Monthly Wrap-Up: August 2018

August was rough. This has been the worst summer, weather-wise, since I started running in 2011, and it’s not close. I survived.

August 2018
Total Mileage:
164.22 miles (A quarter of a freaking mile less than last year?!? Excuse me while I drop $1000 into my swear jar.)
Average Pace: 12:45/mile
Number of Runs: 22
Last Month (July 2018): 146.32 miles
Last Year (August 2017): 164.47 miles (*more grumbling*)
Races: None

Total Mileage for 2018: (as of August 31) 727.73 miles

Best Run: August 14, 7.01 miles, 11:37/mile

It was a tempo run, with one easy warm up mile and 6 moderate miles. Considering the conditions (71 and humid), I did pretty well.

Shout out to my August 18 run, a 16 miler which is one of the few long runs I’ve had recently where I didn’t want to go home and burn all of my running gear afterwards.

Worst Run: August 4, 10.01 miles, 14:04/mile

Yeah, the infamous flat tire run, where I couldn’t drive to the greenway because I had a flat tire, so I had to attempt a long run in my neighborhood, and it went…poorly. Also, it was supposed to be a 12 miler, and that would have put me ahead of last August’s mileage, dammit.

There’s not much else to say about August. I got in a bunch of miles (although not as many as last August *grumble again*) in spite of miserable weather. I hope September will have slightly less terrible weather, because the mileage is going to increase.

Weekly Wrap-Up: August 20-26

That was a week. Lots of stuff going on, some of it actually related to running. I survived.

Weight Check: 162.4, down 2.3 pounds from last week. I outran my diet. Sometimes things go sideways and I respond by eating crap. I’m not always going to be able to make up for it with 40+ miles of running. It’s something I need to work on. (And this is my response after losing over 2 pounds…)

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 7 miles easy 7.01
Tuesday Fartlek: 2 miles easy, 4 x 5 minutes at 10K effort with 2 minutes in between, 2 mile cool down (or until 7 miles) 7.01
Wednesday 6 miles easy 6.01
Friday 5 miles easy 5.01
Saturday 13 miles easy, 3 miles at moderate pace 16.01

Total: 41.05 miles

Monday, the weather was just brutal. My legs were a little tired from my long run on the previous Saturday, but other than a few of the uphills, they weren’t too bad. I struggled a bit on mile 6, but didn’t take any walk breaks, and recovered a little on mile 7. I was a minute faster than last Monday’s 7 miler, which was a pleasant surprise. I’ll take it.

On Tuesday, the weather felt like a sauna. My legs felt OK, or maybe I just didn’t notice them because of the insane heat and humidity.

My intervals went fairly well, and I was able to finish strong. I walked for a little bit in between intervals before switching to a slow jog. After the last interval, I walked for a bit, jogged, took another walk break, then decided to run (slowly) the rest of the way. I went a little over two miles on the “cool down” (there was nothing cool about the weather) to finish with a total of 7 miles.

I do think my walk breaks (especially the second one) after the last interval were more mental than physical fatigue, but at some point, I convinced myself that walking wouldn’t make me feel better, and running would get me out of the heat and humidity sooner, and it worked.

Wednesday, the weather was slightly less miserable. My legs felt surprisingly OK considering Tuesday’s workout. I kept the effort easy. I struggled a little bit on the last mile (maybe that’s where the workout finally hit me), but otherwise, I think it went fairly well.

On Friday morning, it was 57 degrees. That’s not a typo, it really was 57 degrees, and it felt amazing. My legs felt fine. I guess I didn’t know what to do with this cooler weather, because my pace was all over the place. Still, I managed to keep the effort fairly easy.

Saturday was…interesting.

It started out cooler than my recent long runs, although it warmed up pretty quickly with all the sun. My legs felt OK until around mile 12 or so, then I started feeling some fatigue.

I had Gu at around 4, 8, and 12 miles. I stopped for water roughly every mile, although I had one water (and Gu) stop at the beginning of mile 13, and one water stop at the end to get ready for the last 3 miles.

I didn’t stop for water on the last 3 miles, but I took a very brief walk break during the next to last mile, then a couple of walk breaks during the last mile.

When I got done, I was really disappointed. All summer long, I’ve been thinking that I just need to wait until it cools off. Well, it cooled off, and I still felt like I ran out of gas on the last mile.

It took a few hours, but I finally managed to get some perspective late yesterday afternoon. I still ran 15 good miles. Also, it may have been 64 degrees at the start, but with the sun, it warmed up pretty quickly. I didn’t go out way too fast. I still had two really good miles at the end, and the last mile was still decent, even with the two walk breaks. So it wasn’t as bad as I initially thought.

I was hoping for a better run with the cooler weather, but I think up until the last mile, I did OK, and I did end up over 10 minutes faster than last week’s 16 miler, so I guess it turned out all right.

Next week, the break in the weather is over, and I’ve got a 17 miler on the schedule. Also, August will end, but on Friday, so I don’t know if I’ll have my monthly wrap-up done before next Sunday.

