Goodbye January

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  1. Total run miles for January: 207.5
  2. Miles run, year to date: 207.5
  3. Number of races in January: 0
  4. Longest run in January: 14 miles

I actually said out loud when I totaled up my miles from January, “Really?”. I didn’t feel like I ran that much. I was thinking I was going to be in the 125-150 range. I hadn’t really thought about it, because the 207.5 makes sense if I thought about it. I think it was just that the first half of the month felt so crappy that I blocked those miles out.

January started off ROUGH for me. Though I was already in week 4 of Boston training when the month kicked off, my fitness just wasn’t where I wanted it to be. I expected to be out of racing shape, but being hit hard with illness took a lot out of me. It set me back to square one, and every single run caused me a little bit of anger, anxiety, and hatred. I seriously considered re-evaluating my goal marathon pace. I wasn’t sure at which point I should do that, but eventually my legs got the memo to show up. I still don’t know if I have a spring PR in me, but at least I feel like I’m in the ballpark again.

Thankfully, I had no races in the immediate future. If you look back at the past few years, I typically run early season marathons. Races in February and early March, and every year it stresses me out because of the toll the holidays takes on me. Every year, I say, “NEVER AGAIN”, but I cave and sign up for a race anyway. This was the first year I held back, and dear GOD I’m so glad that I did. I have no marathons until Boston, and a low key 10K this weekend that I do for fun each year. No pressure to be running huge miles yet, and a lot of the focus has been on speed.

I think that’s the biggest difference in this month and in this training cycle. This month was not about me having to log 20 milers because of an impending marathon, but about taking the time to build speed. I really believe it’s why I am loving the Hanson’s plan so much. In reviewing my past training plans, I’d do weeks of slow base building and then expect to be able to nail a random tempo run. Then, I wouldn’t do another one for several weeks and expect it to go better than the last, though I hadn’t been practicing them. Why would I expect to get faster if I wasn’t actually working at getting faster? Mind blown right here.

My month began with a pretty serious running rut. I started to feel better a few weeks into the month, and the last few weeks have felt a lot better. I’ve logged lots of solo miles, and miles with friends. I’ve really started to enjoy my group long runs again. They used to be a source of anxiety for me, but lately I really look forward to them because I feel more confident.

I did a serious overhaul on my diet and I feel good about where I am with it. I lost 6 lbs, and I’ve done a ton of cooking. I’ve been diligent about eating healthy and clean throughout the week, but allow myself to indulge in goodies on the weekends. I still mow down pizza on Friday, and make non-Paleo “comfort” food on Sundays for dinner. I made snow day treats and put back Girl Scout cookies like a champ, but I’ve been able to keep it under control. I love the way I feel in training when I’m eating well, so that’s been a huge motivator for me to stay on track.

In the pole fitness world, I signed up for my first competition. I’m in the process of choreographing a routine to a song, and I am in wayyyy over my head. It’s the hardest strength training I’ve ever done, and signing up for the competition means spending lots of time practicing. It’s so hard, but I absolutely love it. You will have to stalk my Instagram for video clips, since it’s all about stringing moves together now.

There have been lots of ups and downs. I had to say goodbye to my beloved Garmin…

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But replaced it with the new love of my life…

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We had the biggest blizzard maybe ever:

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And my beloved Yotarolla (my nickname for my baby) died on me:

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She’s been to almost all of the marathons I’ve done in driving distance, and has been to Boston all five years I’ve run it. I’m still looking for a replacement. Do you know that they stopped making manual transmissions for the Corolla S? How do you make a “sport” version of a car, but with no stick shift? I love the S but I also love driving stick. It seems as though everyone is moving towards these CVT transmissions, which seem super nice but…I really, really, love driving stick!! Even in a little Corolla, I feel like I can drive it like I stole it if it’s manual. I’m heartbroken and lost!

I digress. Moving into February, I hope to continue with the progress I’ve been making. I really want to focus on:

  • Strength training, which is why we started the ❤️ StrongBody Streak! It’s not too late to join the fun!
  • Continue with a clean diet
  • Finish choreographing my pole fitness routine for the competition.

How was the first month of the year for you? Any goals for February?

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35 thoughts on “Goodbye January

  1. Kerry February 4, 2016 / 9:23 am

    It sounds like you had a really good running month. I feel like the Hanson’s training program is really working for you. It’s too bad about your car, though. I hate it that more cars are being made without the stick shift option. I feel like a race car driver in my manual!

    I think I had a pretty good month, although the beginning of it really wasn’t all that great. I, too, was in a bit of a running rut. I honestly thought that I was not going to be able to run because of all of the time I took off for my injury/holidays. Really… I think I was being a little crazy.

    • allisonfiorini February 4, 2016 / 1:00 pm

      That’s how I feel – and all I have is a Corolla! I feel like it’s wayyyy more fun to drive. I agree with you – I was so worried with my holiday rut that things would stay ugly. I hope I can keep feeling decent!

