Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February 2011 Recap

February's statistics:

# of days I ran = 27
# of miles run = 226.5
Average miles = 8.39/day
Longest run = 30 miles

Last month I continued with the theme of consistency, only taking February 4th off, and am currently at 25 consecutive days of running. In this time I've also begun doing structured speedwork 1-2 days a week. This aspect of my training will be reduced after Brew to Brew and Boston, which I consider my 'fast' races of the year, but in the meantime, I'm seeing strength gains previously unknown. For example, I was able to run 8.5 hilly miles through the Garden of the Gods in 54:39 last night - a PR by nearly 4 minutes. While this new facet of training has left me more tired (and hungry) than usual, I'm amazed by how quickly my speed and strength have increased.

It hasn't all been smooth sailing as I have a handful of aches and pains that I've been training through, which include sciatic pain from overly tight hamstrings, an inflamed right achilles, and residual left shin pain from all the early season pavement miles. Despite not wanting to break my consecutive days streak, I'm not being foolish, and if my body mandates it, I'll take a day or two off.

February also contained two great training races that were incorporated onto the end of long training runs. The first was our local Winter Series III 10-Miler in Monument, CO which followed a 20 mile warmup run from Downtown Colorado Springs. Despite the fatigue and terrible, snowy conditions on the trail, I was able to manage 23rd place out of 500 runners to end my 30 mile day.

Similarly, last weekend I added the Winter Series IV 12-Miler in Black Forest, CO to the end of my long run (20 miles total) and despite feeling lethargic, managed 20th place out of approximately 450 runners.

While I only do shorter races like these for fun - with no intentions of being competitive - they are a still a great benchmark of my overall fitness and have managed to boost my confidence as I approach my first 'real' races of the year.

The plan for March is to continue increasing the overall mileage in hopes of hitting the 250-260 mile mark, and will include the Salida 'Run Through Time' Marathon on the 12th. This will provide me with my first real test of 2011.