Weekly Wrap-Up: August 13-19

Didn’t I just write one of these?

Anyway, this week went OK.

Jury Duty Update: I was called for jury duty on Thursday. I spent most of the day sitting in the courtroom while other people got interviewed, but they reached their limit before they got to me, so I got to go home. Mecklenburg County just has you serve for one day or one trial. Having been called for jury duty twice, put on a jury twice, and ended up with a hung jury twice, I was relieved to not end up on a jury again. And with that, we won’t need a Jury Duty Update for at least two years.

Weight Check: 164.7, down 4.2 pounds from last week. OK, that’s better. I did make an effort to eat better, and other than last night where I did a lot of grazing at a party, I think I was successful. The number of miles I ran probably helped, though.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 7 miles easy 7.01
Tuesday 1 mile easy, 6 miles at moderate effort 7.01
Wednesday 5 miles easy 5.01
Friday 5 miles easy 5.01
Saturday 16 miles easy 16.01

Total: 40.05 miles

I finally made it to 40 miles in a week.

Monday has the typical bad weather. My legs were still really tired from my Saturday long run. The fatigue really showed up in mile 6, but I did manage to recover on the last mile. I finished just over 30 seconds faster than last Monday’s 7 miler, so I’ve got that going for me.

On Tuesday, the weather was still pretty uncomfortable, but not quite as bad as some other days. My legs felt OK for most of the run, with a little bit of fatigue near the end, but I expected that, and it didn’t seem to slow me down. I felt like my paces were pretty good, and while they weren’t that steady, I can see where the hills made them faster or slower, but my effort seemed to stay pretty consistent.

I had a Gu before I started, and I stopped for some water at around 3.9 miles (I stopped my watch for that). Overall, I think it went pretty well.

Wednesday, I saw a temperature below 70! It was a nice surprise, although it was still pretty humid. My legs felt OK. I still kept the effort easy. The run was uneventful but just a little bit less miserable. I’ll take it.

On Friday, the weather was back to normal, which is bad. My legs seemed to be OK, though. I kept the effort easy with a 16 miler on the schedule for Saturday. I did manage to speed up a little bit on each mile, which is nice. It was uncomfortable, but uneventful.

Saturday was my 16 miler. I wanted it to go well. No pressure.

The weather was fairly miserable, but the cloud cover kept the sun away, and there was an occasional breeze, so it could have been worse. My legs held up OK. I had Gu at 4, 8, and 12. I stopped for water just about every mile.

I did take a walk break in the middle of mile 15, but otherwise I only walked around my water/Gu stops. My pace was slow, but mostly consistent, and I was able to rally a little bit on the last mile.

It was definitely my best long run in a while. I’d still like to be a little bit faster, but mostly, I’m pretty relieved.

Next week, more miles. I’ve been looking at the forecast, and I’m afraid to say anything or else I’ll jinx it, but let’s just say I wouldn’t be afraid of jinxing it if it showed lows of 75 degrees the whole time.

Weekly Wrap-Up: August 6-12

Yeah, I’m late this week. Sunday I got home late from being out of town. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings, I was busy. Thursday evening I just forgot. So I’m writing a weekly wrap-up for last week when I’ve already completed 4 runs for this week.

I don’t remember much about last week. Good thing I’ve got notes from each run.

Weight Check: OK, so, I had to do my weigh in on Saturday morning before my long run, because I’d be headed out of town after my run, and wouldn’t be back until late Sunday. And, well, it wasn’t good. 169.8, up 7.6 pounds. That’s really not good. Now, I’m sure that, had I done a weigh in on Sunday which included my 15 mile long run, it would have been less bad. Still, “Run 15 miles in 70+ degree heat” just doesn’t seem like a sustainable way to maintain a healthy weight. I tried to make better choices this week, and I’ll find out in a few days if it paid off.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 7 miles easy 7.01
Tuesday Tempo Run: 2 mile warm up, 3 miles hard, 1 mile cool down 6.01
Wednesday 5 miles easy 5.01
Friday 5 miles easy 5.01
Saturday 15 miles easy 15.01

Total: 38.05 miles

My coach decided to move my workout run to Tuesday, just to space out my workout run and long run as much as possible. OK, I’ll try (almost) anything.

Monday had more miserable weather. My legs were a little tired. I somehow managed to not walk or stop at any point. I had to resort to sheer stubbornness to get through this run. It wasn’t pretty, but I survived.

On Tuesday, it was better.

The weather was a couple of degrees cooler, although still humid and pretty uncomfortable. My legs felt OK for the most part but understandably got tired near the end. I took it pretty slow on the warm up miles. I kept the effort fairly steady with a small increase in pace for each mile of the tempo section. I did walk for about a tenth of a mile on the cool down, but I slowly jogged the rest of the way. I was pleased with the way it turned out.

Wednesday, the weather was miserable, as usual. My legs felt OK, though, especially considering it was the day after a workout run. I did speed up very gradually over the course of 5 miles, so I guess it went pretty well.

