Saturday, March 31, 2018

Nevertheless, she persisted: March in review

March 2018 Re-Cap

Total mileage for the month:  297.8 (in comparison:  January - 207, February - 254).  Your body doesn't really know the difference between 297 and 300 miles, but your mind sure does!  Same for 68ish and 70 miles in a week...
  • Feb. 26-March 4:  66.7
  • March 5-11:  67.9
  • March 12-17:  72
  • March 19-25:  68.2
  • March 26-April 1:  71.1
  • March 10:  I broke my racing hiatus by competing in The Big 12 12K in 47:02, which, despite the very challenging race course, was good enough for a Missouri single age state record for age 37 (only because there are very few certified 12Ks in Missouri, because it's not a great time).  I placed 3rd overall female (the best I could have in the field), and I was glad I made the last-minute decision to compete.
  • March 31:  The Easter Sun Run "10K" as a tempo.  This course is off on distance, so my goal for it is always to run it as a workout while visiting my parents for Easter and try to place overall.  I accomplished both, keeping all of my splits within 6 seconds of each other without ever looking at my watch (I'm probably most proud of that part!) and placing 2nd overall female with 39:09 (Garmin 10K split in the 37s).  Albani ran the 2 mile race at the event and I got many great photos of her!
Start of the Big 12 12K (I definitely beat the man with the
headphones, and that is my friend Michelle's arm)
How the end of a 12K feels when mile 7
has 140 feet of elevation gain
  • March 7:  Fartlek of 3' on/3' off (2.2 warm up, 1.2 cool down for 7.5 miles on the run).  My push paces were 5:46, 5:48, 5:47, 5:49, 5:46.  I was happy with the consistency in pacing and to keep them all sub-6:00.
  • March 14:  5 x 1K in 3:39, 3:39, 3:41, 3:41, 3:39 with 0.25 recoveries (3.1 warm up, 3 cool down).  My goal was 3:30 for these, so I was off that, but I ran consistent splits and with all I had that day.  I was disappointed about being nowhere near 3:30 on them, but then I looked back at my training logs to see what I'd done previously, and this was the first time I've ever run under 3:40 on 1K repeats (and I did it 3 times!)!  While it's still a relatively weak performance for me, considering that I've run mile repeats and even the final mile of tempo runs at a faster pace, it was still a PR workout and my coach was perhaps overly ambitious with the 3:30 goal.  It was kind of like when he told me to run 10 x 800 m in 2:45 and I averaged 2:56!  I did remind him after CIM that it was, in fact, possible to run 2:56 Yassos and a 2:47 marathon, so I'm filing this workout in that same category (see also:  my marathon pace and 5K pace are nearly the same).  This is also a lesson on why keeping a training log is valuable; I was thinking that I'd run them in 3:25 before, but it was really 3:45 previously, which is obviously a huge difference.
  • March 20:  4 x 1 mile at tempo in 6:01, 6:00, 6:03, 6:05 with 0.5 recoveries (3.1 warm up, 2 cool down).  I'm 99% sure I'd have pushed this workout back a day had my friend Amy not been coming to run what we call "hot loops" for her workout too (we run a relatively flat 0.83 road loop for a lot of speed and tempo work since our normal routes have so much elevation variation).  It was 40*, feels like 33*, with light rain.  I have no problem running in the rain, but running in the rain with a windchill of 33* is pretty much the worst!  Nothing about this workout felt good, aside from checking it off the list.
  • March 27:  10 x 400 with 200 recoveries (2.1 warm up, 2.2 cool down).  I ran this in a monsoon, on a track with standing water in lanes 1-4 in several places, e.g., how to run interval effort but only hit tempo pace (I averaged 1:31, all between 1:30-1:32).  My shoes and clothes felt like they were holding 20 lbs of water.  In a normal week I'd have bumped this a day, but it was supposed to rain pretty much non-stop all week, so I just did it.  The body knows effort, not pace, but this sure didn't help my confidence (after the Easter Sun Run I pointed out the irony that I ran pretty much the same pace for over 6 miles that I could only hold for 400 m a few days previously!).  That evening I ran a second run also in the rain.  It was like Mother Nature called my bluff on saying the weather for my previous workout was the worst!  At least it was 52 degrees...
  • March 29:  10.4 miles with 1:00 pick-ups at the beginning of each mile, in more cold rain.  I didn't have this workout programmed into my watch because it was a last minute addition, so I don't know my exact paces on the pick-ups.  But, when I looked at my watch during the run my paces were basically along the lines of the March 27 workout as far as providing the opposite of a confidence boost (6:30+)!  Again, it flummoxed me that I was able to run 6.4-6.5 miles at a much faster pace on March 31 than I could run for 1:00 during this workout.
  • Doubles on March 7, 14, 20, 22, and 27 (the 3 days I had both doubles and strength workouts were tricky because they were also work days!).
  • Strides on March 1, 15, 22, and 28, and at least a few before all workouts and races. 
  • Full body strength workouts on March 3, 7, 11, 14, 17, 20, 24, 28, and 31, and 5-10 minutes of core work nearly every day.  I do either core work or foam rolling while microwaving my lunch at work, and my microwave there takes forever to heat up food!
  • Favorite workout:  If I can count the Easter Sun Run race/tempo (and this is my blog, so I can make the rules, right?), then it wins.
Long Runs/Medium Long Runs:
  • March 4: 15.3 miles (7:45).  I wasn't feeling well on Saturday (sore throat and congestion) so I bumped this one to Sunday, and I still wasn't feeling well but I got the miles in.  I typically try to run easy mileage through about anything.  This was scheduled with 4 miles progressive fast finish, which I still accomplished with 7:30, 7:22, 7:14, 6:48 (after running 11 miles at 7:44-8:10), but every mile of this run was about 40 seconds slower than I'd have liked.
