Thursday, March 1, 2018

Run Love: February in Review

February 2018

Sometimes you have to take a step backwards to appreciate how far you've come.

Total mileage for the month:  254.7 (in comparison:  January - 207).
  • Jan. 29-Feb. 4:  57
  • Feb. 5-11:  61.1
  • Feb. 12-18:  66.2
  • Feb. 19-25:  62.2
  • Feb. 26-March 4:  66.7
A trip to Bass Pro isn't noteworthy when you live
in a suburb of Springfield, but we didn't do very
much this month!
  • None this month.  I was going to run a half for fun in lieu of my long run on February 24, but I just didn't have it in me to go to a race that week.
  • Feb. 9:  4 mile tempo in 24:02 via 6:03, 6:06, 5:58, 5:54 (6:00 average), with 3.1 warm-up and 2 cool-down.  Tempo Friday is never a thing on my training schedule, but Tempo Tuesday did not work out, and because of that I was extremely thankful to hit this one.  I didn't even have my usual "I should have run 3 seconds faster to average 5:59" thoughts!  I was happy with this for my first real workout since Houston, and although I ran a faster 4 mile tempo over the summer, I was not in my present state of post-marathon de-training for that one.  My goal pace range was 5:57-6:07, and all considering I would have been happy enough even if I'd run all 4 miles at 6:07.  
  • Feb. 13: 4 x 1 mile at tempo in 6:04, 6:07, 6:08, 6:10 (6:07 average) with 0.5 recoveries, 2.2 warm-up, and 2 cool-down (goal pace of 5:57-6:07).  This was much harder than it should have been considering I ran 4 miles straight at tempo faster than this the previous week, but often the split tempos are harder for me with the stopping and re-starting (plus I am just running kind of hot and cold right now), plus it was windy.  I fell hard on a patch of black ice during my Feb. 12 run (detailed below in the highlights/thoughts/randomness section), so I was sore from that, which probably didn't help.  Meh.
  • Feb. 18:  Progressive fast finish long run (11 base, then dropping 10-15 seconds/mile for the final 3 miles).  My average for the whole run was 7:11, with the final 3 miles in 6:54, 6:46, 6:33.  Although I ran the workout as written and before I started picking it up I wasn't even sure I'd be able to drop under 7:00, I also kept thinking about how I used to fast finish these at 6:00 pace, which was disheartening.
  • Feb. 20: Fartlek of 3 x 3'2'1' pushes with recovery equal to the next push (2.2 warm-up, cool-down to 8.3 miles total).  I ran this during a storm (the entire week of Feb. 19-25 was a storm), and I didn't even look at my push paces until a few days later, because I was already feeling discouraged about my training and knew that due to running in insane wind and rain, these would not be good (they were 5:58-6:58, with the 6:58 being a 1:00 all uphill into the 30+ mph wind).  I put in a hard effort and tried to be okay with that.
  • Feb.  26:  5 mile tempo in 30:00 via 6:05, 6:04, 5:58, 6:01, 5:51 (6:00 average), with 2.1 warm-up and 2.4 cool-down.  Only I could run 30-flat, ha!  I've gotta break 30 next time.  I haven't run a 5 mile tempo in a few years - my coach has previously always taken me from 4 miles to 6 miles - so almost by default this was going to be a PR workout (pre-coach I think my best tempos were in the 6:30s), but even without that * I was pleased with it.  I was not feeling confident at all going in, and told myself to just try for 6:10-6:15 pace (even though my goal range was 5:57-6:07).  I looked at my watch about a half mile in and I was at 6:10 pace, but once I got going I got in a groove and knew I could hit the pace range my coach had given me!  I know he won't give me paces he doesn't believe I can hit, but my confidence has been really poor recently.  This workout helped it, but I'll feel better if I can string together more good runs.  Spring coming will have to help with that.
  • Double on Feb. 27...the return!  I missed running them, but just like in January, it was nice to not have to get out twice on stupid cold days.
  • Strides on Feb. 5, 12, 19, and a few before all workouts. 
  • Full body strength workouts on Feb. 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 20, 24, and 28.  I'm adapting to my new strength and agility routine, and no longer get super sore after each session.
  • Favorite workout:  It's a tie between the 4 mile and 5 mile tempos, because they both helped me keep the faith that I can have a solid season (a large number of runs this month made me lose faith!).
Long Runs/Medium Long Runs:
  • I added my midweek medium long runs to this section this month...I wanted to feel like I accomplished a little more, plus they are almost as long as my weekend long runs at this phase in my training!
  • Feb. 3:  13.2 base (7:39).  I was exhausted from the first step of this run, coming off a 3-day work trip, so it was just about getting in the miles.  I ran a course I typically avoid because it's not "fast", but it's beautiful and all of the climbing was good for me both training-wise and to prevent me from comparing paces!  I was solo on this one.
  • Feb. 7: 11.1 base (7:30). I woke up to mildly icy roads that seemed dangerous, so did not run this at 5:30 a.m. as planned.  With a strike of luck (i.e., work cancellation), I was able to get out late morning and meet up with Jessi to get the miles in.  We dodged and slowed down for ice during the run, but it was much easier to navigate in daylight, and running in the sunlight was wonderful!
  • Feb. 10:  12 base (7:27).  The was The Run I Thought Wouldn't Happen.  We were supposed to get hit with an ice storm beginning around 2 a.m., but Jessi and I planned to meet if the roads were decent.  I woke up at 6 a.m. to completely dry roads, which made me very happy!  We'd both run workouts the day before so we took it easy, which was also nice.  The ice started falling shortly after we finished this run.
  • Feb. 14: 11.1 base (7:17).  This was a wonderful Galentine's Day run in 46*!  I met up with Missy, Jessi, and Rebecca to run what Missy calls "The 11 mile death loop".  It isn't really, but the name has stuck.  1 mile of it runs on a rural highway that actually has traffic before 6:00 a.m. - but the traffic is nearly all going into Springfield and we run the same direction that it is going (on the left side of the road) so that it's primarily on the opposite side of the road, and I never feel unsafe.
  • Feb. 18:  14.4 with 3 progressive fast finish (7:11 for the whole run), described above.  This run had to be bumped from Saturday to Sunday due to Saturday morning's 6+ hours of 35* and pouring rain (cold rain is the worst!).  Everyone ran different distances this day, but I had company for most of the run:  Rebecca (8 miles), Zach (10 miles), and Jessi (12 miles).
  • Feb. 21: 11.4 base (7:51), solo, tired, and patchy black ice.  Since falling on Feb. 12 I became pretty timid around ice.
  • Feb. 24: 14.1 base (7:19), with Missy, Zach, and Claudio.  It pretty much rained all day except for during our run, so we lucked out on this one.
  • Feb. 28:  11 base (7:09) with Missy, Rebecca, and Zach to wrap up the month!  If you throw out my icky run on Feb. 21, my pace showed a nice downward progression throughout the month.  It is difficult not to compare my current runs to my best, but I am 16 weeks out from Grandma's and I think I am around where I was, or perhaps even a little faster than I was, when I was 16 weeks out from CIM.
  • Missouri winter weather sucks for training.  This is not a highlight, but is a fact!  I don't do well with uncertainty, and there was so much weather uncertainty this month.  There were times we had no snow forecasted and then it began snowing and my weather app immediately changed to 3 inches of snow, but there were also times when I thought for sure I wouldn't be able to run based on the forecast, then woke up to perfect road conditions and headed out!
  • I did my first indoor run of the season due to icy roads on Feb. 5:  8 miles, which entailed 60 laps on the YMCA indoor track.  I'm glad I'm generally able to get outdoors, because that type of training is not nearly as enjoyable and does not seem sustainable for me!  My second indoor run was that same week, on Feb. 11, on my home treadmill that I hadn't used on 2 years, because the roads were too hazardous to drive to the YMCA (every church in our area cancelled services on this day).  I initially figured I should just skip my run, but by about 10:30 a.m. I caved and used the treadmill, mainly because I only needed 4 more miles to get over 60 that week.  I didn't get injured from it, which has been my fear after I got injured from it in early 2016, but it was also just one short and easy run.
  • On Feb. 12, the roads were still an ice rink and schools were cancelled, but it warmed up nicely and I was able to get out during the day (I have a plethora of work cancellations when school is out for winter weather).  I wanted to run as early as I could to give myself more time between this 9 miler and my workout the following morning, so I went out around 11:15 a.m.  Not even a half mile into the run, I traversed what I thought was a wet spot on the road, but it included some black ice and I fell down hard.  I picked myself up and stubbornly continued my run, but from then on I walked over any even slightly questionable spots on the road.  I ended up really sore in the subsequent days in my right knee, hip, and rib.  I think I bruised my rib in a very minor way because it hurt to breathe slightly for about a week...but I didn't miss any runs.
  • I've run every day since 1/27/18...the streak begins again.
It only looks pretty

