With sensible head on March should have been about long slow runs in preparation for the two ultras in May. Instead flushed with success from my first sub20 parkrun and 1h30m half in February I was tempted to push ahead and try to bag the elusive sub 3h15 marathon and get faster, the exact opposite of what you need in an ultra.
On 4th March I managed to find a gap in the poor weather and make the trip down to Eton Dorney lake for a proper marathon attempt. After an enforced taper due to poor weather it was touch and go whether the event would even be on. Fortunately it went ahead and I pushed through the awkward later miles to snag a 3h13m marathon, my last event before I turned 39. Assuming the London Marathon Good For Age periods and time targets don’t change that should see me lining up for the 2020 marathon.
13th March I had another marathon booked. This had been my original target for a 3h15m event but various paperwork/permit requirements meant it wouldn’t have counted as a GFA. Therefore I took the decision to go for sh1t or bust attempt to see what I could manage and went out hard. Unsurprisingly I bust and scraped in 3h22m. Still a decent time and one of my faster times from 100+ marathons. With Reading Half only 5 days away I probably should have rested after this but decided to try and ramp the miles up and ran the rest of the week as well.
18th March should have been the Reading Half Marathon. It was to be a PB attempt to slip under the 1h30m01s PB from February. Common to most events that weekend it was cancelled due to heavy snow. Instead I met up with some mates and we bagged a relaxed 20 mile training run. Surprised that even in the snow and with no gels, breakfast or fuelling I managed a 8m13s average mile pace. It also left me on 80 miles for the week, my first big week of mileage this year, and starting some proper prep for the ultras.
The following week was surprising. After a big mileage week I expect to feel stale. Instead I inherited new legs and simply couldn’t slow. I managed a PB on the Tuesday 6:40 paced session (against nearly 50 previous runs), the following day scored a PB on the 9 mile Bow Brickhill loop (against over 100 previous runs), then got carried away on Thursday and turned an interval club run into a HM tempo session and finished 1h32m, only 2 minutes outside my PB, with no fuelling, no water and a hard day at work before.
After that it was Holiday time and two weeks in Florida with the family visiting Mickey Mouse. I ran when I could (avoiding crocodiles) and covered some big mileage on foot walking around the parks. Managed to squeeze in a local parkrun at the excellent Clermont Water and despite the heat surprised myself with a 19m42s parkrun PB and only 1 second slower than my all time PB at the MK Rocket 5k which is a net downhill course. Even the copious food didn’t slow me down and most run in Florida were at a decent low 7min/mile pace and I passed 200 miles for the 27th successive month. All in March was an amazing month.
Also managed to fit in a local race in Florida at Earth Day 12k. Odd distance but basically 1 lap of one of the lakes. It was hot despite a 7:15am and felt odd to be throwing water over your face so early to keep cool. I managed to hold on for 6th place and an age category win, just under 51 minutes.
Whilst UK runners waded through floods I had to endure blazing sun and copious beer