on road trail, treadmill or, and I love this part over hill and Dale. So you've done some Hill and dale

Joel: 24:08 Um, I do a treadmill occasionally if it's particularly difficult to get out but I hate running on treadmills

Carlie: 24:16 I find like, yeah, you either hate them or you're okay with them. I'm okay with them because uh, if I don't get out in the morning and I know I might not be able to in the afternoon, at least that gives me a window during the day where I can still get a run in. I'll just do it on treadmill because obviously outside the window of time you can run is limited to morning or evening. So I don't mind treadmills to be honest. I just put on some music

Joel: 24:43 I mean I don't know what the maximum distance I could run is. I've never really tested it, but I could certainly run 10 miles pretty easily. I couldn't run more than three miles on the treadmill without my brain exploding. Even with music and distractions and stuff. I just hate the treadmill. So I love getting outside.

Carlie: 25:00 The most I've ever done on a treadmill is I think like two hours and I had, I had like an ipod with Netflix going and it's like a very easy pace. Not like a hard pace. You're looking at me like

Joel: 25:12 I was just thinking of a funny story when I was in. I lived in Toronto, my wife's Canadian. We lived in Toronto for about eight months during my streak. It was the first year of my streak at the end of the first year of my streak, so I was keen to keep it going because I wanted to get to that end of that first marker and um, we rented this sort of warehouse apartment thing is a bit like living in a car park as a big enormous concrete apartment.

Joel: 25:43 I rented a treadmill so I can do my runs if it got too cold because Toronto is extremely cold in the winter. And one day I was so bored of the Treadmill, I thought, you know what? Screw it, I'm going to go out running. And it took me about 10 minutes to get dressed because I had so much. I had a hat and gloves and two layers and a jacket and a ski mask. And I had special shoes that I imported from Sweden with studs in called icebergs. I was thinking to myself, I am hardcore, I'm going to be the, like the coolest guy out there. Nobody else is going to be on the streets. I'm going to be on my own and screw everybody else. I've done it and they haven't. Right. So I went out and it was, it was snowing and it was really cold and uh, I ran up and sort of along a little path by river and it was nobody else that is like 6:30 in the morning. Can I get enlightened or, you know, it was difficult but quite satisfying because I knew that I was the only one doing it. On the way back, there's a guy coming towards me on a UNICYCLE, He was like "Morning," like nothing is happening. It was snowing, it was freezing cold and he was on a unicycle. I was like, oh my God, talk about raining on my parade. Like I was really pissed off. I was like, oh my God. I thought I was tough. These Canadians, they're ridiculous.

Carlie: 27:02 He might be doing a unicycle streak. You don't know.

Joel: 27:07 You were asking questions I didn't answer at the beginning about what kind of motivates me getting the first year done. Like I wanted to see how many days in a row I could run. The previous was about eight days and then I had to rest or I thought of an excuse. Why didn't I couldn't run, so I thought, well maybe I can do a year. And I was raising money for a charity. I'm a, I'm a ambassador for a charity in the UK called Special Effect, which is a video game charity. And um, so I wanted to raise some money for them and people were sponsoring me saying, oh, you'll never get to a year. A year is a long time. Well that January 2011, I was speaking at a conference in Toronto and I knew that on the 28th of that month I had an early flight. So I knew I'd have to get up at like four in the morning to get my flight at eight in the morning. And I knew I'd get home at about 11:00, 1130 at night. So I wouldn't be able to do run that day. So I was resigned to, you know, I can do 28 days, 28 days in a row. It's not that hard. Right. So that particular morning knowing that I had just done 27 days and this is my 28th day, I happened to wake up at 3:00 AM in my hotel room. Right. Well and, and there was some noisy neighbors that were keeping me awake. I couldn't get back to sleep and I didn't have to get up for another hour.

