On the topic of staying motivated, it helps to measure your progress. If I weren’t measuring my progress, I don’t think I would realize how far I’ve come. Here are a few bits of data that have made me feel like “Hey! You’re not doing all that bad!”
1. Three years ago, I had never run over a mile in my life. A month ago, I finished a marathon.
2. A few months ago, my average time for a 100 meter swim, while in the middle of a long, paced swim, was about 2:10. Now it’s around 1:50.
3. A year ago, I ran a half marathon in 2:10 and felt pretty worn out. That was with aid stations. Now I run a half marathon every week, with nothing more than one Gu, and it’s just another normal training day. Oh, and I do it in under 2:00, and that’s on a course with a decent headwind and some good hills.
4. Nine months ago I weighed in at 215-220 lbs. Now I’m at 200 lbs, and a lot more of that weight is muscle than it was before.
5. A few months ago I felt like I was accomplishing something when I swam 1500 meters. Now a 2000 meter swim feels like a light workout, and a 3000 meter swim today feels easier than a 1500 meter swim felt 6 months ago.
The one area I haven’t been measuring myself very well is on the bike. I don’t really know what I can do today that I couldn’t do six months ago. I just don’t pay much attention to it, so that’s where I can improve.
Oh, and all my pants and other clothes are a lot looser than they were. I also can’t wear my wedding ring because it keeps falling off.