a measure of progress

I find that it’s hard, in the heat of the moment, to see progress along any kind of journey. Be it fitness or weight loss or anything where we start from Point A and move along a steady path, I think we remain too close to the matter at hand.

My head tells me that I’ve done good work. I have earned new PRs over the last three years. I have mastered new distances and conquered new challenges. I mean, had anyone suggested, a few years back, that I would voluntarily drag my body over 26.2 miles, I probably would have cracked a rib laughing at the absurdity of it all. But that’s exactly what I did in January of this year, and I know that I could do it again if the mood ever struck.

I am notorious for being hard on myself and not appreciating the strides I have made, rather stewing over the strides I think I should have made. However, when I was writing my recap of the third anniversary of our first race, I came across this picture, which made me realize something.


Things have changed.

A lot.

Mr PugRunner has come a long way. He is stronger and faster. He no longer needs blood pressure medication and his cholesterol is now normal. I, too, am faster, and I have stopped hiding my legs with black capris regardless of the heat. On top of that, we have challenged ourselves, tested ourselves physically in ways I never thought we would, and found so many wonderful friends in a supportive community.

These are the measures of progress I tend to forget. In the quest for farther and faster, I admit to losing sight of all the bits and pieces along the way.

There is still work to be done. I have goals that have yet to be met and I know Mr PugRunner is looking at some redemption half marathons. We are works in progress and while we have so many miles to go, it’s motivating to see, in photos and stats, how far we have actually come.

We are halfway through 2015, and I’m thrilled with how the year is going. The next six months promise to be even better!

How do you measure your progress?

What are some of your goals for the rest of the year?

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47 Responses to a measure of progress

  1. Wow, this is a very poignant post. You hit on something that is so spot on for me. Pausing to read about your family’s progress, I am so impressed by you all, from the outside, I am so inspired by you all! I can relate though to having a hard time seeing the forest through the trees or however that saying goes 🙂 Something I struggle with is not knowing what I want and having actual goes.
    Great food for thought for me!
    Anne@candycrazedrun recently posted…The Sacred Valley and Machu PicchuMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Not seeing the forest for the trees is the exact sentiment, and it is something that plagues me often. Sometimes, we are just too close to the situation and have to step back to see all the great things going on.

      Thanks for reading my ramblings and for being such an incredible source of support 🙂

  2. Ivanna says:

    I want to get a 30 minute or less 5k and drop a few winter pounds. Also focus on fueling my body with mostly whole food.
    Ivanna recently posted…Join the “Try This Thursday” Link upMy Profile

  3. Congrats to you on all of the progress that you’ve made. Often times its difficult to measure progress through numbers (weight, pace that we run, etc). Its much more important to measure progress based on how we feel and how we think we look. Kudos to you for not feeling like you have to hide your legs under black capris anymore. You look great!
    Kathryn @ Dancing to Running recently posted…My Goals for Saturday’s Firecracker 5kMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Thank you!

      I agree, progress is so much more than the data and numbers and quatifiables.

      It took me a while to give up the capris. And I imagine my legs probably weren’t unsightly before, and there are still things I don’t love about them now, but they are strong and they have gotten me through ridiculous amounts of miles, so I’m pretty proud of them.

  4. Jennifer I love seeing the progress made, it is really inspiring. I have no doubt the rest of this year will bring you some awesomeness. I want to continue my year with a few more half marathons {another one in two weeks} and really fuel my body with clean food.
    Lynda@fitnessmomwinecountry recently posted…Summer Skin Care and Puritans Pride GiveawayMy Profile

  5. What a great post! Congrats to you and your whole family on how far you’ve come!
    In terms of running, I’ve taken many steps back in the past year or so. But it hasn’t been a focus for me, and I’m okay with that. So currently I guess I haven’t made any progress. But it will come when I’m ready to get back to it.
    My current goal is to get back to running consistently and try to get my time back down to where it used to be. Nothing crazy, but I do miss being able to run a 9-9:15 mile! (Or that crazy time I ran a 5K in 26 and change?! Who was I?)
    Stacie Seidman recently posted…What’s Up WednesdayMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Thank you, Stacie.

      That’s great that you can prioritize and not get down when you haven’t made progress in one area. A 5k in 26 is flying! You’ll get there again, with a little work! No worries.

  6. Bri says:

    Love this. It’s important to pause and really appreciate how far you’ve come. Sometimes when we’re being hard on ourselves thinking we should be farther along we should just be proud instead of what we’ve accomplished already.
    Bri recently posted…6 things you should do to detox after a weekend at a summer music festivalMy Profile

  7. jan says:

    Wow, that is an amazing transformation, and you are also being such great fit role models for your son!
    jan recently posted…Is professional running pure?My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      <3 We are trying. I don't remember my family being particularly active. I did dance and horse back riding, but I was far from athletic and we didn't do things like run or even really bike ride. I hope that little man has fond memories of us racing together and taking time to train and work on our own health and fitness.

  8. Marcia says:

    Kudos to you and Mr. PR for awesome progress! I do the same thing. Either I don’t really notice my progress or in my head I minimize the accomplishment. aka “if I can do it, it must not be that hard.” I’m glad you are embracing your awesome!
    Marcia recently posted…Stuff I’m Bringing to EuropeMy Profile

  9. What a great and inspiring post. It’s so easy to lose the major progress when you’re just going day to day. But looking at those pictures and thinking about the changes that your entire family has made is so impressive. Way to go, Pug Runners!!!
    Mer @ScootaDoot recently posted…Video May Have Killed the Radio Star…My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I don’t think we were ever really unhealthy per se, but we definitely weren’t as active as we are now. I love seeing where we started and where we are, and knowing that we have so much opportunity in front of us.

