For the past three years, my husband and i have completed the Running of the Green Lucky 7K in Downtown Denver. You can read about last year’s race: here.
When you run the same race with the same course for three years, you can feel such a difference! You rarely get the chance in fitness to compare one workout to the next. This was a cool experience! Here’s a snapshot of each year’s race:
2015: I had never run farther than a 5K. I didn’t even know if I could. A few days before the race I went out and ran 4 miles just to be sure. Since I’d already signed up with friends, I figured I had to do it. I didn’t look at the course and it was brutal! So many hills….will the race ever end?
Pace: 10:49 . I was walking every 1/3 to 1/2 mile.
2016: I was much more confident after running it once. I knew what the course would be like and when I should walk. I felt more confident about racing and new I could finish. The course still felt pretty hard but not as hard as the first year. I ran some of the uphills but still walked frequently.
Pace: 10:00, I walked at least 4-5 times
2017: I knew this was my year. I knew I could finish faster and push myself harder through the course. I’m faster now and I’ve been training on hills and trails a lot more. I am so much stronger now, the race felt kinda easy!
Pace: 9:06, I only walked once!
Overall I know I’m always getting stronger and faster but it was amazing to FEEL how much stronger I was. In 2015 I dreaded every hill and walked almost all of them. This year, I sometimes noticed the uphill or was able to easily push to the top. I was proud of myself when I crossed the finish line, thinking of how hard it had been the first time and how far I’ve come as a runner and as an athlete.
In the middle of a journey it can be so difficult to feel yourself getting stronger especially when you aren’t using a scale. While the number on the scale is important, I find that I’m measuring my fitness more and more by my abilities than by the numbers. And the numbers are in: I’m pretty freaking strong.