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The Loop

Freezing February or Frosting February



February 2021 in review!  

Total mileage for the month: 358.5
  • Feb. 1-7:  87.2
  • Feb. 8-14:  84.4
  • Feb. 15-21:  86.5 - I did a Saturday through Friday cut back week Feb. 13-19, so it affected my mileage during two Monday through Sunday weeks, but worked perfectly with the weather (which was why I did it like that).
  • Feb. 22-28:  100.4
Happy Valentines + #frosting february
  • Feb. 6 - Cabin Fever Reliever 20k in 1:19:41 (6:24 pace/grade adjusted pace 6:15), for a PR and Missouri age 40 state record.  I ran faster than I expected given the race day conditions and I enjoyed this race immensely!
    If you're not making faces during
    the finishing stretch, did you really
    run hard enough?
Records posted here
  • Feb. 2:  4 x 0.25 hill repeats (1:31, 1:32, 1:31, 1:36) with a 2 mile tempo (6:28, 6:09) straight off of rep 4 (3 warm up, 3 cool down). This is really a workout where it would be helpful to not know what you're doing ahead of time (as in, your coach tells you 4 hills then stands at the top and tells you "now a 2 mile tempo" as you finish #4!).  I've run similar workouts before and as much as I tell myself that I am going to run the final hill rep just as hard as the others, I never actually do because my mind knows the tempo is coming!  It is also hard to find a flat tempo route right off of a 0.25 hill, so this one was definitely more up going out and more down coming back, hence the pace differences, but I was aiming to average 6:20 so was happy with the 6:19.  Casey, Sean, and Colin ran the entire workout, and Elise and David did the hill reps, so we had a nice crew out working on this cold morning!
  • Feb. 11:  10 mile progression run on the treadmill, starting at 8:00 and finishing at 6:00.  I started at 7.5 mph and increased the pace 0.1 every 0.25-0.5 until I finished at 10 mph.  I'm not sure what my average pace was because the treadmill stopped at about 0.9 in when it blew a fuse (lol), then I had the remaining mileage split into two segments because I was doing programmed scenic runs on my friend Amy's fancy new Nordic Track and they only lasted 30-45 minutes, but my last 4 miles were 26:00 which is 6:30 average pace.  Lesson learned that I should have taken manual splits!  This wasn't the workout I had planned for Feb. 10, but our roads were ice and snow covered and I wanted to get some quality in but didn't think a super intense workout on the treadmill was smart considering I hadn't run on one in over a year!  I am not a treadmill fan but with the weather and road conditions, this was the only way for me to get in a workout this week.
  • Feb. 14:  13.1 miles with 10 x 1:00 pick-ups, one at the beginning of each mile starting at 3.  I ran this on the treadmill and did most of the run at 8.0 mph (7:30 pace), with the pick ups at 10.0-10.3 mph (5:49-6:00 pace).  If I have to run on the treadmill I like doing at least a little workout, because it really splits it up and makes it go by faster!
  • Feb. 17:  4 x 0.5 mile at 6:00/0.5 at 8:00, 4 x 0.25 hills at 5% incline/0.25 easy (3 warm up, 1.25 cool down for 10 miles total; treadmill at 0.5% grade for everything except the hills).  Another treadmill workout, but this one was on my crappy treadmill because I couldn't get my car into Amy's unplowed neighborhood!  Amy's super nice treadmill is easier than running outside, and mine is harder than running outside.  Mine also only goes up to 10 mph, but I think 6:00 pace feels like 5:30 pace on it so it got the job done.  This wasn't the workout I had planned but as with the previous week I didn't want to do too much fast volume on the treadmill since I'm not a regular treadmill runner...although for the span of 7 days I kind of became one out of necessity!
  • Feb. 20:  3 warm up, 3 tempo (6:16, 6:17, 6:09), 8 easy, 3 tempo (6:09, 6:14, 6:04), 4 cool down.  This workout went great and felt great - no complaints here.  My goal was to average 6:15 for the tempo portions, and I was a little faster.  After a week of sub-zero temperatures and many inches of snow, it was around 30 degrees and sunny, and our route was perfectly clear, which certainly contributed to how amazing this felt.  Casey and Braden ran all 21 miles with me, although we were different workout paces, and several others were around for parts of it (Christian, Elise, Missy, Trevor, Rebecca, plus a different running group of about 6 who came out to our area since the roads were clear).
