The difference of a few seconds may not seem like a lot on paper/screen but watching a clock tick as you near the end of a run, whether it’s a quiet week night jog or on race day, is such a rush.
At the beginning of November 2016, I had yet to run my first full marathon. My average pace was around 9:00/mile but on long runs it was closer to 10:00/mile.
A year later, by the end of November 2017, after a summer really focused on speed training, I made a mile PR (personal record) of 7:28 & had run 3 full marathons.
Within a few months, in February 2018, I slowed down a bit with a 7:30 as my quickest pace.
As of last night, I beat my PR from 2017 by 3 seconds. I ran a 7:25 minute mile during a 4+ mile run, averaging a pace of 7:54.
In 3 months I’ll be running my fifth full marathon & shaving those seconds off, even if it’s just one mile on one day, is a huge deal! Some days I feel like crap, about running & about things in general, but on occasion I get to look back to see that I’ve improved which is a really cool thing.
Any time I congratulate myself or feel proud of myself, I feel guilty. Like what have I really done or accomplished that’s so great? I didn’t cure cancer & I haven’t figured out how to achieve world peace, all I do is run (races & away from my problems). But if I keep looking back, I see the story that a lot of people want to live… A small town to a big city… growing up in a broken home but managing to be a somewhat sane adult… I pay my own way when it comes to school, living expenses, vacations, etc. I haven’t gotten myself into too much trouble that I can’t get out of (knock on wood), I have a job I like, friends that I can count on, & then there’s running. All things considered, I guess I can give myself a pat on the back every now & then.