The process of change, of strengthening and quickening is an interesting animal. Perhaps animal is the wrong word -- what I mean is that it's rarely a linear progression from point a to point b. You get out there, log the miles, tough out a hard speed workout and some days you still seem to be going backwards, and some days it feels completely effortless.
This past weekend I ran the Run for Roch, which was a challenging, hilly 5k in scenic Mt. Washington. I haven't been up to Mt. Washington in ages -- the view really is spectacular, and it was wonderful to start and end things overlooking the city. I pushed through all the hills, despite the feeling that I was going to puke after mile one, and almost stopping to walk on the daunting McArdle ascent and made it through ok. I came in at a respectable 24:04 -- which for me is a personal record.
Still, the progress I am making feels like it's moving at snails pace. Even though speed isn't strong suit I struggle with my internal brat who throws a fit that increasing my speed isn't easier -- even though it hasn't been long since I began this shift in focus. It helps to put thing in perspective, it helps to realize that we don't always have big, long gains, that their is no perfect end result, that sometimes frustration is as vital a part of the training process as success. If this was easy, it would be easy and not as worthwhile of a pursuit. So I will stay here, and continue my work even when it feels futile, even when there are a million things I'd rather be doing, when I feel like I'm moving backwards instead of forwards. I do it because the choice is between staying static or growing, and I choose growth, no matter how messy the process.