Thursday, August 1, 2013

July Rewind

FINALLY!  It's August!  It's been a long few months since signing up for Howl at the Moon.  Long, I think, because I've been battling injury for most of that time.  I can't tell you how much I just want Howl to be over!!  That is neither good or bad.  I won't expand on that anymore.  Don't worry, a big pre-race post is coming up soon.  At least within the next 9 days, since the race is in 10!

July is always a big month leading up to Howl.  Since I started to run longer distances 4 years ago, which was also my first year at Howl, July has always been my biggest month in terms of high mileage.  That is not true this year, but it is so far of the 7 months, my 3rd highest.  I feel like it should be my highest, I'm actually disappointed in how it all played out.  Not that I want to make excuses, but it really is because of my leg.  Actually make that legs.  Both of them.  But, I'm not wanting to talk about that in depth either.  That will be dealt with AFTER Howl.  Why?  Because I'm choosing to ignore what is likely a bigger problem  focusing on nothing but the positive of Howl and what it's going to take to reach my A goal.  You'll have to read my upcoming pre-race post to know what that goal is, unless you already know.  I haven't kept it a secret, but haven't blogged about it a ton either.  Either way stay tuned!

Here are some stats for the month of July:

Total Miles Run:  159.25.  Yes, I am VERY aware that I should have ran an additional .75 to round it up to an even number.  The OCD in me is going nutty over that number there.  But literally last night as I finished I was SO tired I could barely move in a straight line & my leg were screaming mercy even though my pace was like a turtle moving through peanut butter.  A lot of those 159ish miles have not been pretty ladies & gentlemen.  That brings my yearly mileage up to 1,054.79 and past my half way goal for Run This Year.

Days Run:  31, taking my running streak up to 429 days.

My highlight of the month was a 20 mile migration from Muscatine to West Liberty, IA with a group of Muscatine Running Friends.  Said run is held on the weekend of my birthday so it's a nice little celebration I give myself.  Last year when I completed this same run it was just Tony Carl (who's birthday is the day before mine) & I.  Literally just us with no sag or other support other than what we could carry between the two of us.

This year there was some other crazy runners who joined us.  Tony (this year it fell on his birthday), Lee & I left Steamboat Landing at 4:30 a.m.

There something fun & neat about running down a country highway in the pitch black stillness.  Awesomeness!  This year we were extra blessed to have a sag team.  Nancy & Terry drove a car with all of our gear & fueling needs.  They would drive ahead a few miles then wait for us & have our stuff ready & waiting if we needed it.  Always a nice touch to have someone(s) there to take care of your needs.

We took our time averaging a little under a 10 minute pace.  Probably around a 9:30.  On long runs I tend to not mess with my Nike+ app that tracks my time, miles etc.  So my averages get messed up because I didn't stop & pause my run when we stopped for fuel or to pee on the side of the road.  Either way, we had fun.  At times we chatted, other times we ran in silence (which makes it awkwardly funny when someone farts and you try not to laugh too loud.)

We had little traffic & plenty of nature along the way.  The first 5 miles it was pitch black then we watched as the sun began to rise.  I stopped to take this pic as the sun came up over the Cedar River.

For a few miles Andrew also joined the group & when we reached West Liberty we stopped for another picture:

At this point we had run 16ish miles, but then went further into town to reach the Fairgrounds.  Most migrations that MRF do is from Muscatine to wherever there is a race.  So on this morning the County Fair 5k race was happening.  It was so-so tempting, but I chose not to race and was a mere spectator on this rare occasion.  While the race was going on I looped around the area some more to reach an even 20 miles.  I was very satisfied at the end of my run.

How was July for you?  (running or not, I'd still love to hear about it)


  1. I cannot wait to hear about your Howl experience!!! I hope you leg injury(ies) aren't getting worse - I know how difficult it is to stop running even for a short time.
    July was a great month here - not as much running as I would like due to a super finicky Achilles but lots of other good workouts!!

  2. Wow, congrats on 159+ miles in July! That's amazing!