- Total run miles for February: 279
- Miles run, year to date: 486.5
- Number of races in February: 1
- Longest run in February: 18 miles
- Highest volume week in February: 73 miles
Last month, I was shocked that I crested the 200 mile mark for the month. This month, I was expecting to be in the 250+ range and was pleased when I saw 279. This is my highest mileage run month ever! In September, I logged 272 miles. I felt like I ran a lot of miles, but I can say that I truly enjoyed each one (except for maybe those nasty Friday morning runs).
February, oddly enough, has been my favorite month of running in a very long time. Probably since sometime in 2014. It’s a bit ironic, since in January felt worse than it’s felt in years. Much of this can likely be attributed to the break I took after my 2015 fall races. January sucked because I was getting my legs back under me and diving into a new training plan. Now that I have them back, they feel fresher than usual since I took an honest recovery this year. Interesting…
I kicked February off with a 10K at the end of the first week. In the weeks leading up to it, I had mixed feelings about the race. I’d been registered since the fall, but I felt so horrible in January I’d considered not running it. Things started to look up towards the end of January, so I kept the race on the schedule. It ended up being a good thing: I ran a (very small) PR, finishing in 41:30! I felt good about that based on where my fitness level was at this point.
I spent February building up my mileage and increasing speed. This is odd for me as I usually have a marathon on the schedule around the end of February/ beginning of March. But not this year. Instead, I got to spend the winter training. Before I knew it, I logged my first 70+ mile week since September.
As the mileage began climbing,I noticed the difference in how my legs felt. In the high mileage weeks of September, my legs were extremely fatigued. I went back and read a lot of my old posts (I knew I wrote wordy and detailed posts for a reason!) and they just sound hard. I noticed my recovery/general aerobic paces were either much faster or much slower than they are this time around – so they were not as consistent. In the fall, I had so many runs where I thought my legs felt like complete garbage. I can’t say they feel that way this time around. I don’t want to jinx myself, and I’m not sure what to attribute that to. I’ve changed several variables (training plan, diet, strength training, weight loss) with this round of training that it’s hard to pinpoint anything.
I did a track workout and a tempo run every single week in February. While my old training plans featured some sort of weekly speed work, this was the first time I did anything so methodical and consistent. The progression of these workouts and the theory behind my training just seems to make so much sense to me. I hit week 10 in my plan, which is where things shift from using 5K pace and running shorter speed sessions to longer, strength building sessions based on marathon pace minus 10 seconds per mile. I’ve done two of those so far and they are a lot harder than I expected, but certainly doable. Sometimes, the speed workouts are scary and daunting but I’ve really come to enjoy them. I hope my legs keep cooperating with me because I’m enjoying every one of those miles.
In other news, I believe I’ve become a bit of a running whore. Since branching out and running with my speedy friend Megan, I’ve been running much more often with friends. Most of my long runs are with her, but I’ve been running with my usual friends, Mark and Kathy, too. I’ve gotten runs in with friends that I haven’t run with in a really long time, like Emily and Missy. It’s been a blast having people to train with again since I log lots of my miles solo.
I did a serious overhaul on my diet and I feel really good about how I’m eating. I lost 11 lbs since January 4th, 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 keep an eye on my calorie intake using Fitness Pal, and my goal hasn’t been to operate at a large deficit. In fact, it’s been to make sure I am getting enough calories and proper nutrition to fuel my workouts. I don’t have problems eating enough, but I tend to be someone who uses all of her calories on the wrong things (read: ice cream…which I gave up for Lent!).
I’ve tried a whole bunch of meal delivery services (Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Marley Spoon) and have fallen in love with those – why can’t they be more affordable? 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’m still in the process of choreographing a routine to a song for a competition I signed up for, and it’s been so much fun. I actually just changed the song I chose for the competition over the last weekend of February, and now I’m done choreographing. It’s all a matter of just practicing the routine and cleaning it up. So super hard, but so enjoyable. It’s the hardest strength training I’ve ever done, and it often means I have days where I do double workouts to fit in Boston and pole training. You’ll have to stalk my Instagram for video clips, since it’s all about stringing moves together now.
We completed our StrongBody Streak, and I legitimately did at least 15 minutes of strength training every SINGLE day for a month! I’ve never done that before. I want to keep that going through Boston. I liked that it wasn’t a specific body part that I had to work each day – 15 minutes of strength in any capacity. On the last day, I almost didn’t do it. I got home so late and tried convincing myself it was a good day to skip since it was Leap Day, since it’s not even a real day, but I’d done it every single day of the month so I sucked it up.
Moving forward to March, I don’t have any new goals. But I have a few areas I want to keep focusing on:
- Strength training – stick with my 15 minutes each day.
- Continue with a clean diet
- Make it through my whole pole fitness routine for the competition without dying.
- Instagram some more fun pictures as the weather gets nicer!
How was your month? Any goals for March?