Progress isn’t always measured in obvious ways.

SHOES

I currently don’t have a strategic shoe rotation in place. But I do have a healthy collection of running shoes due to my never-ending hunt for the perfect (moderately comfortable being the main qualification) shoe. With the soggy and varied weather we’ve had lately, my shoes tend to accumulate outside my apartment door during the week.

I’m sure my neighbors are thrilled.

I still want those dang-expensive Nike’s….

Looking at all those shoes piled up outside the door, and how they represented a very diverse range of shoe type, I thought: hmm, that’s sort of a nice metaphor for how my approach to running has evolved.

Deep, I know, I apologize if you’ve not yet had your Monday morning coffee.

What I mean is, that I used to pick out shoes based on color and the clearance rack. Now I realize that a few more variables should be considered in the process, and I spend far more time, and money, on them. And even though I know, more or less, which shoes work best for me, it’s nice to have a collection to fall back on (or just plain admire from time to time).

As for running, I used to run only as cross training, or in desperation to try to shave off a few LB’s. And races were always entered on sheer impulse. And I always ran alone. Now I run to run. It’s preparation for more (better) running, and each run effort has a purpose. I read every training book or article that I come across, and even as I figure out what works best for me, it’s nice to know there is so much out there. And I absolutely prefer to run with others!

Alex, Susana, Violeta, AB, Marty, and Nico (taking the photo)

Alex, Susana, Violeta, AB, Marty, and Nico (taking the photo)

Yesterday, and last Sunday, I ran solid 10-milers with this crew (plus the camera-man). Susana, Violeta, and Nico are all training for a spring 50k, and are some of the best and most inspiringly positive people I’ve met, ever. I’m so glad they’ve welcomed me to their Sunday mornings (because they are also really good at running!).

In lieu of a training re-cap (soooo boring!) I’ll just say that I ran 20 miles on hilly roads Saturday with my friend Erin (3:04 marathoner), who pushed me to run it progressively…which translated to the last 3 miles being faster than I’ve ever run with that many miles on my legs, it was terribly uncomfortable. But like Erin reminded me when I was seconds away from asking if I could give up: that was the time to put in the work.

During yesterday’s 10 miles my legs felt no more tight or tired than they have most days lately, maybe even less so.

So I feel very encouraged going into this next week: 7 weeks until Boston 2013!

Erin and I at the Fleet Feet Boston Bound dinner on Boston 2012-Eve.

Erin and I at the Fleet Feet Boston Bound dinner on Boston 2012-Eve

Throwing energy and love into trying to become a better runner is only one of the ways I feel like my life has been improving over the past few years (thanks, Nico, for the perspective taking exercise this morning) I also, even when extremely frustrated, have a job that is probably ideal for me.

Exhibit A: after brief text exchange with my boss, wherein I exclaimed that I’d found gluten-free beer (I promise there was also a kernel of work related banter as well), this happened:

boss text

to explain, the “department” = me and one (awesome) intern.

Don’t get me wrong, my life’s not all roses and butterflies these days. But it is mostly unicorns and cupcakes, and the rest is bound to improve slowly and steadily.

Just like my running.

What_Do_Unicorns_Poop

*AB

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