‘You’ve just got to keep moving’: 3 years later, Providence teacher’s running streak still alive

Street Stories

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Providence teacher has hit the pavement every single day for more than three years, and she’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Ellen Foley said nothing, not even mother nature, can stop her from doing what she loves.

“The one thing about the beauty of the streak is, it’s just one mile,” Foley said. “You’ve just got to get yourself through eight-to-10 minutes and you can be done. If you’re not feeling well or if the weather is terrible, you don’t have to be out there for a very long time.”

Foley started running with her husband, Ed Fitzpatrick, in February 2018 during the Rhode Runner Winter Challenge.

Foley said she loved it so much she never stopped.

“The rule is one mile outdoors every day, so yes, I’ve done that,” she said. “In the snow, when I’m injured or tired. Yep, I got myself out there.”

Despite suffering a hamstring injury last year, Foley kept going. She believes running is good for one’s mental health, especially throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m a teacher, so just getting outside every day really clears your mind,” she said. “Really, there’s no day not improved by getting outside. You need to exercise everyday. You’ve just got to keep moving.  You can do something small and it can add up to something big.”

Throughout the pandemic, she’s has had the chance to spend time with her family, who occasionally joins her on her daily escapades.

“She’s shown amazing resilience. She down plays it, but there were days she was sick, there were days it was lousy outside,” Fitzpatrick said. “One day, I remember it was summer, about 10:30 at night and she said ‘I haven’t run’ and I said ‘That was a great streak, you got 500 days,’ and I went back to what I was doing.”

“Then, I heard the screen door slam and she was out getting that run in,” he continued. “So it’s been impressive.”

Foley said she’s been trying to stay positive during difficult times. She said running is a chance for her entire family to be together.

“There are so may beautiful spots in Rhode Island that we don’t know about, and that’s the real treat to get outside and see those trails,” she said. “It’s a chance to see the state and be together.  So, it’s been really wonderful.”

As of Friday, Foley has gone for a run for 1,100 straight days.

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