The way I measured progress in March 2018 is nothing like the way I’m measuring progress in March 2019.
A year ago, I was just getting back to running on a regular basis. Running still felt weird and my knees still hurt from time to time. This year, I’m in the middle of a training plan, running six days a week, and logging workouts on a regular basis. Running still feels weird sometimes, especially now that I’m trying to make a small tweak to my form, but the pain in my knees pops up a lot less.
A year ago, progress was getting out for a 7-mile run on the weekend. No matter how slow, 7 miles was a big deal for me in March 2018. This year, progress is running a workout I did at the end of January (3×10 minutes at threshold pace) and running my reps nearly 50 seconds faster (8:10-ish in January, 7:20-ish last night).
A year ago, running a 5-mile race at 8:33 pace early in April was a little bit terrifying. This year, running a half marathon at a pace 20 seconds faster than felt almost easy (spending four days in New York was terrifying, though).
I have a ton of work still to do, especially if I want to finally run that 3:47 marathon I’ve been chasing for five years. I’m enjoying the process right now, and I know it is going to take a lot of effort and a lot of focus to reach the goals I have set. It is going to take a lot of effort and a lot of focus to continue to enjoy the process, actually.
It is nice to be able to look back and see what kind of progress I have made. It’s nice to know I can go out on a Sunday and run 10-13 miles and not be on the shelf for days or weeks. It is nice to know I can run a hard workout at paces I haven’t really touched on since early in 2017 and bounce back to jog a super slow 4 miles a day later.
I’m grateful to be gaining fitness and confidence. I don’t take it for granted, not after the shit show that was 2017 and the rebuilding that took place in 2018. That rebuilding is still on going and will actually ramp up this summer as I put in the real hard work for the Chicago Marathon. I’ve talked a lot about Redesign. Rebuild. Reclaim., I really need to Redesign. Rebuild. Reclaim this summer. No more slacking off, no more farting around. I’ve done a decent job with physical therapy, strength work, stretching and rolling, I need to really ramp it up this summer.
How I measure progress will continue to change. This summer, hopefully looks a lot different than right now.
Onward and upward. Continuing making forward progress. Right now, that is how I measure success.