Signs of progress

On occasion, I realize how far I have progressed.

Looking back on 2008 this morning, I noticed I didn’t achieve a single PR.  Not one.  I’m only 36, come on!  How can this be and why did I not realize this until now?

Well, I may not be getting faster, but I am getting better.  In fact, I feel this year marked a transformation in my running.  Yes, a transformation.

Three years ago, after completing my first marathon, I took two whole months off.   Even as late as last year, after my fourth marathon, I took almost a month to rest.

However, with my most recent 26.2 outing, I was back running in four days.  As of this morning — one week post-event — I am planning my next race.  I registered an hour ago for a 33K trail run in December.

In fact, I am getting so comfortable with marathons that I have a number of them planned in 2009 as training runs for longer distances.  In fact, with few exceptions, the marathon is not the goal in 2009, it is the means to the ultra end.

For me, this is very exciting.

I also made a huge transition this year fully integrating running into my family life.  My family no longer bats an eye when I am gone Saturday morning racing.  My husband fully expects a few three-day marathon related family trips next year.  My kids are ready to run some fun runs in 2009 and are proud of their mom. In cub scouts the other day, I overheard one of my twins telling his friends and scout leader about his mommy’s marathons.

Reflecting on this made me again realize how much I just love to run.

I have been watching the triathlon craze that seems to be growing in our country.  I have multiple friends who do them very well.  Often they ask when I am going to get on the bike or in the pool. I have thought about it, but I can’t get over the idea that every minute I am riding or swimming is a minute I am not running.

It’s funny in a way.  I think of my triathlete friends as true athletes.  I don’t think of myself as an athlete at all.  I just think of myself as a runner, a runner through and through, heart and soul.  

I want to keep progressing, so I add more and more distance, more and more hills, more and more adventure.  It is so fun and I do get better, little by little, year after year.  It is nice to pause on occasion and recognize my progress, even if that progress isn’t a PR.

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