The B.A.A. 10k is in just three weeks. I have been working really hard at staying on my training schedule, eating right, and maintaining that award winning can-do attitude that I probably have somewhere. Yesterday I set out to do my long run for the week: five miles.

I ran a 5-miler last week and while I wouldn’t say it was easy by any means, I did it without much pain and only a little bit of struggle, so I thought I would be able to go out and do 5.5 (maybe 6!) yesterday. I had been looking forward to my long run, because I always finish them and am so proud of myself, and the good feelings about my progress help propel me through the week.

The Mass Ave Bridge is a half mile long, but you get to see all of Boston!

The Mass Ave Bridge is a half mile long, but you get to see all of Boston!

Let me start by saying I know not every run is going to be a good run. Yesterday I got out later than I wanted, it was about 11:00, and the was sun was hot. Although it was only about 70 degrees, it was so hot running… Before I set out, I had mapped out a 5.5 mile route. It took me from Cambridge across the bridge to Boston, through Back Bay and around the Public Garden. It was a beautiful route and I was excited to see it all, but as soon as I started running, I was struggling. I ran a total of 4.6 miles, and had a really hard time getting there. It was just so hot. I was incredibly thirsty after mile 3, and I was really disappointed in myself, not reaching the distance I had planned on. I ended up walking about a mile home after stopping in a Dunkin Donuts where I bought a water bottle with my really sweaty credit card.

The Commonwealth Avenue Mall is beautiful, 1 mile from Mass Ave to the Public Garden

The Commonwealth Avenue Mall is beautiful, 1 mile from Mass Ave to the Public Garden

It’s almost summer, and I know it’s only going to get hotter from here. The trick will be to get out early, and it might be time to start bringing water with me on the longer runs. This was the first run since I started training 6 weeks ago that I haven’t completed. I came home frustrated.

Boston's Public Garden

Boston’s Public Garden

It’s hard to keep in perspective how far I’ve come, when it feels like I should be able to keep going.  But I guess it’s all part of this process. I’m going to have bad runs, I’m going to get frustrated, but at the end of the day, each day that I make the choice to put on my sneakers, and each time I choose to eat half of my plate at a restaurant, and each time I choose the banana over the croissant, I’m making progress.

I’ve learned that this whole weight-loss-fitness-journey that I’m on isn’t about one big change. The real key to success when you want to change the way you live, is to really focus on the small things. Making a lot of small changes will add up to big change, but you have to remember not to discount all of the small things you’ve done. Small changes take hard work too.