Last week, I returned to work after an extended paternity leave. A lingering melancholy aside, it felt pretty good. I wrote stuff, and it didn't feel like torture. It seemed like I was finding stories and making observations like I had before. I was back!
I'm also back to running. After two marathons earlier this year, I took it pretty easy in our baby's first few weeks. But I've been ramping back up. And this past weekend, I felt good. I was moving. I was back!
But, there's a problem. I happen to have some data on my quantitative performance at work and on the streets. And the data tells a different story. Runkeeper notes that my last 5-mile run was my 60th fastest (i.e. slowest). And our analytics software tells me precisely fewer readers I'm connected with at my job.
One could look at the charts and see at a glance that there was slippage between my perception of myself, and the measurements of myself.
Thinking about this last Friday, heaped on the couch from the exhaustion of my first full-time working parent week, I had only one thought about this data:
But then I started to think about it. For one, half the time I'm pushing a jogging stroller. The other half, I'm running up hills and stairs trying to get more intense workouts in faster. Looking at my average mile time is a dumb way of evaluating how things are going.