  • Feb. 24:  12 x 1k progressive tempos with 1:00 recoveries + 5 x 0:30 fast with full recoveries (3 warm up, 2 cool down). My goal for this workout was to start at 6:15 pace and work down to 6:00, but I started at 6:10 and worked down to 5:50 (1k paces were 6:07, 6:10, 6:08, 6:04, 6:01, 5:57, 6:08, 5:56, 6:00, 5:50, 5:51, 6:01; sprint paces were 5:03-5:12).  I felt strong and the 1k's flew by.  Super fast running is a weakness of mine, so even though the 30" sprints were not that fast, there was a clear differentiation between them and my tempo pace so that was a victory too (I also doubt Garmin is super accurate for 30 seconds).  I definitely enjoyed the tempos more than the sprints.  Tempos are like holding your hand close to the fire for a long time but never touching it, while anything 5k pace or below is like holding your hand in the fire for a short time, and I love being close to the fire but not in it.  Sean, Casey, and Elise ran this workout with me, and while our paces didn't exactly match them being out there definitely kept me honest on it!
  • Feb. 27:  22.1 mile long run with 10 hill repeats during the final 10 miles. The hill repeats ranged from 0:39-1:21 in duration, and we did them whenever we hit the "best" hills starting at mile 12. I averaged about 6:30 pace on them (they were supposed to be 10k effort).  The entire run had 1229 ft elevation gain.  I was actually planning to run 8 hill reps but miscounted by 1, then threw in a bonus one at the end because it was my 500th time running the Mentor Hill segment on Strava, which was cause for celebration in my running group!
  • Doubles:  Feb. 1, 2, 4, 8, 10, 12, 16, 17, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25 (some rearranging due to weather, but I don't think I actually missed any!)
  • Strides:  Feb. 4, 5, 9, 16, 19, 23, 26 (missed a couple of sets due to weather, but did learn how to run 12 mph on the treadmill, which took away the acceleration/deceleration part of strides but did get some turnover going)
  • Strength Training:  weekly totals of 2:50, 2:49, 3:00, 3:00 - my goal is to keep this between 2:30-3:00 because it keep my hip feeling wonderful.
It's #freezingfebruary
After a treadmill run where I tested
my 4th of July race outfit...why not?
Long Runs:
  • Feb. 6:  20.4 miles via 2.9 warm up, 20k race, and 5.1 cool down.  The cool down may have been harder than the race, despite being over 2:00/mile slower paced...
  • Feb. 7:  13.5 easy miles (8:15) that went very well the day after 20 and a long race.  It's amazing how the body adapts!  I was thankful for company; Abby and Colin ran the whole distance with me.
  • Feb. 13:  17 miles (7:32) that started in a windchill of -9* and finished in a balmy -3*, for a new long run cold temperature PR.  I will be fine with never bettering this PR, but apparently I'm getting crazier each year because it wasn't actually that bad, I think because it was sunny.  We had a group of 9 runners doing 13-17 milers!  My objective for the day was to run 17 miles or until I froze, whichever occurred first, so it was a success.
  • Feb. 14:  13.1 miles (7:21), with 10 x 1:00 pick-ups, on the treadmill, described above.  We all have our limits, and a windchill of -17* and a snowstorm was below mine for this run!
  • Feb. 20:  21.1 miles (7:16 for all) with a strong workout, described above.  It felt so great to be outside in 30 degree sunshine for this run!
  • Feb. 21:  14 miles (8:06) in significant wind!  I felt okay on this one - not bad but not great.  I was very thankful that Abby ran all 14 with me (everyone else stopped at 8).
  • Feb. 27:  22.1 miles (7:34), with 10 x hill reps, described above, and 1229 ft of elevation gain in total.  Then my running group celebrated with cake to commemorate my 500th effort on the Mentor Hill Strava segment.  Christian's amazing cake was a bigger accomplishment than running the hill that many times, though.  We had a group of 10 running from 10-22 miles this Saturday!
  • Feb. 28:  14.2 miles (8:06), that ended up feeling quite good!  I had company for 9 miles (Christian, Casey, Abby, Sean, and David) then added a 5 mile loop to finish it off.  I did 5 light pick ups in the final mile, which really perked my legs up.
