Our pastor taught on the topic of perseverance yesterday afternoon, and I was thinking about it during my 4 miles this morning. Which was apropos, because it was not my best short run. I felt fine after Saturday's 5K (and subsequent ambling around the Germantown Street Festival/Oktoberfest/Farmer's Market), and was not really stiff or sore at all yesterday. But for some reason I just wasn't at my best this morning, and the ups-and-downs of my hilly route took it right out of me. After about 3 miles, my knees and leg muscles were getting sore, so I abbreviated a couple of my running intervals (still kept my walking to one minute at a time, though).
It's easy to feel discouraged after a disappointing run like today's. That's part of the territory after you've been running a while, and have progressed to the point where you are setting goals to improve your speed, distance, and endurance. At the beginning, I didn't worry about those things--rather, any run was a counted a success by the mere fact of having completed it! And sometimes, that measure of running success still applies: it's not always fun, it's hardly ever easy, and sometimes it asks more than you can give. But continuing to stick with it in spite of those things is a victory in itself.