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March Madness



March 2021 in review!  

Total mileage for the month: 428.2, which is a pretty significant new monthly mileage PR for me (my previous was 400.2 in Dec. 2019)
  • March 1-7:  102.2
  • March 8-14:  91.9
  • March 15-21:  100.2
  • March 22-28:  90.3
  • March 29-April 4: projected at 100
  • March 13:  Running of the Squirrels 5k in 18:36 (5:58 pace) for 1st overall female.  I accomplished the goals I had for this training race and really enjoyed the day, even with the constant rain for all 17.7 miles I ran!
  • March 27:  T-Town Half Marathon in 1:21:52 (6:11 pace) for 1st overall female.  I pretty much had the time of my life on the trip to this race with my running buddies, and my half performance and state record in 60 degrees running solo on some tricky elevation was icing on the cake.
  • March 3:  4 x 0:30 hill sprints with full recoveries, 6 x 1 mile tempos with 1:00 recoveries, 4 x 0:30 hill sprints with full recoveries - tempo splits were 6:03, 6:02, 5:56, 6:01, 6:01, 5:57 and hill sprint paces averaged about 6:15 (I miss free GAP!), 3 warm up, 2 cool down.  I was really pleased with how this went, because it was my first time nailing a workout during/after a 100 mile week!  During the first bit of each mile tempo I felt fatigued, but then I felt stronger as the mile went by.  We had a great group for this workout (Casey, Colin, Rebecca, Elise), and although I didn't have a pace match it's so helpful to have others out there working. 
  • March 6:  22 mile workout of 4 easy, 14 alternating 1 mile at marathon pace/1 mile at marathon pace + 1:00, 4 easy.  My goal for the marathon pace miles was to start at 6:30 and work down to 6:20, because I think my current marathon fitness is about 6:25.  My splits for the 14 alternating were 6:34, 7:32, 6:29, 7:23, 6:28, 7:27, 6:28, 7:16, 6:22, 7:27, 6:18, 7:19, 6:08, 7:40 - averaging 6:24 for the marathon pace miles, so perfect - although 6:08 is definitely not within my current marathon pace and I could sure feel that when running it.  Aside from that mile the workout felt really great and Colin ran every step of the way with me, which was helpful!  As with the March 3 workout, I was excited to hit this during such a high mileage week, and it gave me hope that maybe 100 mile weeks could be my marathon training sweet spot after all (I previously thought 90 was best because in 2019 I couldn't hit workouts during 100 mile weeks)...
  • March 10:  4 x 1:00 at 5k effort/1:00 off (2:00 jog before tempo), 4 mile tempo, jog to hill (took 3:11), 4 x 0:30 hill sprints (3.1 warm up, 3.2 cool down) - 1:00 pushes were 5:44, 5:40, 5:43, 5:50 pace, the 4 mile tempo splits were 6:08, 6:14, 6:16, 6:05, and the hill sprints were 5:57-6:04 (on the same hill I averaged 6:15 on the previous week!).  I wanted to be a little faster on the tempo segment (6:00ish), but we were in a wind advisory with 20+ mph winds and 30+ mph gusts, so I think wind-graded I did okay.  I felt good but not fantastic; I had a lot of miles on my legs and felt strong but not that fast. Casey, Christian, Colin, and David all ran part/all of the workout, and although no one really matched on pace as always it was nice to be out there working together!
  • March 13:  5k race in 18:36 via 5:57, 6:03, 5:57 (5:26 final 0.12), full recovery, 3 mile marathon effort in 6:26, 6:40, 6:20 (3.4 warm up and 8.2 cool down for 17.7 on the day).  You can read more about this in my race recap here, and all of these miles were wet!
  • March 17 (St Pats!): 6 mile wave tempo (0.5 at tempo/0.5 at marathon pace) + 4 x 1:00 hard.  My half mile splits on the 12 segments of the wave tempo were 3:00, 3:08, 3:01, 3:12, 3:00, 3:08, 3:06, 3:09, 3:04, 3:11, 2:56, 3:09, and my paces on the 1:00s were messed up but averaged 5:11 for the final 3 (I didn't get the first on my watch at all - and full disclosure two of them were on declines).  I was aiming for 6:05 pace on the tempos and 6:25 on the marathon pace portions so was generally a shade under. For a few segments in the middle there wasn't as much pace differentiation as I wanted, but it seemed like those tempos were up inclines and against the wind while the marathon pace was down decline with the wind to my back, so the effort felt more differentiated than the splits showed.  This was a really good workout for me because I struggle with finding different gears, so I was especially happy to get the 1:00s hard clearly faster than tempo pace - they also felt like the longest minute ever!
  • March 20:  Pushes of 0.2 at 6:03-6:15 pace alternating with 0.8 easy for the last 10 miles of my 23 mile long run. I was aiming for 6:15 pace on these and was a little under on most. I felt fantastic on this long run and it didn't feel long at all, which the pushes likely helped with since they broke it up.
  • March 23: 3 x 1 mile at half pace (6:07, 5:58 aided, 6:05) with 1:30 jog recoveries + 4 x 0:30 hard with full standing recoveries (paces of 5:02, 5:02, 4:54, 4:52 - the final 2 were aided), 3 warm up, 3.1 cool down. The wind was 28 mph the morning of this run so we ran in a way that we didn't have any headwind on the fast portions of the run, which also made the second mile at half pace have 58 feet of elevation drop (it was probably more like 6:08 effort).  The final two 0:30 efforts only had 5 and 7 feet of drop respectively, but maybe that's a lot within 30 seconds? My goal was 6:05-6:10 and have it not feel too hard, and it was successful!  Had I run any efforts into the wind, it would have undoubtedly felt too hard.
  • March 31:  6 mile light fartlek of 3:00 on/3:00 off on hills (3 warm up, 4 cool down).  Because I was still feeling a bit fatigued after my big weekend (25.7 miles including a half marathon race on Saturday + 15.3 miles on Sunday), I did this at a moderate instead of hard effort, aiming for the pushes to be about marathon pace.  They were 6:07-6:39, and I felt good aside from on the significant uphills.  We decided we would not run a pace-based workout on that route in the future!
  • Strides: March 2, 9, 12, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 26, 27, 30
  • Doubles:  March 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, 31
  • Strength Training:  weekly totals of 3:12, 2:30, 3:05, 1:25
Long Runs:
  • March 6:  22.2 miles (7:16), with a workout described above.  Colin and Casey also ran this workout and it's always ideal to have company for 22 milers!
  • March 7:  15 miles (8:10), which didn't feel too long but I was glad it was an easy paced run!  Rebecca, Abby, Casey, Colin, and David  joined for 10-15 of this run, and friends make the miles fly.
  • March 13:  17.7 miles, including 3.4 miles warm up, the Running of the Squirrels 5k, a 3 mile marathon pace effort, and 8.2 cool down.
  • March 14:  14.5 miles (8:07), that was supposed to be 13 but my running group was misguided on the route, hah.  We had a solid group - Christian, Sean, David, Rebecca, Colin, and Casey - and everyone ran long since the March 13 group run was canceled due to the deluge.
  • March 20:  23.3 miles (7:24), with 10 x 0.2 pushes, described above. Colin ran all of the miles with me and Casey did the first 13 with us.  I felt amazingly good on this run, and we ran it on the dirt trail that I will race on next month.  I didn't do a Sunday long run on March 21 since I was racing the following weekend!
  • March 27:  25.7 miles, including 2.6 warm up, the T-Town Half Marathon, and 10 more miles.  I was proud to get this done, and also proud of my restraint for not going 0.5 farther. I'd planned 25 so was over my distance, but Colin was also running 25 and had warmed up 2 miles so I finished with him, which was a testament to how decent I felt (on my cool down after the Cabin Fever Reliever 20k I did not run one extra step).
  • March 28:  15.3 miles (8:09), to complete my biggest weekend of 50k training!  I have no idea how I felt good doing this the day after running over 25 miles that included racing a hard half, but I did.  This weekend was my biggest weekend of 50k training and I feel ready!

