Farewell to February

How is it already almost March? Man, February just flew by, which means that track season is just around the corner! I've been putting in the miles the past two months (more than ever outside of marathon training!), so I'm eager to start racing again and test my fitness.

 Rolling through the East Side of Providence during a 6 mile time trial earlier this month

Rolling through the East Side of Providence during a 6 mile time trial earlier this month

I kick off my 2017 racing campaign at one of my favorite road races, the USA 15k Road Championships/Gate River Run in Jacksonville, Florida. The elite field is stacked as always -- I'm looking forward to racing against some talented women. Then it's off to Charleston, South Carolina for the Cooper River Bridge Run -- it'll be my first time in SC and I'm excited to take part in this big race and get to meet some of the Charleston running community. If you're racing, be sure to come introduce yourself and say hello :)

Rhode Island winter weather is a lot different (read: colder) than Florida or South Carolina, so this past month I've been doing heat acclimation training on the treadmill and indoor track. "Heat acclimation training" ... ok, let's be honest - I've been hiding out from the snow and rain indoors. This California girl is a fair weather runner! But truthfully, I think my miles logged on the treadmill at Brown's gym and the laps circled on the indoor track will serve me well in March and April when I'm racing in warmer climates. At least that's what I told myself as I dripped puddles of sweat on the treadmill and got weird looks from the college gym-goers! 

We got blasted with a pretty big snowstorm in early February (hurray snow day/no school!), which meant it took a few days for the roads to get cleared. I did one run outside in Yaktrax before resorting to the trusty 'mill - it's just too risky outside on black ice, and in slushy conditions, I find you can better accomplish your training indoors. I had a long run scheduled for the Sunday after the big storm, and there weren't many route options where clear footing was assured. So, I did lap after lap of a 3.5 mile loop on a clear stretch of Blackstone Boulevard. Luckily, I had lots of company with some of the athletes I coach who are training for spring marathons. Training Joyfully athletes braved the cold and the monotony as we cheered each other on through 16 milers and 18 milers. These runners sure have put in the mental toughness training for their marathons!

 Training Joyfully athletes meet up for long run laps on Blackstone Boulevard

Training Joyfully athletes meet up for long run laps on Blackstone Boulevard

Aside from that one big snowstorm, our winter truly hasn't been too bad here and I've been able to do all my training without any hiccups. We even had some unseasonably warm days this month - I closed out February working out outside in shorts and a sports bra :) While I'm terrified about the future of our climate (even more so now with He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named in the White House, god help us...), I am not complaining about the perfect running weather. 

 A gorgeous February day on the East Bay Bike Path

A gorgeous February day on the East Bay Bike Path

Outside of my own training, grad school classes, and interning at the Rhode Island Department of Health, I've been busy coaching. After our successful group long run in mid-February, I held another Training Joyfully run at the end of the month, which also had a great turnout. It's been so fun to see Training Joyfully grow into a team and I'm so excited about the community we're building, with local runners here in Providence and virtually with athletes across the country. Think Training Joyfully might be for you? Check out more here and give me a shout if you're looking for a coach!

Team Training Joyfully getting ready to rock some long run miles

Hope your February was filled with joyful miles and that March brings you lots of solid training and fast racing! 
Cheers,
Kaitlin