January 2021 Training Log: Getting Back Into Shape

me running hills

January flew by (mostly). Life and the real world definitely played a role in that. Anyway, this is a recap of my training. My goal for 2021 is to do all of the things I planned to do in 2020 and did not. Fitness-wise, that is to rebreak 1:25 in the half since the last time I did that was 2018. I did make a nice step towards that by rebreaking 1:30 in the half. Just 5 more minutes to go LOL.

me running hills

Without races, it’s easy to be more consistent. You don’t worry about tapering and “how you’ll feel” for an upcoming race. Truthfully that also leads me to forget I haven’t taken a down week in a while, so the last week of January, I cut back on mileage and elevation.

Miles Run: 250
Longest Run: 14 Miles
Shortest Run: 2 miles
Range of Paces: 6:24-19:30
Workouts: 7
Swimming: 12 pool trips (more on that later)


Towards the end of the months, it became harder for me to get motivated. We experience a week of torrential rain and 40 degrees (I honestly had no idea Napa even got this type of weather). It was hard to lace up my shoes every day and slush through the rain.

I’m most proud of consistently getting to the track, even when I didn’t “feel like it.” I know track workouts are increasing my fitness, so it’s been fun to see that.

None of my workouts were anything of note, but I got them done. Some days over the month, I wondered if I’m even getting better. With no races to truly test your fitness, it wears on you mentally some days. That being said, I am also not 100% sure I am comfortable in big race settings surrounded by people. LOL.

On January 30th, I tested myself with a solo half marathon attempt. The idea came to me the week before simply because I hadn’t run that hard and long for quite some time. I was hoping to be faster than the 1:31 I ran in October, but I wasn’t sure exactly what kind of fitness I’m in. I was able to squeeze right under 1:30 with a 1:29.54. My fastest half marathon in nearly 2 years.

I have a lot of thoughts about this. For a while, I wondered if I would ever run under 1:30 (let alone a PR) or this was just who I am now so it was nice to do that alone.

One thing I do know that I’m better at is climbing hills! In New Jersey, I usually got about 2500 feet of elevation per week. Now, in California, I’m getting anywhere between 6000-7000.


Towards the end of the month, I decided to get to the 12X in January. It meant getting to the pool 10X in 14 days. On paper, it was fairly doable if I had the motivation. Why 12? My gym gives a prize if you get to the gym 12X in a month. I only swim at the gym, so it turned into trying to get to the pool 12x.

Then the following week was (of course) the week of the rain. Since California flooded out, the gym closed for a couple of days. Then getting reservations for a lane was nearly impossible. In fact, getting a reservation became harder than actually getting to the pool, but I did it, and I’m proud.

In all, it was a great month.

What’s next month?

Consistently doing the same thing as this month. I don’t have any races coming up, so I’ll just consistently build until something comes around in California. It’s been a wild year of no races, and I can’t believe on March 1st, it will be 1 full year since I raced last. I still can’t believe it! The last race I’ve done, I broke my foot.  At least now, I’ve done workouts faster than that.

Posts from the Month:

Wow, I put out a lot of shoe reviews last month. 

New Balance RC Elite Shoe Review
Brooks Ricochet 3 Shoe Review
Brooks Levitate 4 Shoe Review
361 Degrees Spire 4 Shoe Review
The On Running Cloudflash Shoe Review

New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo Review

adidas Adizero Pro Shoe Review

Gear Reviews:

Ultima Review
Best Choice Products 3-Piece Kettlebell Set Review
Garmin Forerunner 245 Watch Review


Guide to Brooks Running Shoes
What are Cross-Training Shoes?
Guide to Long Moisture Wicking Long Tank Tops

Questions for you:
How was your month of training? 
What is your goal for February?