I made progress. My endurance ability has been increasing steadily over the past year or so, such that things that used to be extremely difficult or impossible - like a half marathon - are quite manageable now. Maybe, on the right day, I could even say easy. This is great.
It's great, but it also sucks, because while this didn't happen by accident, it also didn't happen via meticulous planning either. I just ran. I mostly ran when I felt like it, and a few times when I didn't feel like it. I halfheartedly tried following a plan that dictated mileage, but found it too restrictive and went back to the willy-nilly approach.
This is all well and good for a beginner, but I'm starting to realize it's going to take a more concerted effort if I want to continue getting better. It might be possible to run 30 miles a week 'by accident' like I mostly have been doing, but getting to the 50-60 mpw range that way seems a lot less likely.
I think another problem I have is that I don't have a specific big race I'm training for right now. Since I lost the NY marathon lottery for this year, I only have the various smaller 9+1 races, which while fun, are not my main focus. I will (god willing) have the NY marathon in 2024, but that's more than a year away, so it doesn't make too much sense to train for it now, other than in the general aerobic base-building sense.
I'm of half of the mind to sign up for something next spring, to keep myself motivated in training, but haven't comitted yet. Nevertheless, I am keenly aware I need to start actually paying attention to my training, and start being specific with my goals. My peak weekly mileage so far has been 40, so my next goal is to build that to 50. I'm going to see which configuration of runs works best, and try to hold this steady through the rest of the year. I might try writing up a weekly training diary here, if the format works. I requested my strava data so hopefully I can find something useful in there.