Feb. 27 post-run cake!
Most runs look like this
But weekends are light!
Post-21 mile workout!
Running Highlights:
  • Racing for the first time in over a year, clearly.
  • Podcast mileage leader mention here.
  • February got cold, and I set a new PR for the coldest windchill I've ever done a long run in (17 miles in -9*).  I also ran on the treadmill 6 times, which is probably also some kind of PR but I try to block those type of memories, haha!
  • I inadvertently hit 100 exactly on my rolling 7 day mileage from Feb. 19-25 after my Feb. 25 morning run, and I doubled that afternoon for a new 7-day mileage PR of 104.  My body has been feeling really, really good and I didn't realize I was quite that high (a moved double, an extra double, and an extra mile here and there add up).  I'd been at 100 in 7 days twice before, detailed here and here, but it is still a pretty major thing for me.  I only realized I hit the 104 on my rolling 7 because I checked my mileage on Feb. 25 to see how many miles I'd had on my legs for the Feb. 24 workout.  I was at 100 for 3 or 4 days on my rolling 7 during this time period, but the Feb. 22-28 week was the first time I hit it in a Monday through Sunday week! 
New cold weather long run PR!
I think it was -3* windchill for
this one but it was before dawn
so felt colder
Feb. 25 a.m.
Feb. 27 p.m. (I split workout warm ups and cool downs
separately so that is why there are 14 runs total)
Life Highlights
  • We had about 10 days of serious winter, which was definitely long enough to make me more thankful that spring is near.
  • I got my second COVID vaccine and the only side effect I experienced was arm soreness.  Both my vaccines were during 80-some mile weeks and about 36 hours prior to great long runs.
  • Albani started 7th grade track.  She is interested in trying sprints.  I'm excited for her meets!
  • Ten Days by Janet Gilsdorf
  • The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton
  • Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez
  • Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
  • Housegirl by Michael Donkor
  • Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
  • Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight
  • This is Not Over by Holly Brown
  • Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes
  • American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee
Theme for the month:
It was freezing, but there was frosting.
Mentor Hill cake!


Mentor crew


Everyone made fun of my parka but
then I was the only one not freezing


  • Like 2


Recommended Comments

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann - wasn't this fantastic?

My biggest accomplishment for February is running more in the month that you ran in each week.😝

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Great job training and setting a state 20K record to boot with all the February freezing temperatures.  I have noticed that if I dress right for the cold temperatures I can run comfortably and not sweat much.

Edited by Run2BFit
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Congrats on achieving the 20k record! That's an impressive honor.  Like you, I will not miss February. 

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On 3/2/2021 at 10:21 AM, Dave said:

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann - wasn't this fantastic?

My biggest accomplishment for February is running more in the month that you ran in each week.😝

We didn't agree on that book - I didn't like it.  I just couldn't get into it. 

I guess I need to step up my game in March!

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On 3/3/2021 at 1:56 PM, Run2BFit said:

Great job training and setting a state 20K record to boot with all the February freezing temperatures.  I have noticed that if I dress right for the cold temperatures I can run comfortably and not sweat much.

Good cold weather gear makes such a huge difference!

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3 hours ago, Slow_Running said:

Congrats on achieving the 20k record! That's an impressive honor.  Like you, I will not miss February. 

Already, March has been MUCH kinder.

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