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Expect Nothing but be Prepared for Everything: March in Review

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March 2019 in Review

Total mileage for the month:  320.4

  • Feb. 25-March 3: 90.3 (2:40 strength training)
  • March 4-10:  86.2 (2:37 strength training)
  • March 11-17: 77.7 (2:21 strength training)
  • March 18-24:  71.3 (1:01 strength training)
  • March 25-March 31:  50.2 (1:37 strength training)


Matching March!


  • March 24:  Chisholm Trail Marathon in 2:57:18 for 3rd overall female - because why not bust the rust with a full marathon after 6 months of not racing?!


I was this excited before the marathon!


  • March 6:  5 mile tempo at 6:23 via 6:28, 6:25, 6:24, 6:26, 6:15 (3 warm up, 4 cool down).  I figured if this workout went really well I could start at 6:30 and finish at 6:15, so I was pleased to do nearly just that!  It was 11 degrees, which is colder than I'd prefer for a workout, but the wind was almost nonexistent, which helped a lot.  Although I want to work back down to running my tempos 20+ seconds/mile faster than this, this was the best workout I'd had since my injury in September (a streak which continued through my other March workouts).  
  • March 10:  12 miles at marathon effort at 6:41 via 6:56, 6:49, 6:44, 6:40, 6:44, 6:44, 6:41, 6:44, 6:43, 6:35, 6:33, 6:20 (3 warm up, 3.3 cool down).  Since this was my only long run workout, I really needed it to go well, and it did!  The 6:20 final fast mile was certainly harder than marathon effort - but I was stoked to be able to throw that in there.  I still felt pretty good afterward, and my cool down miles ended up being faster than expected (7:19 with a quick drink stop, 6:56, 6:52) and my average pace for all 18.3 was 6:56.  I was super tempted to run 20 miles instead of stopping at my car at 18.3, but I didn't want to over-cook myself 2 weeks out from the marathon so I restrained myself.  It was really nice to feel good enough to want to do that though!
  • March 13:  Progressive split tempos of 4-3-2-1 miles with 0.5 recoveries (1 warm up, 0.6 cool down).  My splits were were 6:39, 6:40, 6:35, 6:33 / 6:37, 6:27, 6:30 / 6:22, 6:22 / 6:13. Since it takes about 10 days to get gains from a workout, this was my last real effort before Chisholm Trail and I wanted to make it count!  I'd set my goal paces at 6:45, 6:35, 6:25, 6:15 for the 4 portions, but since we were in a wind advisory on workout morning I figured I'd have to adjust.  Once I got going, though, I felt really strong and ended up exceeding those goal times (averages of 6:37, 6:31, 6:22, 6:13)!  The 4 mile and 3 mile repeats felt brisk but comfortable.  It's funny how 6:30-6:40 felt like a pace I could sustain for quite awhile, but dropping a little from that for the 6:22s and 6:13 was pushing a lot more.  All in all, I was pleased with this solo workout in 20+ mph wind (I ran a 0.8 mile loop course so it split up the wind at least).  I typically would run a much longer warm up and cool down for any workout (I need a 2 mile warm up minimum!), but the total volume of this as I did it was already 13.1 miles and I didn't think I needed to be running any farther than that 10 days out from my marathon.  It would have been a better workout to do within a long run, but I didn't have any more of those left!
  • March 19:  A little final tune up of  3 x 1 mile at marathon goal pace (6:41, 6:38, 6:40), 0.5 mile faster (6:01) with 0.5 recoveries (2 warm up, 1.5 cool down).  I ran this on gentle rolling hills to make myself focus on effort and not my watch.  I was trying to stay between 6:40-6:45 on the miles, so I was very close.  As per always, marathon pace felt awkward; I always want to either speed up to tempo pace or slow down to over 7:00, because it's not easy but it's not hard.  I will never understand those people who say their marathon pace feels easy and run it or faster all of the time in training - I will never run mine in training without purposely targeting it!  The faster half mile was the fastest I've run on anything except strides in about 6 months, so yay.
  • Doubles on March 6, 7, 11, 14, 18.
  • Strides on March 1, 9, 12, 18, 22, 23.
  • Favorite workout:  Both of the long ones - March 10 and March 13! 


Baby Peck is joining us for runs now!


Thanks to Daylight Savings Time, it was again
pitch dark when we finished our runs for awhile

Sunrise miles at the end of the month!

 Long Runs:

  • March 2:  23.2 miles (7:23).  I was thrilled with how strong I felt on this run (more about it here).  I ran by feel without looking at my watch, and was pleasantly surprised to see that my final 5 miles were 6:50-7:04 pace, which I figured was about my current marathon pace (I revised that to 6:45 after my March 10 workout).  It's nice when your longest long run of your training cycle is also your fastest paced up to that point!  I ran with Claudio and Rebecca (plus Jack for the first 8), and the miles went by very quickly.  I drank both nuun energy and Generation Ucan before the run, and had nuun energy and one Accel gel during, which all sat flawlessly in my stomach and are all part of my race day nutrition (on race day day I eat breakfast 3 hours before also, and I take 3 Accel gels during a marathon).
  • March 10:  18.3 miles (6:56), described in workouts above.
  • March 16:  12.2 miles (7:25).  I ran the first 3 miles with Amy, then the rest solo.  I tried to run the final mile at marathon pace by feel, but it ended up being 6:26, so I guess I felt good, because that was faster than my current marathon pace!
  • March 24:  27.6 miles via the Chisholm Trail Marathon (6:45 for 26.2) plus a little warm up and cool down.
  • March 30:  12 miles (7:24), in a final blast of winter with Rebecca and Claudio.  We had to start late due to thunderstorms, then the temperature dropped throughout the run and it was ridiculously windy.  I felt good for being 6 days off a a marathon but knew I shouldn't push it, and this distance worked out well since that is what they were doing with their marathon tapers.
  • Favorite long run:  The 23.2 was fantastic!  The marathon wins the favorite race category, clearly.  :-)





We approve of 23 milers


Smile if you ran 23 miles!


