Where on earth did July go?

A theme for the month was quality over quantity. Although I fell off pace on run mileage due to plantar fascitis flare and my first running fall, I had some really good workouts. I made it to the gym thirteen times I listened to my body and easing up on running was not an excuse not to work out, except when I truly needed rest days. I swear, giving up on the daily step goal was truly a relief from over stressing about it. I’ve always operated better with monthly goals anyway. Speaking of monthly, I love how Strava displays monthly stats. Awesome graphic.

I am insanely happy how the speed training went, even if it didn’t go fully as planned. I picked up ten seconds a mile and year on year is just mind-blowing. I am most definitely going to incorporate speed work into fall training. More on that below.

I find berry too sweet, but it’s certainly more visually appealing than chocolate, peanut butter banana!

I also did mostly well with my eating. While I don’t deal well with the weight loss social media cliché pizza doesn’t taste as good as skinny feels (Yes. Yes it does, sometimes better), pizza plus the puffiness at that time of the month does not taste as good. So that’s my interim goal: no pizza that week. I was up 3 “pounds” Tuesday. I’m a daily weigher so I’m used to those swings, but it’s a good reminder that some choices aren’t good ones.

On the plus side from last week, I heard back re: the Sarah Marie Design Studio shirt and I’ll be able to exchange it for size. Yay, because I really loved it

Manhattan 7 Mile Run

Race day prep!

I was 100% not feeling this race. The distance, the weather forecast, all the hills. To be honest, until I actually started I wasn’t sure I was going to. I could not get out of my head this week. Optimistically, I got ready last night. Knowing it was going to be in the 80s with about the same humidity, I froze a Propel and got my semi-traditional long race meal of avocado toast. This was from Just Salad and not LPQ, hence the fried onion and buffalo sauce. This was less about traditional meal and more about what it wasn’t too hot to eat.

I was late getting to bed, and around 12:45 I had a realization that my half-hearted flat Cari didn’t have a sports bra and I wasn’t sure one was clean/dry. I’m not sure what time I finally fell asleep. The alarm went off at 6:30 and while I waited through the snooze window, I questioned whether I really wanted to do this. I finally got up and going  and headed out the door around 7:15.

The humidity hit me as soon as I walked out the door- 72 and 83% humidity did not make for a good run to the start. If I couldn’t do ~1.25 miles easily, how was I going to do 7? My only plan for the day was to listen to my body and I was OK with the fact that that might not mean finishing, smiling or otherwise. The only goal I was even sort of kicking around was to beat the first time I tackled all of Central Park’s hills: 1:32:45 which I’d rounded down to 1:30.

a finish line I didn’t think I’d see at the end
at least the Park looked pretty!

As I made my way from the 72nd Street Transverse to the start I really listened to the emcee who was cautioning that it was hot and humid and they’d raised the race alert to Moderate. That was reassuring, it wasn’t just going to be me struggling out there. They reinforced that we should listen to our bodies and walk when needed. That reinforced my race strategy: walk the water stations and the hills if needed. In addition to the frozen Propel, I had a bottle of water which I’d finished before even starting the race. That was … different.

This was a rolling start and we were off quickly, I think I crossed the start around 8:05. Mile one felt good, although I had a feeling I’d gone out too fast. Mile 2? Water station and Cat Hill, although I was able to run it. I was actually feeling pretty good until the 5K marker, when I decided to walk the Harlem Hill. I actually tried to start running sooner but legs wouldn’t go and I ended up walking almost .4 mile. I was far from the only one. I actually ended up with a run/walk for most of the second half, running when I could and walking when I couldn’t. For the first time in a long time-probably since the last awfully hot race-I was drinking from my now thawed Propel between water stations. At mile six I decided I wanted to try and run the whole of the last mile, but I just couldn’t. My legs were sore from the hills/heat and so I walked until the final .25 mile or so. I was so glad to see Barbara-one of the regular finish line volunteers, Peter Ciaccia’s forever smiling face, and a frozen towel! Maybe not in that order 😀

It was a PR because I haven’t done 7 miles, but it wasn’t pretty. I did squeak in under 1:30:00 (NYRR official, 1:28:36) and I’m actually proud of the race. I didn’t let the heat beat me, and I listened to my body.

finish festival shenanigans

If I was able to smile and horse around at the finish line festival, did I have a little more in me to push harder? Probably, but today wasn’t going to be a “race” even if it was in fact a race. I know I don’t do well in heat, and wanted to be smart. I look at the splits and see what happened as it was, I think if I’d pressed I’d likely have DNFed.

I was in awe of people choosing to be out there who didn’t have the “I paid for this so” element. Some do better in heat, but still. If a run today were part of my training cycle, I’d probably have done it indoors. When I was thinking about this race this week I wondered what possessed me to sign up for an August run, and then I realized it was probably before I realized that I hate the 10K distance and definitely when the plan for summer was to stay in Half Marathon shape. Oops. That said, my fitness wasn’t the issue, it was the heat and humidity. At race’s end it was 83 and “only” 64% humidity. Gross.

