I’ve been at this Holiday Running Challenge (a part of Runner’s World’s Holiday Running Streak) for four weeks now! And it’s been a major commitment for me. I tend to ditch New Year’s resolutions after a few days, I’ve never given anything up for Lent, and sometimes boys in my life don’t even last this long! But there’s something about promising to run at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day I can get behind. Here’s how the fourth week of streaking went:

Thursday: You’d think I would have been stoked to take advantage of the unseasonably warm temps today and go for a nice, long run outside. Except I’ve been so committed to this whole running every day thing that my Christmas shopping has totally suffered! So I made a list (and checked it twice), and walked all over Manhattan to find gifts for my secret Santas. Though I probably logged a million miles (an estimate), it didn’t exactly fit the requirements of the running streak. So before the clock struck midnight, I headed to the gym and hopped on the ‘mill for an under-the-wire interval workout right before bedtime. Phew— that was a close one!

Friday: There are a lot of ways to celebrate the end of the week— happy hour, Emily’s Friday night dance party playlist, the list goes on. But another favorite way to unwind is with a slow, no-watch-wearing jog where I push aside the worries of the weekdays and look forward to the weekend’s adventures. And c’mon, who doesn’t mentally pick out their outfit for the night while running? Now that’s true multitasking.

Saturday: After a night out with my frousins (we’re closer than cousins, we’re friends and cousins) in Astoria, I met up with my homegirl Aubrey for another morning run in Manhattan along the West Side Highway. Even though one of us was nursing an “I’m-never-drinking-again” hangover, we both felt awesome after knocking out four quick miles. As I’ve said before, there’s nothing like girl talk to make the time fly by.

Sunday: I woke up on this chilly winter morning with a case of the blues… and a side of sniffles. Though I usually love running in the cold, I didn’t think it was a good idea to go out in the 30-degree temps. Instead, I could only muster enough energy to head to the gym for exactly one mile. Eight minutes later, I climbed right back into my sweatpants.

Monday: A second day of a headache, sore throat, and sneezing sent me back to the treadmill. I was able to knock out 2.5 miles this evening, but am hoping to kick this bug before Christmas this weekend! Hello, NyQuil!

Tuesday: A few weeks ago, my best friend (of more than 20 years) said, “Em, I want you to make me into a runner in 2012!” Caitlin and I have always been athletes, dominating on the basketball court and soccer fields in our younger days, but it’s been years since we’ve run together. Because I needed some extra motivation, I asked her to run with me tonight and we had a blast— even in some unexpected rain. I have a feeling this new “challenge” to turn Cait into a runner will be a piece of cake.

Wednesday: Because I spent a good chunk of the weekend making training calendars for myself and friends for the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half Marathon in March, I decided today was the day to put the plan into action. Sure, I’ve been running for 28 days straight, but training for a race makes me feel like I’m running with more of a purpose. So today, I’m going for my daily three mile or so run, and then I’ll top it off with some strength training. Oh, how I’ve missed you, squats and planks!

Check back here again next Wednesday for the final stretch of my Holiday Running Challenge, including the first annual Faherty Family Christmas Eve morning run around the neighborhood (with Santa hats and jingle bells, of course)!

This week, running with friends (thanks, Aubrey and Caitlin!) kept me motivated. When it comes to getting your sweat on, do you prefer the buddy system or ridin’ solo?