On March 16, Amy ran 22 & I ran a measly 12


  • I hit my first official 90 mile week on a Monday through Sunday week!  I'd been hitting 90+ on the rolling 7 throughout that week, with a best of 93.5, but the Monday through Sunday total felt a little more official.  I front-loaded the week slightly since we were supposed to have a snowpocalypse on Sunday, but I was able to run outside, albeit in a snowstorm, on Sunday morning.  The winter weather didn't stop me from finishing the 90 mile week, but it did stop me from running any farther that day than I needed to get to 90 (6 miles)!  The week was easier than most weeks I'd run in the 80s since I only ran 3 miles of it hard!
  • I ran double digit runs on the treadmill two days in a row due to windchills below zero, on March 4 and 5.  I can't believe I did this either!  After some really bad weather runs wore me down in January, I decided I wasn't going out when it was below zero.  I learned that I don't mind the treadmill when I go to my friend Amy's workout room while she does the elliptical next to me and we chat the whole time!
  • People told me that fitness comes back in waves; often you don't see a linear decline in paces but suddenly things improve dramatically.  I didn't believe that until it happened!  I averaged 6:41 pace for 12 miles on March 10 during an 18 mile long run (then ran two 6:5X miles during my cool down), when not long before I could barely hold that pace for 3 miles.  My March 13 workout was also a huge jump from anything I'd run in recent months, and in retrospect was probably overly ambitious to attempt, but I did it.  I then ran a marathon at 6:45 pace when less than two months before I couldn't even average 6:30 on mile repeats.  Although I hope to build from here, I was so thankful to have these break-throughs, and am thankful to be feeling SO.MUCH.BETTER.  Maybe my body just hates winter!
  • Post-marathon insomnia struck again; I couldn't sleep on Sunday night at all.  I worked on Monday, and didn't feel as bad as I expected to.
  • I recovered well from my marathon; I was a bit sore in my quads and hamstrings for two days after the race, then I was back to feeling pretty good by Thursday.  I had a work trip a few days post-marathon that left me tired, but we had a lazy weekend March 30-31, which was nice!


Rolling 7 day mileage PR


I pulled out my screw shoes for a March 3 snowstorm run!


I am often angered by how unhelpful this is;

even after I ran a 2:57 marathon with it, it still

predicted I could run a 2:40 marathon...

Life events:

  • Albani had spring pictures at school.
  • Albani had spring break from March 11-15 (right after daylight savings time started, which I think is brilliant on the school's part).  She and Jon visited my in-laws, and the Tulsa zoo with cousins.
  • We started many seeds for our garden, and did a lot of transplanting. 
  • We had a great family weekend in conjunction with the Chisholm Trail Marathon, with my parents, sister, niece, and nephew.  My 16-year-old niece ran my shake out run and strides with me the day before the marathon!


School picture day


Backwards night at Awana




After my pre-marathon shake run


Balloon animals at the marathon expo


Cousin love


Sister love

Books this month:

  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • After Anna by Lisa Scottoline
  • Winter Stroll by Elin Hilderbrand
  • Winter Storms by Elin Hilderbrand
  • Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand
  • Look Alive Out There by Sloane Crosley
  • Feared by Lisa Scottoline
  • Joy School by Elizabeth Berg
  • I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses by Lisa Scottoline & Francesca Serritella 
  • My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
  • Lost Cat: A True Story of Love, Desperation, & GPS Technology by Caroline Paul
  • Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand
  • Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg

Theme of the month:

Giving myself grace.  I have certainly learned that I can't force fitness or any certain paces, but that doesn't mean I still don't get mad at myself about that inability at times.  In February I stopped trying workouts because I wasn't enjoying them and they felt terrible.  This month I had the itch to get back into them, and I was nice enough to myself to celebrate each improvement instead of comparing to where I used to be.  I went into Chisholm Trail knowing it wouldn't be anywhere near a PR, but ready to celebrate whatever the marathon brought!  After the race, I didn't allow myself to be upset about narrowly missing 2nd place and not being able to reel in 1st, because I truly gave all I had that day and no one can do more than that!

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Spring! Spring! Spring!

I've only read The Lovely Bones from this list. Really enjoyed it. That's a ton of books for one month.

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12 hours ago, Dave said:

Spring! Spring! Spring!

I've only read The Lovely Bones from this list. Really enjoyed it. That's a ton of books for one month.

After Anna was my top pick of these - I need to add a "favorite book" category!  I don't watch TV so I end up reading a lot, especially when it's cold out.

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Reading these end of the month summaries is such inspiration for me - not only to keep getting after it, but also to look back on my month of training and recognize all my hard work!

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10 hours ago, eliz83 said:

Reading these end of the month summaries is such inspiration for me - not only to keep getting after it, but also to look back on my month of training and recognize all my hard work!

You should write your own and share your hard work!  I jot things down as they happen throughout the month so it's pretty easy to finalize.

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