Went out for a lunchtime run yesterday, mostly trying to just do a full 3 miles without stopping. I mostly achieved that goal. The only reason I stopped is because my shoe came untied (first time that has ever happened to me!) and I needed to fix it. There were a lot of really hard points during the run. My knee ached (as usual) for the first half mile, then gave up and cooperated. I had a terrible side cramp that I could not get rid of for the last half mile. Everything in-between went mostly the way I expected.
A few weeks ago, I was saying roughly the same thing. It is always the first and last part of the run that get me. Both are big temptations to simply give up and go home. I am sure there are plenty of shows on Netflix that I am missing.
With that in mind, it is easy for me to say that I haven't seen progress. That would be a huge lie though. Progress is being made each and every time that I lace up my shoes. I can feel it. Where a few weeks ago the entire run felt hard and I was panting, today it was clear that for most of time I was out, I actually felt pretty good.
I am a numbers person though (it's that whole stats and science training). I can't put my feelings into numbers though. I can put miles and pace into numbers.
In July, I actually go serious about running. I'd been sorta-kinda doing it before, but not consistently and with no real goal or purpose. When I started a mile was literally all I could handle. I ended each one feeling like I would never catch my breath and concerned I might throw up in the elevator. I would go straight to the shower and sit in the tub while the cool water washed over me (I couldn't find the energy to stand). People, my first run of August was 1.16 miles long and I managed an 11:16 pace.
Many of the miles after this were also quite slow. That pace was where I stayed for a long time. I've made slow progress. I'm being very careful with my knees because I know that they are tricky. I've had bursitis develop in them before as a result of pushing myself too hard and fast.
I focused a lot on good form. I've been watching videos and reading. It has 100% helped improve my times. One of the things I like about running is that I can put everything into an spreadsheet and make try to make sense of my training, plan for goals and see solid improvement. I find that MUCH harder in yoga.
Still, I will take the not-feeling-like-shit-the-whole-time subjective bonus I got today as well. Bring on the races!