April is one of my favorite months to run in because the weather finally warms up and I always feel motivated! I learned a long time ago that assessing our running achievements is extremely personal, but can be easily done and celebrated. Let’s start now!
My Running Diary: April 3, 2019
Before we dive into the five steps I use to asses my running achievements, we must pat ourselves on the back. We must celebrate the fact that we run. We must celebrate what we’ve done for ourselves by running.
I make a habit of always patting myself on the back for simply keeping up with my running. No matter how much I’ve run or haven’t run, before I assess my running achievements, I acknowledge that sticking to running is a feat in itself. Bravo to that!
Step 1: Throw out your prior expectations. This can be a really hard one for people. I know it used to be hard for me too. As we age, our bodies change. Even if you were once able to run 30 miles a week, you currently might not be able to do that. If that was a goal for you and you’ve “only” managed to run 15 miles per week, then celebrate that!
Step 2: Focus only on the good. This is one that my hubby reminds me of all the time. I was excited about how much I ran this winter, but then I added the caveat that I could have run more if it wasn’t for the rain. Currently I only run outside, and don’t have access to a treadmill. I realized that I did not need to put a caveat on my achievement! I ran a lot this winter, regardless of the weather. That is the achievement I must celebrate.
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I find that I consistently add a “but” onto my successes. This is silly because I can’t change anything that has happened. Doing so dismisses the success itself. Things like the weather are out of my control, so why let it bring down my progress?
Step 3: Assess yourself, then move on. In the past I’ve become obsessed with my progress as a runner. For example, I participate in the “You Vs. The Year” Under Armour challenge on MapMyRun. This is the 4th year I’ve done it and I do not obsess over where I’m at on a daily or even weekly basis. I get notifications when I reach a new badge, which is more than enough assessment. Currently I’m about to get my 600 km badge. That’s how I measure my success. I’m in the top 2% of runners in the challenge and I’m extremely happy with that. Now I move on.
Step 4: Don’t compare yourself to others. Its great to challenge ourselves with things like “You Vs. The Year,” but notice that its a personal challenge. How everyone else is doing and where we rank is secondary. Everything about running is personal. Normally five out of six of my weekly runs are with a stroller. Stroller running is it’s own beast. I truly wish that all runners at some point would do it, because it’s intense and unique. Just when you think it’s not going to be hard anymore, your baby changes. I’ve run with my little girl since she was eight weeks old and she just turned two. Comparing myself to other runners, especially those that aren’t stroller running, is futile. There is no comparison.
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I must remind myself that stroller running is strength building. I’m pushing another human and that makes my runs completely different. Even if I wanted to, I can’t compare my runs from last year to this year, because my child has grown so much. That variable has consistently added more difficulty to the same run.
Step 5: Assess once a month at most. Unless you are training for a marathon, there is no reason to assess yourself more than once a month. When I started consistently running outside, I used to assess myself on a weekly basis. I found that this had its ups and downs. One week I’d have so much time and run 30-35 miles, but then the next week I’d run 22-25 miles. I found myself getting bummed because I didn’t run the same 30-35 miles, but that was counter productive. Every week is unique and each of those weeks was still a great running week. My success now comes from the sheer act of consistently getting out for a run, and not the amount of miles. Assess your running achievements this way and you will guarantee success.
I assessed myself leading into April and I now feel invigorated. Taking stock of my running helps me keep focused on my fitness, while also pushing myself to run faster and farther. No matter what is in store for this month, I’m ready and open to it. I’ve let go of all my obstacles and successes from the month before. Now I’m ready to run free and clear.
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Mandi Mellen is Lead Editor, Staff Writer, and Featured Host at BuzzChomp. She’s an Actress, Writer, Director and Producer. Get lost in her Youtube comedy channel PillowTalk TV. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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