In the midst of watching my run coaching clients make progress and set personal records, I have forgotten to reflect on my own progress as a runner.
A lot has happened in the last year or so.
- I injured my knees in late November of 2013 and did not run for 4 weeks in December.
- I was clipped by a car while riding my bike in February 2014, suffering a concussion.
- I ran my first Boston Marathon in April, which turned out to be my second slowest marathon time.
- I focused my summer training on the 800 meters and 1 mile distances.
- I competed in my first “USA Track and Field” sanctioned track meet.
- I became a RRCA certified running coach.
- I ran two mile races on the road and 5 track meets in the summer.
- In between track and mile events I also completed my very first triathlon, the “Storm the Fort” Half-Iron Distance.
- I did a total of three triathlons in 2014, two half-iron distance triathlons and one sprint triathlon.
Due to the time off from the knee injury and concussion, my fitness level suffered. I lost a lot of progress. I have been pushing hard all year just to get back to level of fitness that I had a year ago. I have loved the training. I enjoy pushing myself. On the other hand, it has been extremely frustrating to work that hard and not achieve any personal records. Very discouraging.
Yesterday was a big victory. No, I did not win a race. I was even a full minute behind the winner in my age group. Still, it was a big victory. I set a personal record (PR) in the 15K distance (about 9.3 miles). That feels pretty good.
I still have a ways to go. I am still a bit behind where I was in February of last year. That is when my fitness last fully peaked. I ran a 1:27:42 on a hilly half marathon course. This is 9 seconds per mile faster than the 15K I ran yesterday. Hence, I am close, but not quite all the way there.
When will I get there? Well, I have 2.5 weeks left before I taper (ease up and heal) for the Savannah Marathon, which is on November 8. I will have 5 key workouts in that 2.5 weeks. I may not reach a PR at Savannah, but I should be very close at that point.
Whether I peak at Savannah or not, I know the time is very soon when I will be able to earn a few more personal records.
- My training is balanced, pushing just the right amount.
- I am eating healthier than ever.
- And, most importantly, I am enjoying my training.
When I am not enjoying it, I change it up.
Enjoying the run comes first!
It is more important than progress and personal records.
“Train smart, eat well, & enjoy the run!”
— P. Mark Taylor
Check out these books by P. Mark Taylor for more advice on running: