Another month of marathon training in the books for this girl! Along with the month of February came more crazy weather here in the Garden State! There were negative wind chills and there were beautiful spring-like days! I ended the month of February with 177.2 miles logged; the most miles I’ve logged in one month since training for Boston 3 years ago. In February I focused on getting extra sleep; so important while training for a marathon. I focused on fueling properly, getting in enough runs at goal pace and putting in the hard work! I kicked off February with some speed work; mile repeats!
To be completely honest after 2 stress fractures; speed work was something I shied away from in my past couple of marathons out of fear of injury. This time around; I decided to face my fears and give this training cycle all I’ve got while focusing on extra sleep & proper nutrition. My first week in February was a recovery week as I prepared for the higher mileage to come. 1st long run of the month consisted of 14 miles; we got a bit of snow so I had to make it work the best I could!
Don’t worry; I didn’t run all 14 miles through the snow, lol! I’m not that crazy! ” 🙂 With the second week of February came chilly weather; including negative wind chills! With an 18 miler coming up; I wondered “How am I going to get this done?” That Saturday; I braved the freezing temps/negative wind chills for 6 miles!
With more negative wind chills in the forecast for that Sunday (also Valentine’s Day); there was no way I was taking my long run outside so I took my 18 miler to the treadmill!
A big THANK YOU to my hubby who uploaded all new music onto my IPod for me the night before this run! It actually made this long treadmill run a lot less painful than I expected it to be! Overall a great run in my book! Week 3 of February arrived; the temperatures warmed up a bit and I was finally able to take my running back outdoors!
With this week came more focus on marathon goal pace runs! This included a mid week tempo run that consisted of 9 miles! It’s been quite a while since I’ve run this kind of mileage or done a mid week run of this distance, but I went into it with pure determination & confidence! “I can and I will!”
And guess what? I did! This run was windy, but I pushed through and hit my goal pace! That Saturday marked exactly one month until my marathon; so I put on my Shamrock Marathon shirt from when I ran in 2010 (pic below) every time I look at this pic it makes me smile!
Sunday arrived and with Sunday came warmer temps & a 20 miler for this girl! I took my run to one of my favorite trails!
This run went really well; I practiced fueling and pacing for race day! I enjoyed the beauty on the trails around me and waved to other runners also getting their long runs done as they passed by!
I was pleasantly surprised on this run and this finally gave me that confidence that I needed to believe that my goal of running my 4th BQ may not be so impossible after all! The final week of February arrived and with that came another mid week tempo run; this time – 10 miles! It was pouring rain/windy and 61 degrees, but I went for it!
This was a tough one; rain and wind but I did it! HUGE runners high after this run! Something about running in the rain that I just love! As the weekend grew closer the weather warmed up a bit and I took full advantage of being outdoors as much as possible!
My last Sunday run of February consisted of 15 miles; it was a recovery week as I prepared for my peak run; 22 miles on 3/5! I took my run to the beach. It was a beautiful day; not a cloud in the sky!
I enjoyed the ocean breeze in my hair and the sun beating down on me! The wind was pretty fierce that day, but the clear blue beautiful skies made up for it! At mile 5 I ran into my sis-in-law Jess then again at mile 10 I saw her again; as we passed one another I gave her a high 5! That high 5 gave me that motivation that I needed to finish my last five miles strong; it is just what I needed! Thanks Jess!
I ended up finishing this run with the final 5 miles in the low 8:00’s and high 7:50’s!
It was a perfect day at the beach in my book!
On Saturday I did my peak run – 22 miles (8:16/mile) along the beach and I am officially in taper mode or as I like to call it “taper madness”! Just 12 days until Marathon number 10!! 🙂
Thank you as always for following my journey to marathon number 10!!
How is your training going? Does the taper drive anyone else crazy? What do you do to keep yourself busy during the taper?