Joel: 28:23 So I thought well, might as well just go for a run. And then I went to the gym that day, did the treadmill run, and then after that I was thinking, well, Christ, if I can run at 4 am in, uh, in the wintertime in Toronto and you know what? I can do anything like, what's life going to have to throw at me to prevent me from running? So that was a bit of a watershed moment. After that, the rest of the year was fairly easy. And then I got to the end of the year, I thought I might as well keep doing it, see if I can run everyday of my. Because I turned 40 that year. So if I can run everyday of my forties now I'm going to see if I can run until there's something quite pleasurable about this. Not having an end to it. Like you, you trained for events like you focus with like laser like focus on this day you're going to do this event.

Joel: 29:10 So you've got all your training work done here, eating and sleeping and every arrangement around it, family and all that for that particular goal. And in my mind I couldn't do that because I think well if I'm going to stop after that then I might because I'm not that competitive anywhere. I think. Well I might as well just stop now because I'm going. I know I'm going to stop. I know I'm going to be an end to this so I might as well just end it now because why? Why am I doing this if there's going to be an end to it? Whereas my streak, there is no end to it. I don't sort of look into the future. I think what going to stop at that particular time.

Carlie: 29:43 Sre ultimately I feel like I couldn't handle that. I feel like I would need to be looking at something, you know?

Joel: 29:49 Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's probably the other side of the same coin because you need that focus to keep you motivated. Many, many people do like most. I think most runners and most people who start running need something to focus on because that kind of removes the impetus to make excuses to not do it well. I've got to train for a marathon so I need to get out. Whereas I've got excuses taken care of, right? I don't have to worry about excuses, so I've just, you know, I, I don't have to worry about doing anything on a particular day. I just know I've got to run and you know, it's nice to be able to get up and go, you know what? I've, I think I've run six miles today. I think I want, I've seen that thing over there that I want to go and have a look at or you know, I've got to go and have since I've been on the island here, some people invited us for breakfast, so I looked at their place and it was up, you know, north of where we were staying. It's about four miles away, so I thought we could run. I run up and see him and that was nice. My wife drove up and I ran up and dive in the pool and washed and cleaned off and then I had breakfast. That was a nice way to start the day, but it's a nice way to break my streak. Yeah,

Carlie: 30:53 definitely. And always kind of doing something a little bit different, like not running the same route, running to go somewhere. That's something I kind of want to do a little bit more of is using a car less and trying to use my own two feet more. The only thing is the sunshine and that's kind of sweaty. That's my only problem. The place I live so close to everything. I mean really, why would I? Supermarket is two minutes away. Why would I drive there?

Joel: 31:20 That's true. That's true. You're in an interesting position because of the climate and also running in the cold because I've got on tomorrow. I'm going to get up here in Barbados. I'm going to do the 10 k just because it's the middle of my last run. I'll run in the monkeys running around. Beautiful Sunshine and warmth. Then I've got to get on a plane and then get off a plane and immediately you go do another run because it's Italy be Thursday, but that time, so I'm going to get home. It's going to be miserable. I know it's going to be about four degrees. It's going to be cold raining and I've just got off a plane. I'll be tired. You know, that's when I least want to run. But you know it was a reset. Your body clock is quite useful like that, but yeah, when it's cold you can put more gear on when it's hot....

Carlie: 32:08 you can't it take off because then you become a streaking runner as opposed to someone running a streak.

Joel: 32:17 Then you risk getting arrested for running and I don't really want to do that exactly.

Carlie: 32:21 Um, so let's talk a little bit about running against yourself because that was something we were chatting just a little bit before we went on the mic. In a running streak do you feel that you're especially running against yourself?

