Yes, this is me wearing shorts in the middle of January.
Yesterday, I ran for the first time in WEEKS, where I was on a running hiatus due to dangerously cold temperatures and scarily icy weather, and I found I was only able to do a short 5 mile loop at a much slower pace than what I'm used to. As someone who prefers to run and tops off her runs around 7 or 8 miles a day when I'm in peak condition, I found myself spending the majority of my run competing with myself. I compared myself to the summer, when I would run 8 miles sometimes throwing in some plyometric movements to keep myself on my toes (pun intended). Let me tell you something: if you think comparing yourself to someone else is ridiculously illogical, I find it even more ridiculous to compare myself to myself.
Because I have an athlete's mentality, I have a tendency to push myself over the edge, physically and mentally. But just because I could run 8 miles in the middle of July, does not mean I'm not putting in the same amount of work now by slowly running 5. Instead, I'm playing to my mental strengths by listening to my body, which was adjusting to running long distance outside after weeks of the opposite. If you find yourself in the same position as me - does not matter what the case may be - keep persisting.
That being said, take a peek at the HIIT workout by clicking th link in my bio, where your only goal is to break a sweat. If you feel good performing each circuit twice, that does not mean you are putting in less work than the person who goes through each circuit three times. Listen to your body. Accept the fact that you are working just as hard now as you did before, and please be aware that the number does not matter. Your mind does. So mentally push yourself to keep moving forward.