fitness, progress, running, strength, strong, training, workout

Progress, not perfection

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.

 

slow progress

 

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.

 

fastest 3 miles 091113

 

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.

 

run times sept 2013

 

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.

 

sweat happens

 

 

How long were you running when you noticed huge improvements in your time, pace, etc…?

10 Comments

  1. I love reading this! You sure have come a long way from your first 5K! When I feel like I’m in a rut, I like to look back at runs from 2 or 3 years ago to remind myself how far I’ve come.
    Jamie @ Rise.Run.Mom.Repeat. recently posted…Motor Vehicles -vs- RunnersMy Profile

  2. Such a pleasure to read about your progress. And I am so happy for you that you have found a way to lose weight without the struggle because working out at a high intensity takes so much of the pressure off. Although I’ve only the time to walk more than two extra miles a day – I am thrilled with my progress too. And it’s the same for me, some days I feel dragging and other days I could just busy out of my pace if I let myself.

  3. That’s awesome! So proud of you. I know how hard it is and how hard you’ve been working at it. But like they say, you reap what you sow. Congrats!
    Xiomara @ Parkesdale recently posted…Peach Cucumber SaladMy Profile

  4. Congrats on your progress! That’s awesome!
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