Joel: 32:32 Yes, yes. And I think that gets easier over time because the longer you do it, the less you want to stop doing it because obviously my high score now 2,900 and something and I don't want to lose that so that the pressure to not run is, um, is less than because of the number of days I've run. But you know, when I'm gets less. Yeah. When I'm at like I was this morning, like I want to push myself and I want to, you know, I was running up along hill this morning, which is never a fun thing to do. She knew but you know, I didn't want to slack off and they're, the battle that goes on in my head is how hard to push now. Sometimes I run, you know, I just think I'm going to go for it and it's uncomfortable and unpleasant, but I do it anyway just because it's nice to mix it up a bit.

Joel: 33:19 Not that often, but that's the war. The war that rages with most runners is whether to run and when they get an but you know, I've taken care of that now. It's like everybody else is like, how hard to push yourself. You push yourself to is uncomfortable. You didn't really enjoy it. I think, well why am I doing this? I want to enjoy it. So you back off anything. Oh that's not too bad. Anything. Then the whole cycle repeats itself again. Oh No, I need to be. I need to be trying harder, ready to get faster. I need to lose some weight. Actually. I've really found. I really found that eating and drinking banks beer here on Barbados hasn't done anything.

Carlie: 33:53 Has it helped you?

Joel: 33:57 You know, you're, like I said, a racing snake you like, you don't carry any extra weight, but I find that if I do like at Christmas when you're inevitably too much, my running is a lot harder. Like I do the same run and it's just difficult. Right. And then I lose some weight and it just, I get faster. It feels slightly easier. Well, I don't know whether it feels easy. You just get, you just do it faster.

Carlie: 34:19 Yeah. Yeah. Less to carry I guess. Um, how has your, do you have other hobbies or other exercise you like to do outside of running? Because running is really the only the one and only.

Joel: 34:32 You know, it's funny. I am, you know, I'm quite disciplined about the streak and it's, it's got its own motivation for doing so. But you know, I, I, when we were in California, we were there for six weeks, so I joined a gym and I thought well it's a good excuse. It's a very healthy eating environment and, and you know, buddy of mine, uh, you know, he's got a trainer so it's using the same trainer and I find my motivation to go to the gym was almost nonexistent because I do my run, I get home and then I think should I go to the gym? And in my mind I'd be like, screw it. I've just done my run. I've done more than most people that have done today. Like I feel pretty good about myself. I know I'm not going to go to the gym, so I find doing anything besides running extremely difficult. It's very hard. Oddly enough, I should be going to the gym more and I should work on my strength training we were talking about that we're running by your discipline to do cross training is admirable. The other thing I should really do, and I don't stretch, like I know they're very strict. I used to never stretch but I started on. It helps. So I, I encourage, well I have to do a bit of stretching after because you, your average pace is faster by about a minute, a mile in my average pace. So I did, I mean it was, it was fun and I didn't really notice at the time, but we were running faster than I normally run. I got up the next day and I was thinking that what, why my legs hurting and I woke up in the night and my legs are aching or something. What the hell was going on? Geez. It must be that I went back and looked at it and our paces about seven and a half minute mile pace. Which for you is probably nothing but for me it's. Yeah,

Carlie: 36:06 it's funny you mention that actually because there's kind of a joke in my running group that I do Obeah, which is like black magic on people. So like, because I've injured a few people. Okay. I haven't physically injured people, but people that I run with have ended up injured and they're like, it's you, you're the reason

Joel: 36:26 I wish you'd told me that before we run. You put a hex on me.

Carlie: 36:33 You're all right. Now before we go, I want to know what you do with all the data. Like you have to, I suppose, upload all of your data so that you can verify. Oh yes, I've run every day. What's the, what's the whole technical aspect of.

Joel: 36:46 The um, the, the international running streak association, you've kind of like, he just send them an email or something. I can't remember. It works. Say Like I started my streak on day x and they don't take you seriously until been doing a year. Right. So you tell them when you started in that they kind of automatically log it and if you stop, like when my wife finished her five and a half years, very sadly, um, she emailed them and said, look, it's over now. So they'd take her off, right. They retire. But beyond that, it's kind of done on a sort of, honour basis, which I think is fine because frankly, why the hell would anybody lie about it? Like nobody cares. Nobody cares. Not really. Nobody cares. Why would I, why would I lie about like, people often ask for you, dude. So you ran for 20 years for you. What are you stupid.

