I use this saying a lot when it comes to my weight loss. Every week brings with it different challenges to face and it is just not possible – or healthy – to lose weight every single week. There will be gains, losses, and some weeks where you just maintain. Progress, not perfection.
This also applies to running. There are some mornings I head out the door at 6am and feel like I’m running through mud and wonder what the heck is going on. Or there are days where I feel like I’m running on air. Every single time I get out there and run, I am getting a little bit better. It could be a matter of being one second better. It could be minutes better. I feel like I learn something new every time I run. It’s the times when I am not thinking about the actual act of running that seem to be the best. Why? Because it means I’m just letting it happen.
I ran briefly in 2006 for weight loss. So briefly, in fact, that I almost don’t count it. I ran again off and on in 2011. January 2012 became the start of this running life that I have grown to love. It was the year of my first official 5K, half marathon, and 8k. I faced sciatica head on and healed from it in time to run my second half marathon. I also did my first mud run. Progress, not perfection.
Yesterday morning, I ran my fastest 3 miles ever. My average pace for those 3 miles was 9:37. Was it easy? No, but it wasn’t so hard that I couldn’t keep it up or finish. I know what an accomplishment those three miles were for me and I started thinking a lot about how far I have come since that very first 5K I did in January 2012 and even the 5K I did this past February on my birthday. And that, makes me feel strong.
Despite how much I hate math, I really am a numbers person just for the simple fact that I love seeing patterns, improvement, and comparisons. So much so that I made this nifty little visual to share with you.
HUGE difference in my times since that first 5K, and even since February of this year. And while I know I am not totally comparing apples to apples here since my run yesterday was 3.01 and not 3.11, it’s darn close and still a major improvement.
Who knows what will happen on my next run. It may be closer to an 11:00 average pace. Will it lessen the thrill for me? No. It’s the way running is. But my body will never stop benefitting from me getting out there and pushing it. I have high hopes for my next half marathon, I really do. The difference in my running since the spring is evident. And it’s this difference that I see here in black and white that motivates me to keep going.
Progress… Not perfection.
How long were you running when you noticed huge improvements in your time, pace, etc…?