Greatness is the sum of small parts

I firmly believe that setting yourself up for a good marathon or season of racing is the sum of a lot of small good decisions. The big stuff matters- the super long runs, the key workouts but more than anything consistent mileage and workouts with good eating, sleeping and recovery add up to take training to new levels. And the little decisions matter a lot!

If I’m being totally honest, my decisions lately have been a little so so. Rather than roll my legs I’ve been laying on the couch. Rather than the carrots, I’ve been going for the Christmas cookies. It is what it is, but none of that is going to get me to a PR in Eugene. A bad night of eating can lead to a bad tempo which is a waste of a key workout. Or, if you have a good workout and recover poorly, you aren’t going to be able to hit the next one.

I realize it’s Christmas and tis the season to drink wine and eat cookies and all that. And let’s be clear, I like to do those things and life is short so I will. That said, I’m almost ready to get back to a more monastic runner lifestyle so I can really commit to my workouts and running. I don’t think I’m going to be crazy and totally ban sugar during training but I do think I’m going to put some serious limits on what I “can” and “can’t” do. Limits work for me and I’m going to need some boundaries.

I learned a lot the last time I trained for a marathon. I learned how to recover, that if I’m going to run crazy amounts I need to sleep crazy amounts and that  I can push when I really need and want to. But more than anything I learned that marathon training in particular is very cumulative. It’s not like a 5k or half marathon training where you can fake it a bit. You really have to make consistent, good choices to get the best out of your body.

Having a big goal is good. Without something big and scary looming in front of me I’m not going to put the cookie back, do that extra set of pushups or get that hour of sleep. So I’m committing to the big goal so I can meet lots of small ones along the way.


Running this week was good! I did a tempo run, a fartlek and a sort of long run. I also went to yoga SIX days this week which has left me really sore! I can tell it’s making me stronger though.

I also hosted a Christmas party for 53 of my closest friends which meant I baked for 11 hours straight, standing on tile which left my feet and legs surprisingly sore. I felt it on my 12 miler. Oy. FEET HURT!

This week I’ll be kind of all over the place but I’m looking forward to some good runs. I mean, I have a big goal don’t I?


6 responses to “Greatness is the sum of small parts

  1. 11 hours of baking?! i bow to you! i agree that having a big goal is key. it makes all the small goals worthwhile because they’re pointing to a huge accomplishment/achievement

  2. Sounds like you’re at a healthy, balanced place with nutrition, yet also know what it takes to get to the next level of performance. As always, I’m super impressed : )

  3. You’ve got the determination – I can’t wait to see the hard work pay off!

  4. Wow, I don’t think I could bake for 11 hours. And I love baking.
    So I guess you’re training for a marathon? Have you picked one?

  5. Love this blog post! I am definitely all or nothing kind of girl. Excited to follow through your training for Eugene 🙂

  6. Pingback: Greatness is the sum of small parts. « Choicesoflife's Blog

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