Joel: 37:40 So that's the first question they ask is what you could lie about it. And I was like, I could, but why the hell would I be trying to impress? Like really nobody gives a shit. Yeah, it's an all my. I use Garmin I think. Yeah. So I use Garmin connect which I really like and I will upload all my Garmin data to Strava. So I've got like an online record of everything. And I went back because I didn't buy my four runner until after I started my streak. So I went back and added all the many links I was. Yeah, there was about 60. I did manually just because I wanted the correct.

Carlie: 38:15 Yes. No, you're right.

Joel: 38:17 I wanted to total record of, of my runs and occasionally I like when I was running with you, I forgot to start my Garmin and that's annoying because it's not a complete record like monthly completionist in me wants a record of every single step that I've run, but I haven't got that. I occasionally I'll miss the start of it or it'll run out of batteries or something, which is annoying, but mostly I've, I think I've got everything on there. See, it's quite a lot.

Carlie: 38:41 Do you go back and wade through and look at it?

Joel: 38:47 Oddly enough, that's an. That's an interesting thing that I don't know if you go through your logs, but if I go back years and I see the routes, I remember the one that run and I think. Oh, I remember that. Yeah, and the most memorable ones are the ones I did with other people obviously. So my phone, my garmin is a bit like a, an abbreviated journal of my activity because I'll get back. All right. That was a running did in. I'm in Paris. Oh, I remember that. Or that was different. I did in Stockholm or Las Vegas or Atlanta or you know, I, you know, like I said, I traveled around a lot and it's sort of serves as a default diary for, I wish I should have the discipline to write more, upload photographs which are done, but the Youtube Channel, um, uh, that's going to be another version of a three mile run down.

Joel: 39:37 That will be good. Even if nobody watches it and I'm convinced nobody will because would anybody. But uh, it's a good way for me to, you know, just remember the runs that I didn't. Oh, I remember that. And that was that thing that happened and I fell over at that point. I did a run with my friend Christopher Sundberg in Stockholm who's a big, it's quite famous video game designer and uh, it was through the woods and it was quite, it was not that cold, but it was quite. But it's quite memorable because I was in Sweden and I fell over at one point in that you can imagine how raw this video is. It's ridiculous. But you know, I look back on that and think, oh, that was quite fun and quite enjoyed that. It's, yeah, it's, it's a good aid memoir for the more memorable runs

Carlie: 40:20 I personally agree with you. And I feel like the people that I've run with over the years have become the people that I feel very close to or I feel very strongly about. Very good friends just because we share that and there's a different kind of bond. Like when you're running with someone, let's say outside of your videos, right? You're just running in a group. You don't really talk that much per se as much as you would as if you were out with friends having dinner or whatever. But you develop some kind of weird human tribal bond, like a nomadic thing. You know, you're sort of traveling together and it's like a journey. Well,

Joel: 40:58 When you think of your school friends, for instance, right? The friends you've known the longest, the thing that connects you with them is a bunch of shared experiences. It's not, it's not what you know about them is the fact that we we cut out of school that day and we went to the beach or we did x, we did y. those shared experiences. The more the bigger and more dramatic they are kind of add up to a friendship. Whereas you know, when you just meet somebody for the first time or you have an interaction in a written restaurant, there's no real shared experience around that. It's just an interaction. Whereas if you go a run with somebody that's a shared experience, that's an experience they run that we did the other day where we'll both remember for different reasons. Right. And the fact that we videoed it, it was kind of the material, but it was an experience. You, you talking to this ridiculous camera on a self esteem and running and with these crazy English guy that's a shared experience which we always share. Right.

