It only feels like two minutes ago that I was posting my January reflection post! February seems to have just flown by. News of the planned “roadmap” for England with regards to the lockdown situation has helped to put a positive spin on things. I really need a trip to the hairdresser, plus gyms will also be able to open on April 12th. This is also good news in terms of running clubs and races. It was definitely welcomed news!
Anyway, let’s dive in to how February played out for me personally:
The first positive is short and sweet… I logged more miles than January! This was one that I wanted to improve on from last month. My mileage is down massively compared to this time last year. Last year I ran nearly 102 miles in January and 96 in February! Spoiler alert, this will also be on “The Bad” list below…
Also mileage related, but I managed my first double digit run since October! In fact, I managed two of them! My longest since the Virtual London Marathon 2020 was the 9 miler I managed last month. I actually felt pretty good during that run, and felt like I could have run further if I’d have had the time. This month’s first 10 miler was a different story! It was a struggle at around the 7.5 mile mark, and I was really tempted to walk at mile 9. I held on and pushed through to the 10 mile mark, then walked the remaining mile back home.
To end the month strong, I managed 11 miles yesterday. I had a Chinese the night before that had been quite salty, so I didn’t sleep well as I kept waking up for a drink! My eyes opened at 7:40am and I felt like I’d been hit by a bus so I went back to sleep. Waking up the second time, I knew I really had to get my trainers laced up. I was already a run down for the week so had to make up the miles. The weather was a lot warmer than I expected! It was quite a hilly route, but it felt good to have clocked up another double digit run, and my longest since October.
I’ve managed to keep my eating habits in check this month. Granted, we’ve still had a few takeaways, but I’m not snacking on so much junk. I’ve found some healthier snacks and protein bars to eat during the day. I’m feeling less sluggish as I’m not eating so much unhealthy, processed foods.
Oh, and I can’t wrap up “The Good” section without a mention of my newly purchased Nike Pegasus Trail 2’s! I’ve used these for my last three long runs, and I’ve been impressed with them each time. They have handled whatever I have thrown at them so far. Mild trail terrain, pavement, mud, soft sand… they have felt comfortable and grippy throughout. Keep your eyes peeled for a full review soon!
Although my February mileage was higher than January (slightly), it could have been higher still. I ended up with an ear infection mid-way through the month which meant that I missed a few runs. Work commitments also meant that I missed a run or two due to having to attend Zoom meetings in overtime. I’m getting out and running more often, but they tend to be only 3 mile runs during the week. Ideally, I need to start building these back up to 5 or 6 miles at least once or twice during the week to buff up my mileage.
I had been hoping to incorporate some bodyweight exercises into my weekly routine. Since moving out of the home gym, I feel like I’ve lost a chunk of my strength. The plan was to do some bodyweight work a few times a week until the gyms re-open, and perhaps also some yoga or stretching work. This one definitely went out of the window! I did manage one strength session though as I managed to get a pair of Everlast selectable dumbbells for a decent price. The original idea was to pick up my dumbbells and possibly my bench from my previous home gym, but lockdown made that mission impossible. I also invested in a new bench for the meantime; this one also declines as well as having options to lay flat or incline.
So, I’m logging more miles, but the struggle I’m having is in regards to my training zones. Before moving house, I had my own treadmill. This allowed me to control my running environment in terms of incline and pace. I tried to follow an 80/20 approach; 80% of my miles were ran in zone 2 and at an easy pace, and the remaining 20% were spent focusing on my threshold pace for speed work or hill sessions. Without the treadmill, I’m finding that I’m struggling to run outside in zone 2. It’s really hilly around here, regardless of which route I take from my house, so that also bumps up my heart rate. Without stopping to walk, it’s a real struggle to keep my heart rate down. It’s something that I’m going to have to consider doing moving forward as I’m logging too many miles in zone 4.
I purchased some bathroom scales last month, but after my initial weigh in, decided to avoid them for the time being! I need to get back into the habit of weighing in at least once a week, just to see how my weight is fluctuating at the minute.
Okay, so I mentioned that I’d been eating better, and that is true, but I haven’t been logging my food. I used to log my food religiously but I can’t remember the last time I logged something on MyFitnessPal. To be honest, this is also down to the fact that I often eat at the same time as my house mate, and it can be difficult to log when she cooks. I still have a rough idea of how much I’m eating, and the calories are coming from non-processed sources, so it’s not too detrimental.
Runs = 11
Miles = 56
Running Time = 10:20:33
Strength = 1
Total Time = 11:25:49
To summarize, I feel quite positive about February, especially as it’s a shorter month. I know that it still isn’t 100% where I want to be in terms of mileage or training time, but it’s a step in the right direction. January was a tough month, but I’m ending February feeling positive. I have a bit more of an action plan and vision of where I want to be moving forward. Hopefully I can build on February’s mileage and start to increase it for March. It definitely felt good to be back hitting the weights, so that’s something I’ll be building on over the next month.