March had five weekends, and I ran five races. Four were marathons and the other was a six hour race. I started the month with disappointing results, but finished with two strong races.
On March 1, I ran the Little Rock Marathon. Weather was cold and rainy. For the first 19 miles, I was on pace to break 3:30. Then I turned into a cold wind and got hypothermic, struggling through the late miles to finish in 3:36:17.
On March 7, I did the Stroll in Central Park in Cumming, GA. This was a six hour race, and I went in with a goal of running something in the upper 30s. It was another cold day, so I had to dress in layers. After two hours, I was on pace for 40 miles. Then my pace slowed as I had to stop a few times to shed excess layers and take bathroom breaks. Finally, a painful big toe slowed me down in the last two hours, and I ended the race with 35.02 miles. It was good training, but for a six hour race, that was disappointing.
On March 14, I ran the Rock N Roll DC Marathon. This was another cold wet race. After an entire week of not sleeping well, I knew going in that just I wasn’t feeling it. Struggling to stay warm didn’t help, and I finished in 3:45:40.
On March 22, I ran the Georgia Marathon in Atlanta. It wasn’t cold, but it rained for the whole race. This is a hilly course, and I had doubts about whether I could maintain my pace. I kept it together in the second half and finished in 3:28:05. It was my first Boston qualifier of the month.
On March 28, I ran the Wicked Marathon in Wamego, KS. I finally broke the weather jinx. I felt good and ran my fastest marathon so far this year, finishing in 3:23:30 and winning the Kansas Grand Master Championship. It was also the first time this year that I qualified for Boston on consecutive weekends.
Halfway through the month, I was feeling pretty discouraged, but I ended the month on a good note.
It’s hard to get into a good training rhythm when you’re racing every weekend. I haven’t had much speed work this year, but I’ve been running hills, and it seems to be paying off. I’ve also continued to develop my mileage base. I ran 278.8 miles in March. That’s up from 254 miles in February. It’s also the most miles I’ve ever run in March.
I don’t have a race this weekend, so I can put more emphasis on training. My next two races are big ones, and I want to be ready for them.