Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Celebrating Training Victories

When we last spoke (or rather, I spoke and you potentially listened), I had just moved and hadn't trained as much as planned over the prior two weeks. Unless daily stair climbing counts. Because I moved to a 3-story townhouse, and the only bathroom is on the top floor. And let me tell you, climbing these stairs about 58 times a day is no joke. I think after two weeks though, I'm finally used to it.

For this week, my main goal was to make sure I ran more miles than the previous week. The forecast called for more super-hot days, so my secondary goal was to beat the heat.

Of my seven runs last week (Monday was my only rest day, and I doubled up on Saturday), two were early morning (before 8am, during the week), one was mid-morning (9:45am), one was lunchtime, two were mid-afternoon (1:30-3:30pm), and one was early evening (7pm). Operation stay reasonably cool was accomplished. And I was able to see on my early morning runs that the heat had definitely been slowing me down.

I managed to log 51 miles this week, which was more than the 44 that I logged last week. Therefore, I accomplished my mileage goal too!

Another huge milestone was that I raced my first 5K in nearly two years! On Friday, one of my coworkers asked me if I wanted to run this superhero 5K with her on Saturday (the next day) along the waterfront (one loop from Hawthorne to Steel Bridge). I was all over this, even if it meant having to go to Target to buy a superhero T-shirt.

Assuming the course was mapped properly, my goal was to break 20 minutes (6:26/mi). We started, and I just booked it. Maybe I started out too quickly, but like I said, I hadn't raced a 5K in a while. I hit the first mile in 6:16, which was way faster than goal pace. (I did pass Batman though.) The second mile was along the east side of the Esplanade. I passed some more people, but felt like I was significantly slower than the first mile. My mile split was 6:28 though, so I guess I wasn't as far off as I thought. The last portion involved going up and over the Hawthorne Bridge, and then back to the finish. I stopped my watch and hit Save before I could even process that the course was 0.5 miles short. Had I been thinking, I might've just kept running along the waterfront until my watch hit 3.1 miles. Coulda, shoulda, woulda though, right? Anyway, my final time was 16:38, which amounted to a 6:23 pace.  I was a bit disappointed that the course was short, but I was stoked to run all of that faster than my goal pace (and run my first race in a sub-6:30/mi pace). After the last few weeks of running, I needed that confidence booster.

The next day, I had "15M with 12M at goal marathon pace" on the plan. However, as a result of the 5K (and the 4 recovery miles) the day before, I decided to change this to a 2M warm-up, followed by 6 x 1M repeats (with 1M of rest in between), and then a 2M cooldown. My legs felt good until speed interval #5, and then they just felt like lead. But I found some kick for the last interval.

Both of those stories reminded me of a very valuable lesson. In any training plan, you have to celebrate the small wins, because it helps you remember that something's going right in your training. And the sum of all of those small wins is a huge victory.

Do you celebrate your small wins? And if not, will you start doing that?


  1. Absolutely! Victories along the way are SO important! For me, sometimes it's a time on the clock, and other times it's just getting out the door in the first place... or making it through a run without my stomach tanking mid-run. Sounds like things are clicking for you, heat be damned. :) can't wait to see ya in a month! hope you're getting settled!

    1. Thanks! Yes, you're absolutely right. Some days, I have those moments of, "I dragged myself out of the house to run. I win." New place is great; I can't believe we're just over a month away from SR! Ahh! So excited to see/run with you too!!