  • March 6:  10.5 miles (7:41).  This week my schedule was atypical and I had two double digit easy long runs, with a workout day between them.  I run double digit mileage on Tuesdays and Thursdays often, but it's usually split into two runs (e.g., 8 and 4 milers).  I felt somewhat sickly for this run, but was okay with getting in the miles at a somewhat slower pace, much like March 4.
  • March 8: 11.1 miles (7:11).  See March 6 note on two easy double digit singles this week.  I felt over being sick on this run!
  • March 10:  15.3 miles, via 2.3 warm-up, 7.5 race, and 5.5 cool-down.  All of this was terribly hilly, and I was about to die of starvation during the cool-down.  I know I need to take a gel between the race and cool-down when I make races like this into long runs, but I didn't actually think I was going to run this race when I packed for the work trip it occurred in conjunction with, so I didn't have a gel, and the banana piece I ate did not cut it (clearly it needed peanut butter smeared on it).
  • March 15:  12.1 miles (7:11).  This came the day after a workout + double + full strength workout.  If you're keeping track (and I am!), that's about 2.5 hours of working out on a work day, so I was a bit concerned that I'd be exhausted for this run, but I surprisingly felt great!  So much of marathon training is just continuing to run on tired legs, so...
  • March 17:  17.2 miles (7:19).  "Average" is the best adjective for this one.  It wasn't bad, it wasn't great.  The mileage wasn't an issue but I didn't have much pep.  It was a day I would have struggled with getting out the door on my own, so I was thankful that Rebecca ran the first 10 miles with me.  I practiced drinking mid-run with no watch-stopping - grabbed a bottle off my car trunk, ran a short out and back with it, then dropped it back off.
  • March 24:  16.2 miles (7:10) with 3 warm-up, 10 at my friend Michelle's marathon goal pace (6:45), 3.2 cool-down.  This run produced so many inside jokes, because it all started with her texting me that she had 6:45 pace miles within her long run and she wished I could run the workout with her (we live nearly 4 hours apart).  I jokingly asked back how far she was from Southeast Kansas, because we were visiting my in-laws there over the weekend and I knew it would be quite a bit closer.  We figured out she lives just over 2 hours from my in-laws' house, and I told her I'd drive an hour to meet her if we could find some place in the middle to run.  She found a little town for us to meet in and mapped out a route for us, starting at a hair salon called "Bob's Hair."  This ended up being one of those runs where the miles just flew by, and the 10 faster miles were 6:46, 6:46, 6:41, 6:46, 6:44, 6:37, 6:38, 6:45, 6:44, 6:47 so our pacing was on point even in the 20 mph wind (she is so ready to break 3:00!).  I'm not sure they see too many runners in Burlington, Kansas, and after the run when we were stretching a guy asked us if Bob's Hair was open on Saturdays (spoiler: it is not).  I was happy with this run because I thought in my current state the 6:45 miles would be hard, and although I wouldn't have settled into them for an easy pace, they were conversational the whole way and much easier than tempo effort.
  • March 29:  10.4 miles (7:22).  This put me at running 4 out of 5 runs in cold rain for the week (fortunately at the end of the week the record was 4 out of 8).  This may have been related to the stat that I was also at 4 out of 5 runs solo for the week at that point.
  • April 1 will be my next - a Sunday long run due to Saturday's race.  I'd like to point out that if I'd had a Saturday long run as usual instead, I'd have been over 300 miles for the month...but I guess I will have some extra mileage in April now!
  • Favorite long run:  I felt good about the March 24 one and I loved helping Michelle crush her workout (although I also have no doubt she'd have done it without me there, just not from Bob's Hair)!
  • Strava and I are on break.
  • I'm currently not running the best I have, but I'm not running the worst either.  I keep meaning to write a post about it, but I have been insanely busy at work and have just barely kept up with updating my monthly posts, which I do a little at a time as I go.  I have similar intentions to start a Grandma's Training Journal series here, but file this all under "things I neglect when I have a BCBA out for 6-12 weeks and am covering her caseload."  It's amazing what difference getting home 1-1.5 hours later on a weeknight makes, because I feel behind on everything.  I've been super overwhelmed and stressed at work, which I am sure isn't helping my training either, but this too shall pass!
Non-running life events:
  • Albani had spring school photos on a terribly windy day.
  • Albani participated in Awana Games, where her team placed 2nd.  I learned a lot about Awana Games by watching this competition.  I highly recommend the Awana program for kids - it starts with pre-K and goes through high school, so all ages are welcome!  Albani has done amazing things in it, such as memorizing all of the books of the Bible in order.
  • Albani had spring break from March 12-16, which was the week after Daylight Savings Time began...whoever made that scheduling call sure knew what they were doing!  I suffered the whole week as per usual with this time change. 
  • St. Patrick's Day, although we didn't do anything aside from wear green.
  • We had a lot of Easter fun 1 week early at my in-laws'.
Picture day pre-photo
Professional photo
Awana Games
I wear these year-round, but this month they are actually
seasonably appropriate!
Opening the chicken tractor at Grandpa's farm
Pre-Easter egg hunt #1
This was an intense search with some Fear
Factor-esque components thanks to Aunt Amy


  1. I’m excited to read more about the Sun Run and Albani’s school pictures turned out so cute!

  2. I like to think I'm pretty disciplined, but I'm also sure I've have gone out late on the 31st for another 2.2 miler. Because 300.

    1. I probably would have if I'd never been over 300 before, especially because I looked at the total mid-day, but there really wasn't any reason to and I figured my coach would reprimand me if I did. ;-)