I Can’t PR, How Can I Say I’m Improving?

I’m trying a new link-up this week as inspiration for what to write and to connect with other bloggers.  It’s the Wednesday Word (hosted by DebRuns) and it happens on the first Wednesday of the Month.   This month’s word is Improvement.

Deb Runs

Improvement means has meant different things at different times in my life.  When I was a college athlete I would definitely have linked the word to breaking personal records, winning races against teams we had previously lost to or lifting heavier weights with higher repetitions.


When I was a beginner runner, improvement was associated with longer distances.  Could I make it to the next telephone pole without stopping?  To the next intersection? To the next town?  Once I was comfortably running 5ks I worked my way up in distances.  I accomplished my big goal of running Big Sur Marathon in 2016.

As I chased down distances I kept having setbacks that reset my goals.  I can’t tell you how many times I started over.  I had to build my strength back up to half marathons many times.

Ankle surgery in February 2017 has been my biggest setback yet.  Peroneal tendon groove deepening was one of those making it worst to make it better type of surgeries.  I have had to find new ways to measure my improvement.  At first, improvement was a matter of range of motion.  Then it was a matter of building strength.  Six months later and I’m still rebuilding the foundations of a healthy ankle.  Beyond completing a couple 5k races, I haven’t accomplished many running goals since surgery.


Athletic improvement has taken a different form for me this time around.  I’m having to improve on my patience.  I’m improving on consistency.  I’m improving on accepting my limitations while pushing against the limits a bit.  I could easily step back and sit on the couch (If I can’t run long distance I’m not doing anything).  Instead, I’m challenging myself on the bike and on the erg.  I’m trying new classes.  I’m trying to stay positive and working on mindfulness.

Hopefully the improvements of this athletic cycle will be just as valuable as the years were I ran 50 miles a week chasing a half marathon PR.

What have you been improving upon?

2 thoughts on “I Can’t PR, How Can I Say I’m Improving?”

  • As an older runner, I definitely have had to change what I want to improve upon. I've decided to focus on the big fitness picture, rather than just running. Running is still my biggest passion, though. Thanks for linking up!

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