Carlie: 41:51 I knew you weren't going to murder me because I'm a, I think I suggested we meet at like five or six or whatever, and you were like, let's meet at like seven or like, you know, a murderer would say, let's meet at three.

Joel: 42:03 Exactly. Murderers don't tend to video their work. Certainly don't upload it to Youtube. The world would be different places they did, but it's, you know, it's, it's, um, it's a privilege to be able to have shared experiences with people, especially people that I don't know we met as a consequence of this. No, that's a really valuable thing and I hope to do that more. Just an, you know, loads of people. There's loads of sort of well known people I'd love to run with and I don't really care about them. You know, the, the bit that everybody else cares about, why they run, what is it that drives them to do this crazy thing that. The thing that we have in common, why do they do I know why I do it? Like what motivates them? What do they love it? Yeah. Yeah. Like Allison Allen.

Joel: 42:48 I asked her that question and she, she, it was hard for her to answer like, why does she run to put a tangible reason on this intangible thing that you run because you've always running. You had your father was an athlete and you sort of encouraged to and you kind of grown up with it, but when you're doing a lot of miles occasionally has got to cross your mind like, why the hell am I doing? It's difficult. It's really hard to run seven miles on it. Much easier to sit at home on the couch and watch TV. You like it. That's a lot more pleasurable, a lot easier. So why do we do it? I still haven't really fully down to that question. I don't even know what I do.

Carlie: 43:21 We'll get an answer to that question or if the answers are so multifaceted, you know, depending on who you are, maybe you.

Joel: 43:28 I think I'd run because I, I, I have to. I think that's the closest Murakami said in his book about running a that runs because he has to. And I think I run because I have to. I just never realized I had to before I started and now you have to for. Well now I have to ridiculous streets per se.

Carlie: 43:46 Well, um, I want to encourage you to keep up that streak because it's so exciting and I find it so cool. I definitely need to take my days off to watch TV and eat doughnuts. But um, one, one more question before we go. Is any one person in the world you could run with, um, for your interviews, for your youtube channel, three mile run down, who would it be? There's so many putting you on the spot for that

Joel: 44:09 Tom Cruise, Tom Cruise. Not because he's famous, but because he's interesting and also in any everyone of his movies, he ends up running. He ends up sprinting and running. Is it important to him? He's made a career out of running very fast, right? So I want to know what's all that about? Does he run like that when he's out on his own training, sprinting and I don't know. I don't know is the answer. It's a great question. And all your questions has been very interesting, but there are many, many people who are motivated to run and uh, um, I just want to know why. There's a bill in California called a Catcher, Corbett who is a, uh, extremely crazy looking tattooed golf, Vegan, ultra runner. She's done over a hundred hundred mile races. She's amazing ex addicts and sort of conquered her addiction by using, running a red book, reborn on the run, was really interesting and I really hope to run with her this year if I can. Or we tried last year, but we never got it together. But she, I found her really inspirational and you know, people that go out of their way to do things that are difficult. You've got to respect that for sure. You don't need to know why, but you've got to respect the fact that they do. Yeah,

Carlie: 45:28 it's better in the long run to take the hard road and the easy road. I think it develops more character. Yeah,

Joel: 45:32 that's a good way of. Yes, I agree with that. I'm trying to encourage my children to run, but that's slightly difficult because they all they literally want to do is sit on the.

Speaker 4: 45:41 Okay,

Carlie: 45:45 well, good luck with your channel. Three Mile run down. Can't wait to see all the stories that are going to be up on there and I'll follow your journey for sure. Thank you very much. Thanks for joining me, Joel. Remember you can follow his journey at leo.j.notneb that's on instagram. Thanks for joining us here on Runnin Bout and make sure you listen on itunes and you can also listen by the website I'll be running still maybe not every day for years and years and years like our friend Joel, but you know what? Running is always going to be part of my life, so thanks for joining us.

Watch our "run tour" right here on Joel's youtube channel "3 mile rundown"!

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