At some point post baby, the words Every step is making you stronger found their way to my long weekend run. Since then I have carried them around with me. I love mantras, and I have held on tightly to this mantra in one hand and Let go in the other.
Every time a run gets hard, I remind myself that I’m getting stronger. Every time I’m exhausted at 3am (or every other random hour in the middle of the night) when I feed Chet (for the 3rd time), I remind myself that I am getting stronger. Every time I survive another work week when my heart wants to be at home, I remind myself that this is also making me stronger. Everything I’m doing right now is adding a layer of strength to every part of my life.
Physically the changes are obvious.
I have ONE POUND to lose until I hit pre-baby weight. In just under six months, I have lost 39 of the 40 pounds I gained while striving to maintain a balanced life.
My running is improving A LOT.
February 2012 – running total, 14.55 miles. Average pace, 13:28 per mile
March 2012 – running total, 32.83 miles. Average pace, 12:16 per mile
April 2012 – running total, 45.01 miles. Average pace, 12:11 per mile
May 2012 – running total, 34.76 miles (15 days of no running due to my bum leg). Average pace, 11:08 per mile
June 2012 – running total, 55.41 miles. Average pace, 10:17 per mile
I am proud of those numbers. Every. Single. One. Without the 13 minute miles, I would never be where I am at right now.
Today I ran 2.15 miles with Chet in the jogging stroller and Alex on his leash in 21:23 in 90 degree heat and a whole lot of humidity. That is a pace of 9:56 per mile. With the dog. Pushing the stroller.
Making progress isn’t easy. I’ve had runs I’ve wanted to quit. I’ve had weeks of no progress. But I’ve had runs that make me love running all over again. I’ve had runs that have surprised me. And every single one of my runs makes me want more.
Reflecting on progress is so important. It adds fuel to the fire. It shows you what you have accomplished and what you can accomplish. It is important to pause and pat yourself on your back every now and then.
Today I ran 2+ miles…at a sub-10 pace…in 90 degree heat…while pushing my baby and leading my dog….after waking up 2 times in my 8 hour span of sleep to nurse my baby. This weekend I woke up at 5am and dragged my sleep deprived body to the oceanfront to tackle a 7 mile run before the heat warnings started. I finished that run feeling strong and with a smile on my face. (and I finished faster than my cookie-crumble 10k race a month ago!).
I can’t wait to see what I am capable of doing when it is cool outside, and I’ve had a good night of sleep.
Every step is making me stronger.