Running Highlights:
  • Well, I raced more this month than I did in all of 2020, so there is that!
  • I realized that every race I run right now is a masters PR, so cheers to two masters PRs this month.
  • I ran my second and third 100+ mile weeks of 2021 (my first was the final week of February).  The last week of February + first week was of March was my first time running two 100+ mile weeks in a row.  I've now done 100 miles in a week 5 times so I guess I should stop writing about it, but it still feels like a milestone to me!  As this is published I'm working on my fourth one of 2021, before I begin a gradual 3 week taper.
  • I won a Garmin 745 on an Instagram giveaway! I would have never splurged for this model on my own, but I'm planning to enjoy it now.  My 235 still works great so my husband is now using it, and I gave my 220 that he was using to a friend who needed one, so the benefits of this win were exponential.
  • I heard about this running shoe review website on a podcast, and have bookmarked it for the next time I'm in the market for racing shoes.
  • A friend mapped out the old Springfield Marathon course for me.  I ran this in 2004 when I lived in Kansas and didn't have a grasp on the area, but when we moved to our current home the farm roads looked very familiar and I knew the trail that made up part of the course, so I'd mostly put it together, but having the whole thing mapped was really exciting to me and I plan to run most of it on a 20+ miler soon (it is very not flat).
Girl gang morning run fun
Life Highlights
  • Albani had spring break the week after daylight savings time began - a brilliant move on her school district's part.  She and Jon did some gardening, some television watching, and a lot of junk food eating together.
  • Albani also had her first track meet, where she ran the 100 m dash and threw the shot put.  She'd never even practiced shot put so I don't know why she signed up for it, but we greatly enjoyed it.  My dad reminded me that I did long jump at my first track meet, which I also had never practiced, so...
  • I road tripped with several of my running buddies to the T-Town Half in Tulsa and felt like I was in college again.  We had countless laughs and I will always treasure the experience.
100 m dash
Shot put
So much cuteness here
  • Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
  • She Prays: A 31-Day Journey to Confident Conversations with God by Debbie Lindell and Lisa Harper
  • The Light of Christmas by Richard Paul Evans
  • Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker
  • Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom
  • Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren
  • The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
  • Running for My Life: One Lost Boy's Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games by Lopez Lomong and Mark A. Tabb
  • Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
  • Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family's Triumph over Autism by Catherine Maurice
  • The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Theme for the month:
Progress is not linear!  When I first started back to workouts after my November time off, my tempos were in the 6:40s.  Then in January they dropped to 6:20s with really no inbetween, and at the end of February they dropped to 6:00s without much inbetween, all at about 165ish HR.  The 6:00s now actually feel a lot better than the 6:40s previously did - like now I'm letting it flow vs. fighting for it back in December.  Currently my workouts are about 5-10 seconds/mile slower than when I was at my lifetime peak fitness in fall 2019, which I'm pretty pleased about.  I still have a beef with a particular marathon time, so hope to build to that in the fall; I have been very tempted to add a spring marathon, but I am not going to.

Edited by SIbbetson

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Congrats on your montly mileage PR and your road wins.  Sounds like your back and hitting on all cyclinders.

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