  10. Amazing! Both of you! Progress can be very hard to see. I try not to do weekly weigh ins or anything like that because I find them to be discouraging. It helps to take progress pictures every month or so. Progress takes time, so you won’t see it right away. The same goes for race goals. You won’t PR at every race. You won’t be able to run 26.2 miles overnight. I try to think longer term to stay sane and encouraged 🙂
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…The 10 Best Running MemesMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      It is really hard to see. I finally threw out my scale a few years ago. It wasn’t helping anything and I will never allow myself to get back up to my original weight when I was younger – it’s just not part of who I am anymore. Other than that, I don’t really care ta ll about the numbers. They don’t define me.

      And I know I won’t PR every time. And that when I am in a low training season, I won’t be able to hit those extra miles. But it’s all a process, and I’m doing my best to enjoy it.

  11. You look like you’ve all made great progress 🙂

    It’s funny, I was just looking at some graphs of what I’ve been doing (it’s almost exactly 2.5 years, to the day, since I’ve “gotten serious” about my health . . . I’m 80-ish pounds lighter than I was, then). My blood pressure is SIGNIFICANTLY lower (I was never on medication, but my doctor threatened to put me on medication a time or two . . . it’s now, firmly, in the “normal” range, unless it’s late at night, or I’ve eaten a lot / had a lot to drink). The funny thing, though, is that I’m not that much faster . . . I must be doing something wrong. Though I’m hardly complaining.
    John (Daddy Runs a Lot) recently posted…Where I list the A,B,C’s of Daddy Runs a LotMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Thanks, John. I think we have.

      You have have made awesome strides! It’s a great feeling knowing that you have been able to keep yourself away from regulating meds on your own power (Mr PugRunner is the same way as you – he will run a little higher if he consistently eats poorly over a few days or drinks a lot, but he knows what he needs to do to get himself under control).

      You’re doing nothing wrong. You can’t ignore all the wonderful progress you’ve made.

  12. Erin Go says:

    “I have stopped hiding my legs with black capris regardless of the heat. ” I started running in October and I have just recently found the confidence to wear shorts because of how my legs have become after all of this running. I thought I was the only one who hid her legs behind capris in the summer. Thanks for sharing!

    • runswithpugs says:

      Nope. You are certainly not alone. And don’t get me wrong. I love my black capris. I have many styles and pairs. But they are reserved for running in winter and lounging around the house.

      Congratulations on finding your confidence to show off those runner’s legs!

  13. That is awesome progress for Mr. PugRunner for sure. More than anything else, those indicators are the true measure of health. I mean, no blood pressure medication?! Cheers! Your 5K times are awesome. More than the marathon, getting faster at the 5K distnce is harder. At least for me. We aim for what truly challenges us and in that respect, you have your work cut out for you at 5K.
    Frank@The Fat Runner recently posted…The Road to GoofyMy Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      I am really proud of him. He has worked so hard to get to where he is.

      I like the 5K better than the marathon, just because even when it sucks, it’s over pretty quickly. I’m working hard at it (actually, not right now. It’s July in Florida, so I’m just not worrying about it too much) and we will see what happens in a few months.

  14. Rachel says:

    Congratulations to both of you! A wonderful physical transformation but more important is how you feel and your health. Kudos!
    Rachel recently posted…June has been a really weird month.My Profile

    • runswithpugs says:

      Thank you! I didn’t really notice much physically (Well, I noticed on Mr PugRunner, but not on me), until I saw these pictures. A lot has changed. A lot.

  15. Kim Hatting says:

    Awesome post!! Also, in addition to recognizing our own achievements, I almost find more excitement in watching others achieve their goals. Congrats to YOU!!
    Kim Hatting recently posted…Have Tutu–Will RunMy Profile

  16. sometimes it’s really hard to actually appreciate how far you have come. great post! your family looks awesome and healthy!
    Courtney @ Eat Pray Run DC recently posted…Tips for Your First Group RunMy Profile

  17. I love that you are all in this together. Such an amazing journey.
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…AJC Peachtree Road Race GoalsMy Profile

  18. Carmy says:

    Way to go Mr PugRunner! that’s almost 3 minutes shaved off!
    Carmy recently posted…TOL #25 A Lesson in PatienceMy Profile

  19. You might not see it, but I’ve been reading your blog for a while and it’s been fun to watch all of your and your family’s progress!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Miss IndependenceMy Profile

  20. April @ RunTheGreatWideSomewhere says:

    We are ALL works in progress, aren’t we? I love that concept, thanks for putting it into words. You’ve both accomplished so much!!

  21. jill conyers says:

    Don’t miss the along the way stuff! That’s where some of the best memories are made.

    Have a fab Friday Jenn!
    jill conyers recently posted…Comprehensive Physical FitnessMy Profile

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  23. rachel says:

    Love your progress and journey! I love how we can measure our progress in various ways. 🙂 Keep going… you are doing great!
    rachel recently posted…Summer FunMy Profile

  24. Elena says:

    Those bits and pieces are what I cling to because they are so easy to lose sight of when I am frustrated. You are doing fabulous!!
    Elena recently posted…A Day in the Life at Hilton Head HealthMy Profile

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