I took this the morning of Feb. 12, the day I fell running at lunch
Non-running life events:
  • I spent 3 days in the St. Louis area for a work conference at the beginning of the month.  I don't do that much overnight travel for work, aside from Kansas City trips on which I always stay with a friend, and having a hotel room to myself is always a weird experience!  The first day is, "Yay, I have quiet, I can do whatever I want, and I get to eat in bed!  Work is buying me appetizers, salmon, and dessert!"  The third day is, "This is awful, I hate this silence, I am so bored, and I hate eating out."  Hah!  I read a lot and actually never turned on my hotel room's TV.
  • Valentine's Day, which was more exciting for Albani than anyone else (because, candy!), but we all had fun nonetheless.  Jon and I have never been big on celebrating it, but always exchange cards and something small, typically a food item.  I gave him a box of Sour Patch Kids that he'd mentioned craving the weekend before, and he gave me mixed nuts and cashews, which I go through by the tin during heavy training.
  • We enjoyed watching the winter Olympics, but I am ready for them to add cross-country!
  • We were kind of boring this month.  Everyone did a lot of reading.
A lazy day at home spent in pajamas
My lazy day activity aside from reading (cross-stitching)
Albani made a paper mache ice cream cone
(minus the final paint job here)
February crafting at the library
Bandit has claimed the agility ladder
Lots of reading..
We always need something at Lowe's (and by
we I mean my husband)
My new favorite sports bra!
Bandit seems to have put on winter weight too


  1. This winter has been awful for running! I’m not sure if it’s been worse than usual or if it’s just bc I ran early in the morning more than I have in the past. Now that it’s getting warmer in the day, I keep running in the afternoon so I don’t have to wear tights on my run since it’s still in the 30’s in the morning. That’s how over cold weather I am, haha!

    1. I think it's been worse than usual, and definitely much worse than last year's mild winter. This is also the first winter I've run 7 days a week - when I was running 5-6 days a week I could just move my day(s) off to the terrible weather day(s), which made it easier for me. I'm so glad the end is near!