Other things that start with F...February...as in, February Training Recap!
Total miles: 227.7
This was JUST OFF my all time mileage PR of 229.1, set in September '09. I'm pretty much giving it to myself as my highest mileage training month ever though, since February is a short month so in terms of miles/day, it was definitely a high!
Days off: 5
Workouts: 8 [3 fartlek, 2 tempo, 1 mile repeats, 1 progression, 1 race]
Longest run: 20.6
Weekly mileage range: 49.6-61.9
Wow, I usually despise February with all of my heart and soul, but this was probably the best month of training I've ever had. No offense to my home state, but leaving the Wisconsin winter behind was definitely a pretty fantastic thing as far as running was concerned. The winter out here has been super mild by my standards - there really haven't been any days when I've been like "oh, hell no am I running outside in that...", and really the only time I took my workouts to the TM was for the sake of knowing my pace. I really can't think of any god-awful runs in February either. I hit pace for every workout, set a big 10K PR, my long runs went reasonably well and I've been running them faster than last training cycle, and I've already got 2 20 milers under my belt. I guess my only concern at this point is that my training is going TOO well...as in, I really don't want to peak too early. That might have something to do with the fact that during my last training cycle, I was running a lot but I wasn't really "training" until like...7 weeks out from the race. So the plan at this point is to just stay tuned in to my physical/mental state as March, ie, training month from hell, progresses, keep an eye on an possible signs of overtraining, and other than that, just continue to rock it out!
Speaking of training, is it weird that lately I have been anxiously looking forward to my speed workouts, and absolutely dreading my longer easy runs? Seriously, why am I totally excited to run fartleks or tempo intervals on the treadmill, with a long warmup and cooldown, and yet an 8-12 mile easy run is something I just dread? I can't quite figure it out. I guess its GOOD that I get excited about speedwork though haha - never really thought I'd see the day when that would happen! I think it's because my quality workouts have been going really well in general, as far as hitting my paces and not feeling like I'm going to die at the same time. They've served as really great confidence boosters and kind of stand in my mind as a testament to the fact that I actually AM getting faster and stronger through all of this training. The easy runs just kind of "are" - some days I'm feeling it, some days I'm not. 12 miles is pretty long, but not long enough to be a "long run", but still takes a long time, you know what I mean? Well anyway, maybe if I start thinking of my easy runs as "3 mile warmup, 6 miles easy, 3 mile cooldown" I'll like them better. Haha.
Training aside, here are a couple of random things I've really been enjoying lately [aside from the Filet O'Fish commercial, haha]...mostly food. Because who doesn't love food?
- Coconut Water! I had heard about this from some other blog or something, that it's supposedly this big deal in sports drinks because it naturally has a ton of electrolytes [especially potassium] and some sugar, without the obscene dose of fake sugar and dyes that you get in Gatorade or whatever. I really don't go one way or the other on the whole natural eating thing, but I saw this at Whole Foods and was intrigued. It was AMAZING! It comes in a bunch of flavors - I tried the VitaCoco tangerine and peach/mango flavors. I was kind of wary because I don't really like the taste of coconut that much, but the fruit purees that they added [the only other ingredient besides the coconut water itself] really added a nice, light fruity flavor. Totally not the super sugary, almost syrupy taste you sometimes get with sports drinks. The peach/mango was my favorite. As for it's properties as a good sports drink, I haven't tested that one yet - I had it for breakfast haha. I'm doing an 18 miler this weekend, 13 of which will be with a friend, so I'm planning on grabbing one for the last 5 miles and see how I feel!
- Australian Yogurt! I LOVE yogurt. For breakfast, for a snack, for dessert...don't care, I think it's delicious. During my last WF visit I wasn't too impressed with the flavor selection or price on their "generic" brand yogurt, so I figured I would spend the extra 20 cents per carton and try something new - enter Wallaby Australian Yogurt. What is Australian yogurt? I'm still kind of trying to figure out the difference haha. As far as ingredients, I think they use a slightly lower percentage milkfat milk than like, Yoplait [1.5% instead of 2%?] and use organic cane sugar. I'm not sure if there's some sort of difference in the culturing process, all I know is the yogurt is super smooth and very light. It comes in some pretty tasty and interesting flavors that you don't see in regular yogurt [I mean, I love blueberry and strawberry as much as the next person...but sometimes that gets a little boring]. And I absolutely LOVED their fruit on the bottom flavors. Like, half the carton is fruit! I had the grapefruit one, which sounded weird but ended up being totally delicious. I think for the fact that this stuff is natural, comes in fun flavors, and not as uber-sweet as other yogurt tends to be, it might be worth the extra couple bucks to buy it instead. Yum!
- Sweet Potato Fries! I think I got this idea from someone's blog too...and it has quickly become a go-to snack/side for me! So easy: cut up sweet potatoes, drizzle with olive oil, toss with pepper, seasoned salt, and whatever other seasonings you desire, and bake for 15-20 minutes...and there you have GOODNESS! It's a great way to eat something salty/tastes kind of unhealthy, but really it isn't! Yay for good-for-you food! :)
Is it really Friday already? Guess I should stop whining about my 12 miles and just Get. It Done! Have a great weekend!