When Eliza Miron went into labor in 2014, she was grateful that she ran before it started. In 2002, Miron started a running streak and wanted to continue running every day for a least a mile. While she felt relieved she finished her run before labor, she didn’t realize it would last for 40 hours. Still, she ran before delivery and soon after her son’s birth.
“Because it was a birthing center, we were sent home about an hour or two after he was born. I rested and waited, as long as I could, and then I got my mom to help with the baby for 17 minutes while I ran probably about a mile and a half,” Miron, 35, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, told TODAY. “It definitely wasn’t comfortable, obviously. But I took really short strides. I wasn’t out there in a race pace. It was a very slow shuffle, as a way to get in the mile.”
Her love of running began when she joined her school’s cross-country team and she dedicated herself to a daily habit to help her improve.
“I was the only girl on the team of maybe six. I went to a small high school and I was just tired of sitting on the bench during soccer and I wanted to do something,” Miron said. “I started running and that was my junior year of high school and I decided to commit to running every day for a year just to be a better runner.”
After a year, she decided to continue.
“I just felt this passion and the love of running so that’s why I would continue to run every day,” she said.
In 2004, Miron searched online for running streaks to see what the longest running streak was. She found a website and saw a few men had run at least a mile a day for more than 30 years. Finally, she felt a sense of community and has since spoken with others who have running streaks.
“It helped me feel like I’m not that crazy that there’s actually other people who do this,” she said. “There’s no reason to stop running now.”
When she started, she didn’t know how long it would last. Next month, it will be 19 years since her streak began. She’s even inspired her father to start his own running streak — he’s run every day for 16 years.
“Part of the philosophy about a running streak is you just take it day by day, whatever obstacles come that day,” she said. “You’re in control of your life and you try to run through it.”
When Miron runs and how far she runs depends on what her life is like, but she normally goes for at least 1.5 miles. When her children were younger and in daycare, she often ran for a half hour during her lunch break. When her sons are in school, she squeezes in a run before picking them up.
“I just try to find a time where I know that they’re taken care of and when I can get it in really,” Miron explained. “When I was pregnant I’d always run in the morning, especially towards the end of pregnancy. You just never know what’s going to happen the rest of the day.”
Recently, she’s been running about three miles a day, but during the pandemic, she had to be flexible.
“There were a few times I had to run around the trampoline or be creative,” she said.
As for running throughout pregnancy, the days she gave birth and after, running gave her perspective.
“Taking that time to connect with myself and realizing all that I have gone through. I’m still the same person but I’m in this completely new chapter of my life and coming face-to-face with the reality of basically overnight I’ve become a mom,” she said. “It was nice to take that time away from the situation and come to terms with this new chapter.”
For Miron, running every day feels as natural as brushing her teeth.
“You just wake up and you do it. That’s just part of your day, your routine. Obviously there are some days maybe you forget," she said. "But you feel throughout the day, I should have brushed my teeth in the morning. It just feels off.”
Some critics might think that running every day is unhealthy, but Miron said it keeps her grounded.
“It’s still a practice or routine or ritual in somebody’s life where you just make a commitment to yourself and it’s about honoring that,” she said. “If we want to do this for the rest of our lives and enjoy it, it’s about being mindful of taking care of our bodies every day.