  2. Shawna February 4, 2016 / 9:51 am

    what a killer running month for you! so many miles. glad to hear you’re feeling good about healthier eating — i was thinking about that today, as i generally think of myself as a super healthy eater, but there are a few things i’d like to clean up (ie, chocolate doesn’t need to be consumed so regularly). but the wine is staying. 🙂

    • allisonfiorini February 4, 2016 / 1:01 pm

      Thanks, girl!!! I am usually good about the healthy eating but I tend to get a little crazy around the holidays. I just feel like we work so hard allll yearrrr…I just want to eat all of the goodies!!!! And, the wine always stays 😉

  3. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures February 4, 2016 / 10:12 am

    February should be getting into top training month for me (April marathon), so I’m focusing on strength training, and running slower (smarter!) to get faster and stay injury free!! Good luck on your car search!!

    • allisonfiorini February 4, 2016 / 1:03 pm

      Ooooooo good LUCK this month! You will ROCK IT!!!! I also think this will be a big month for me since the training I’m doing is for an April Marathon. Eeeeee!

  4. Anna @ Piper's Run February 4, 2016 / 10:31 am

    We’ve had a similar month, starting off sick. I ran more in January this year then in past years (though nowhere close to your mileage). I also lost 6 lbs this month and completely attribute that to more focuses workouts/running – just getting back on the good workout train, ya know!
    I’m a big fan of the stick shift…can’t ever go back! Good luck with your search.

    • allisonfiorini February 4, 2016 / 1:04 pm

      I agree – focusing more on the workouts and the running helps shed the lbs, and once I start seeing improvement I get more and more dedicated to my diet. I’m still hoping to lose about 9 more for Boston. But, food….the struggle is real.

  5. Katie Pridgen February 4, 2016 / 10:38 am

    My big goal for February is my marathon. My dad drove the course the other day, then called me up on the phone and said, “26 miles is a long way! I kept thinking I must have missed the turn around and then checking my odometer and realizing I hadn’t reached it yet!”

    I guess my second big goal for February is getting my hands on a bike. Can’t train for an Ironman without a bicycle… :/

    • allisonfiorini February 4, 2016 / 1:04 pm

      When are you and your dad running your marathon?!?! I can’t believe it’s this MONTH!

      • Katie Pridgen February 4, 2016 / 2:45 pm

        February 20! I keep counting down the hard runs until the marathon. It’s down to five! (Because the week of the marathon is really low-key.)

      • allisonfiorini February 5, 2016 / 8:25 am

        I can’t believe how fast that came up!

  6. suzysuzyheather February 4, 2016 / 10:42 am

    I like how you break down the concept of Hanson’s training method in a no-brainer way for me. 🙂 It makes SO MUCH SENSE when you tell it like it is. I still haven’t got the MF book in the mail yet (it’s not like I live in the north pole!) but I’ve been doing way more tempo work at marathon goal pace, speed work on the treadmill, 400m intervals, stuff like that. I already feel stronger. YASSSS. Oh and good job on the 6 lb! That was fast! You’re such a go-getter. Boom. Inspiring. ❤

    • allisonfiorini February 4, 2016 / 1:06 pm

      That is exactly how I feel about Hansons – it just makes SENSE. I can’t believe you didn’t get your b0ok yet!!! What is Amazon even DOING!!!!!!! I can’t wait for you to read it. Have you tried 10.0 yet??? I know you can do it. 😉

      • suzysuzyheather February 4, 2016 / 11:45 pm

        Hey, no I haven’t tried 10 yet. I honestly don’t think I can hold it for longer than 30 seconds! You don’t believe me but I really struggle with power and speed.

        Amazon is great. But our mailboxes keep getting broken into so we have to go to the post office to pick up our shit and I have like zero time for that. Sucks.

      • allisonfiorini February 5, 2016 / 8:34 am

        OMG people are such jerks – breaking into mailboxes!! That stinks and I’m so sorry that happened!

        Sister, my 3:06 was from 2014 and I haven’t had the kind of speed/power you have now since then. I KNOW you can do it! You are so fast!! xoxo

  7. Hanna @ TheMillennialNextDoor February 4, 2016 / 2:05 pm

    Is that car the same one we rode around Duluth in?? Ohhh that’s sad! I’m glad you’re in a better place with your training. I just KNEW you would love Hansons!! Good luck with your choreography 🙂

    • allisonfiorini February 4, 2016 / 2:11 pm

      YESSSS THAT CAR! It saw so many marathon miles!!!!! It was getting pretty beat up by the time you saw it but man it was a great little car. I am so sad about it!!!

      And, THANKS! I am totally loving Hansons!!! You are right about their plan, it’s badass!!

