This week I’m asking my seventh-graders to think back over the first month of school and answer some self-reflection questions. What strategies have you used to keep up with your work? How many books have you read? What are you most proud of? What could you improve to help you achieve your goals?

Guess what? Many of these questions apply to me and my running as well.

Since school got out for the summer, I’ve been working hard to improve my fitness and lose a few pounds so I could attack my race goals this fall. Core class, Fit-to-Run class, Fitness Blender workouts, double-digit long runs, often two of those in one day. I tracked calories in My Fitness Pal, then added a Garmin Vivofit to count steps.

Results? I have introductory arm muscles. I can do push-ups on my toes. Burpees don’t kill me. I can wear my non-stretchy jeans without creating a muffin top. I lost 15 pounds.

This is what 15 pounds looks like.

This is what 15 pounds looks like.

Then last week, for-real half-marathon training started up, throwing a Tuesday speed workout into the mix. My interval paces looked pretty good for hot-weather running, but I haven’t really been able to gauge my true fitness. Running ten miles in the morning when the overnight low didn’t drop below 80 feels awful and slow, but it won’t tell me how that will translate to the 45-degree start temps at the Army Ten-Miler next month. Historically, the cooler D.C. weather has helped me run a minute or two per mile faster on race day, but since it won’t get that cool here until November, I won’t know for sure until I show up October 11. Temps at my 8K race this weekend will barely drop into the high 60s, so no help there.

But even with the looming race-pace question mark, I’m pleased with my efforts and my progress over the last four months. If nothing else, I’m miles (literally) ahead of last year.

Oh, and since June, I’ve read 15 books. The new Jack Reacher just came out, though, so that number will reach 16 by next week.


8 thoughts on “Self-reflection

  1. Ohhh….Jack Reacher. I have fallen off the wagon of reading lately and I know I need to get back in there. There is a new Lucas Davenport book that I downloaded weeks ago and am so looking forward to but haven’t taken the time to sit down and enjoy it. I love the idea of a self reflection project.

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  2. This is my struggle with the Texas heat. Its hard to know how far and hard you can push yourself once it is cool, because we just don’t run that often when it is cool.

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  3. This doesn’t mean that you are giving up Mexican food does it?

    I really need to get back down to your town soon. We have some major catching up to do.
    I am cheering you so hard, you have no idea. If you listen, you can probably hear me. You are doing so great and I can’t wait to see how you do at the Army 10-miler. You are going to crush it!


  4. It’s so good to look back on where you’ve come from and what your goals are. I need to check in with my goals and see what’s what. Originally it was a HM in October but I’m injured. So it may turn into a HM before the end of 2015. But failing that, I’m gonna have a back up goal, like x amount of muscle strength. Or something. But it’s so good to reflect on your goals and keep them updated!


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