I know, I know, I’ve been absent a bit. Listen, a girl finishing her Master’s degree can’t keep up with the daily blogging thing. But that is winding down! I’m [almost] a free woman! PARTY!

But just because I haven’t been blogging doesn’t mean I haven’t been running and training. In fact, July was my highest mileage month since February, pre-ankle injury! As of after my run tonight, I’ll have logged 88 miles in July, which keeps me on track for my adjusted Run This Year goal of 1,000 miles in 2014. In February I logged 91, but I’m not going to run myself into the ground this week just to try and hit 91 for the month.

Y’all remember my spreadsheet OCD from last month’s wrap-up?

July 2014

What are our biggest takeaways from looking back on the month of July?

A) So much more running than in so many months! Yay!
B) I’m really not good at keeping up with my 50 crunches and 1:15 plank a day. But I did plank for 30 seconds more than I did last month… but 100 crunches fewer.
C) I need new running shoes soon.
D) I haven’t been to yoga in over a month, and instead walked as cross-training instead of doing yoga.
E) I also didn’t make it to Body Pump as much as I should have.

But I am forgiving myself. I did a lot of running. I was also in the throes of finishing a Master’s degree, NBD. I deserve to give myself some credit. August though, watch out. The mileage is gonna rack up – I’ll be doing my longest single run mileage to date, 14 miles (I’ve never gone over 13.1) in August, as well as running the Dumbo Double Dare as part of Disneyland Half Marathon weekend! I’m aiming for over 100 miles in the month of August. And to make it the hell back to yoga. In fact, I’d like to do a couple of two-a-days, with yoga in the morning and running in the evening, or reverse as needed due to weather and social runs.

jescienevie10milesThe hardest and most rewarding workout of the month was my 10-miler at the end of week 5 of training, just a week ago. I’m so glad I had the inspiration to reach out to my friend Jescie, who runs half-marathons and is getting on the marathon training… train… to join her for a long run on the B&A trail. The B&A is flatter than what Marine Corps will have in store for me but considering my shorter weekly runs are usually pretty hilly, I mainly cared about seeing my friend Jescie and getting the mileage in. I haven’t run 10 miles since part of the Brooklyn Half back in May. Jescie ran with me for the first four miles, then turned back as I went another mile out and mile back to catch up with her around mile 9. Chatting with her made the first four miles go by like a breeze and made me think maybe I should find a buddy to chat away the first few miles of race day with.

Once she left me, I put in the headphones and let my playlist take me away. It started getting tough around mile 7, with my left calf muscle cramping up, and when I met up with Jescie again I had to tell her I was going to need her help for the final 2. I learned a valuable lesson that day as far as staying mentally in the run: either all talk, or all music. Having music in one ear and trying to listen and talk with the other totally threw my head out of the game and I almost felt sick. We made it to the end of the mileage, but it made me nervous for 12 coming up in a week. Luckily I have a cutback to 7 this week to freshen up my legs for next week’s 12, which Jescie and I are also planning to do together.

MoCo Eagles ready for our Wednesday night run. That’s me in the back row in front of the real tall guy. (Photo credit: Steve Lim)

One of the highlights of this training cycle has been running with Team RWB. I’m definitely one of the slowest of the eagles, but everyone is supportive and encouraging. Last night’s run was tough, too – we took a loop through downtown Bethesda that was a whole lot of uphill (somehow more uphill than downhill overall even though we came back to where we started), and since I was running with the group I didn’t want to take my 1 minute walk break intervals like I usually do. The only thing that saved me was having to stop at crosswalks for lights to change. It gave me an excuse to pause my Garmin, stretch my calves out, reset my form, and keep going. So my RunKeeper time shows the overall gross time of how long we were out, while my Garmin showed the actual time spent running. Sometimes you just have to let your numbers OCD go and say hey, at least I got some serious hill-training in with great people.

In August I’m not sure how many Wednesday night Bethesda runs I can do with Team RWB – my plan calls for Wednesday’s runs to up the mileage every two weeks and RWB usually keeps it to 3-5. Next week I have to do 6 and slowly but surely climb my way to 10 during peak week in October. But I want to stay involved with the group somehow, so I’d like to look into some of their Saturday run/bike/walks at Hains Point. Also, I miss my girls Courtney and Julie! Weather and other engagements have kept us apart for our Tuesday speed workouts so even though all three of us have been putting the speedwork in, this suburbs girl has been missing her downtown girls.

So I’m looking forward to August. I’ve got a great support system and plan set in place for these longer, tougher runs, and I get to top the month off in Disneyland. August, bring it!

How was your July? Are you training for a fall race? If so, are you on track or readjusting?

How have you been handling working out in the summer heat? 

Do you do weekly social runs or stick with one buddy or solo for the most part?