  8. 50in50marathonquest February 4, 2016 / 3:33 pm

    it was quite a month for you and that’s a seriously impressive total as you were not too thrilled with your training runs early in the month…cool that the new training plan is working out and hopefully it will leaving you prepped to crush Boston…agree on the winter races – training for that one in Maui quite honestly sucked, not to say i’ll never do it again but they are tough…good luck with the training and everything next month, or this month i guess 🙂

    • allisonfiorini February 5, 2016 / 8:26 am

      I almost signed up for one in Georgia because it fell on my birthday and I’ve always wanted to run one on my birthday! But it was early March, and would have had me in the same situation. I was just tired of the scrambling to train for a winter marathon scene! Needed a break from that this year 🙂

  9. Brittany February 4, 2016 / 7:50 pm

    Can I be you!? Amazing miles! I just signed up for another half (finally) but my Garmin is no where to be found!! Maybe it’s a sign cause I’ve been eyeing new ones…

    That first photo is stunning!

    • allisonfiorini February 5, 2016 / 8:28 am

      Thank you so much! OOOOOOO maybe new Garmin time?!?!? I am seriously in love with the FR235… 🙂 🙂 HIGHLY recommend!

  10. Amy Lauren February 4, 2016 / 8:33 pm

    I’m glad the Hansons training is working for you. It really helped me when I used it for that half marathon and I still follow the same type of training philosophy even though I’m not “on the plan” (bc I’m not really “training” for anything specifically). It helped me find and figure out what kind of running worked for me and that more miles each day, shorter long run, tempo runs, etc, just works better for my body than some of the other plans/styles. I think you will do great at Boston and with the pole competition, and it’s neat that you’re doing more pole since it’s so cold out, that’s a great way to cross train without dealing with that snow (although I guess you do have to drive to the pole studio).

    Good luck with finding a car… it is seriously hard to find one that is everything you want no matter what you want… I didn’t have many expectations when I was shopping and it was still hard!

    • allisonfiorini February 5, 2016 / 8:32 am

      I honestly think whatever happens with Boston, this plan was right for me. I feel like I’ve already won because I feel good and I am enjoying training. I definitely get that cumulative fatigue that they talk about, but I am not physically drained. I can still fit in some other cross training and have a life outside of training, which I’m loving. The shorter long runs mean I can start later in the morning instead of feeling like I need to start at the crack of dawn on a Sunday so my whole day isn’t shot. I can’t say enough about it so far. I’m only on week 8, but I love it!

      My husband did a good job of “fixing” my car. It’s just a band-aid and will get me around until we decide exactly what we want! I really love my Corolla though, and I test drove one last night. It was a 2016 and an upgraded model from mine, and WOW. Pretty car!!! We still have a few more on the list to look at before we make a commitment, but I am not feeling as stressed as I did earlier in the week since he got my old one to run. But it’s not reliable, and we certainly need a reliable car!

      • Amy Lauren February 5, 2016 / 8:57 am

        That was the thing with mine. It was running but we knew it was on its last leg. We have a ton of bridges and interstates here and you can’t go anywhere in Charleston without driving on one, so while I could drive, I was scared to go further than the gym, grocery store, walmart, etc. I had a few weeks to find a car but wanted to do it ASAP for safety reasons!

      • allisonfiorini February 5, 2016 / 8:58 am

        Exactly!!! I am in the exact same boat. Well, not so many bridges but I am constantly driving on the highway. My pole classes are about a half an hour drive and I have to go on a highway for that. It’s scary when you don’t know what might happen!

    • allisonfiorini February 5, 2016 / 8:32 am

      Thank you! I am happy with how the month ended up!

  11. Fallon @ Slacker Runner February 5, 2016 / 2:02 am

    Great month!!! 207 miles!! That’s awesome. Congrats on the 6 lbs as well, I buckled down with my eating but the scale has not moved. Grrr. Time train more. 🙂 Your Garmin looks awesome.

    • allisonfiorini February 5, 2016 / 8:35 am

      Thank you! Ugh, but I DO know your frustrations with the scale. That was how the month began for me. I think the increased running as the month went on really helped. I love the new Garmin. So fun to use!! I highly recommend.

  12. Megan @ Meg Go Run February 5, 2016 / 2:02 pm

    I know how you made it to 207 in January. It was that 5k you ran in your house. 😉

  13. Elaine February 6, 2016 / 12:43 pm

    Holy moly mileage! It’s good to hear you’re building up your speed and out of the running rut. And I loved seeing your motivational posts each morning this past week in out FB group. I’m hoping to continue to run injury free this month as I did last month.
    I drove a manual for almost 18yrs and we got a new car several weeks ago that’s automatic which I actually don’t mind. I know driving a stick is more fun!

    • allisonfiorini February 10, 2016 / 10:51 am

      I am so loving our group. I hope our strength streak helps keep you injury FREE!

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