Friday had more miserable weather. My legs felt OK, I guess. I was a little slower, and while I didn’t pull off the reverse split, after the first mile my pacing was fairly consistent. Still, I tried not to push too hard the day before a 15 miler.

And on Saturday, it was time for that 15 miler.

It was extremely humid, but at least the sun didn’t come out to warm things up. My legs felt fine until the last 3 or so miles, then they got really tired. I had Gu at 4, 8, and 11 miles, and stopped for water pretty much every mile except the last one. I worked in a few hills, although it’s sometimes tough to see them in the elevation chart. (Some of them would be longer if it wasn’t for construction.) I walked a little bit on mile 13 and a lot on 14, but I did manage to rally for the last mile.

I can’t say it was a great run, but it wasn’t a disaster, and for now, I’ll take it.

The week may not have felt great, but I feel like, for the most part, I was able to at least hang in there.

This week, well, it’s almost over, with just a 16(!) miler left. We’ll see.

Monthly Wrap-Up: July 2018

July started in Portland, which was great. After that, though…

July 2018
Total Mileage:
146.32 miles
Average Pace: 12:16/mile
Number of Runs: 22
Last Month (June 2018): 116.34 miles
Last Year (July 2017): 142.52 miles (Wait…I *beat* last year?!?)
Races: None

Total Mileage for 2018: (as of July 31) 532.55 miles

If there’s any consolation, shortly after I left, Portland got kind of hot, too. It probably wasn’t quite as humid, though.

Best Run: July 1, 4.01 miles, 11:21/mile

I’m glad I started the month with a run in Portland, so this was a no-brainer. I suppose I could have found a workout run that wasn’t too terrible, but any run that ends with this view is tough to beat.

The clouds look slightly more ominous in that picture than they actually were. It didn’t rain at all that day.

Worst Run: July 14, 13.11 miles, 13:07/mile

Oof. I hit a wall right around 10 miles, and the last 3 miles were absolutely brutal. I survived, but it wasn’t pretty.

August isn’t exactly off to a stellar start, and I don’t see any breaks in the weather. All I can do is find a way to keep going.

Weekly Wrap-Up: July 30-August 5

Good riddance to July (recap still coming), and good riddance to this week as well.

Weight Check: 162.3 pounds, down 1.7 from last week. I don’t understand it either. I’ll take it, I guess.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 1 mile warm up, 5 miles at marathon pace, 1 mile cool down 7.01
Tuesday 4 miles easy 4.01
Wednesday Fartlek: 20 minutes easy, 5 x 3 minutes hard with 2 minutes easy in between, 15 minute cool down (or until 6 miles) 5.01
Friday 4 miles easy 4.01
Saturday 12 miles easy 10.01

Total: 30.05 miles

So there’s two shorter than planned runs in there. One wasn’t so bad. The other…well…

Monday, the weather felt like a sauna. My legs didn’t feel that bad until around mile 5 or so, but it was just fatigue, no pain. I got through the moderate miles OK, but I had nothing left for the “cool down” mile. I did stop at around the 3.5 mile mark to go inside and get some water. The last mile was pretty ugly, but other than that, I did all right, especially considering the weather.

On Tuesday, the weather was, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” (With an extra word before kidding that I won’t repeat.) My legs felt OK, though, or maybe I just didn’t notice because the weather was so bad. I kept the effort fairly easy, and even changed the order of my route so the end would be a little different, just to keep from speeding up too much late in the run, and while the last mile was a little faster than the previous ones, I don’t think there’s a huge jump in pace in the last quarter mile. Still a pretty miserable run, but I survived.

Wednesday, the weather was still miserable, but not quite as terrible as Tuesday. My legs felt OK for the most part, but were pretty tired during the cool down, which I kind of expected. I took it slow on the warm up, then kept things pretty steady on the hard intervals. I did manage to make my last interval the fastest, but I still felt like it was never all out. I ended up cutting the cool down short because I needed to get to work early, so I ended up with 5 miles. Still, I thought it was a pretty solid workout. (This would be the not-so-bad run that was cut short.)

On Friday, the weather was still miserable, with a few drops of rain near the start to tease me, but never enough to actually make it feel better. My legs were OK, I guess. I kept it easy, but still managed to gradually increase my pace over the course of the run.

Saturday…oh dear.

I had a flat tire and couldn’t drive to the greenway like I normally would, so I ended up doing this run in my neighborhood. It…did not go well. Yes, the weather was miserable, and because it’s my neighborhood, I had more hills than usual for a long run. Ultimately, though, I think my problem was more mental than physical. I had a really terrible week away from running, and to wake up Saturday morning to a flat tire was just completely demoralizing. I could have kept going and hit 12 miles, but during the last mile that I “ran” (it was mostly walking by then), I just couldn’t see the point.

So that was a pretty crappy ending to the week. Like I said, good riddance.

I’ll see if I can get my July wrap-up posted this week. And I’ll see if I can somehow get my running back on track.