Yesterday I completed my eighth half marathon. It was fantastic. I was passed by senior citizens. I was passed by speed walkers. I was passed by pregnant women (and therefore passed by fetuses). The race was an enormous success.
In true tortoise fashion, I ran slowly and steadily. I came in with a plan, and I stuck to it. In the weeks leading up to the race, I studied the course and trained accordingly. The hills didn’t surprise me. The rain didn’t make me panic. I kept my head in a good place and I finished incredibly strong.
My time wasn’t a PR, but it was faster than my previous half marathon time, which was faster than the time before that. My best half marathon was five years ago, when I was in a completely different place emotionally, professionally, and geographically. I still struggle with the fact that I’m not as fast as I used to be, but I’m working to accept that this is where I am today.
Today I am stronger than I was six months ago, and in six months’ time I hope I’ll be stronger still. As I switch gears into full marathon training, I’ll keep the same disciplined and analytic approach that got me this far. I’m not perfect and I never will be, but as long as I keep improving, that’s all the prize I need.