This was my last race for summer and I’m oh so glad. I am over the summer heat. It’s part of why I’m leaning yes on the marathon question because as I mentioned to Darlene in the comments, there’s no guarantee my schedule would let me get 9+1 again in next year for 2020.  I’m not sure I even want to race in July and August, and while I know summer marathon training won’t be easy, I think the NYRR group runs are a different feel to races, and I could time shift/move indoors/run in shade if the heat is really bad.

For now, I’m hydrating and hibernating in AC until I take myself for a pre-vacation pedi.

Weekly Wrap

Linking up with Wendy and Holly as per usual:

  • Sunday, 5K PR! Rewarded for fighting past my inner sloth
  • Monday: my knee was pretty sore from Sunday’s effort, most likely the hill so I dubbed it a cross train day. When I got to the gym the three rowers were in use so I did 16m/one mile on the LateralX which felt really good. Amazing how this doesn’t bother my knee the way the standard elliptical does. Followed that up with a 5K row. I was so happy to be able to grip the rower again because I really do love this.
  • Tuesday: Treadmill PR! As I mentioned Monday, I wanted to do a treadmill 5K to officially close out July’s speedwork since the base run was a treadmill one.  I went to the gym without an exact plan, but 5.8 felt right. The first .05 was harder than I expected since this particular sports bra isn’t ideal for period related tenderness, but I pushed through. At 2.88 I went up to 6.0 and when I realized that wasn’t going to get me the PR, I went to 6.2 for the last .13. I don’t think that’s cheating-it’s like a closing kick for a race. I think I could have done 6.2 for the whole close. Strava called it 32:09 and therefore not a PR due to the way it credited me for Sunday’s pauses. Runkeeper called it 32:10, making it officially one second faster than Sunday. That of course doesn’t tell the full story, Sunday’s was a more difficult run with the ramps. But this made me happy because it told me that Sunday wasn’t just a PR due to watch blips-I really can run that speed. To me being able to repeat it is even more of an achievement than hitting the PR. I’m not going to pretend this run was cupcakes and roses, I was staring at the treadmill display as it creeped forward. I really need to set up my Kindle Fire as a distraction. I smiled when Dancing Through Life from Wicked came on, I do love dancing my 5Ks.
  • Wednesday: off. My knee needed a break even though it felt good, braced, on Tuesday. Trying hard not to push it, although hard not to start the month off strong. Lots of errands and walking home meant at least it was a 15K step day
  • Thursday: office run group. Was only two of us this week due to summer travel schedules. I was frustrated that I was struggling to keep up until I heard my colleague’s Apple watch chime mile one at 10:14. At 85 and 65% humidity it was way too hot for that pace. We slowed up a little on mile two when my watch finally woke up. I don’t know what it is with that entrance to Central Park and it not finding a signal. Our unofficial “coach” is an experienced marathoner so I really appreciated his tips, especially for tackling Cat Hill as Sunday’s race has Cat Hill, the Harlem Hills and the West Side Rollers.
  • Friday: it was all up in the air due to weather. After stopping by the NYRR Club Fair to visit the Mile High Run Club folks and finally get my 13.1 sticker(!), I ultimately ended up at the gym for a mile on the LateralX. Wanted to go longer but knee was starting to winge and didn’t want to push it. Had a good stretch after and some straight arm planks since forearm still off the table due to lingering bruise at the elbow. It’s crazy to think that this was almost a year ago: definite game changer in terms of shoes/injury, and taught me what I didn’t want in a club. I wasn’t even going to Mile High Run Club classes yet then, and a year later I’m running with them in NYRR club races 😮
  • Saturday: utter and complete rest day. Needed some me time after two busy weekends and with a family vacation on the books for the week. Picked up laundry, packed, straightened apartment, and relaxed. If not for needing to pick up my laundry, I’m not sure I’d have left the apartment. Once I did, I went to the Met to finally see the amazing Costume Institute show, Heavenly Bodies. Absolutely stunning. Even if I pay for this in monthly step totals, I don’t care. Sanity > steps.
  • Sunday: Manhattan 7 Miler.

GoTheDist Challenge:

GoTheDist July

  • Steps: 479, 901
  • Miles Run: 45.6
  • Miles Run/Walked: 207.38

GoTheDist 2018 YTD

  • Steps: 3,305,083
  • Miles Run: 389.92
  • Miles Run/Walked: 1444.13

I’m really happy with this. Yes, slightly off pace but a good month given I was walking wounded. August 2017 was my first 500K step month and I highly doubt August 2018 will be the 3rd. Hoping to come in between 450-475K despite vacation. One of which should have a ton of sightseeing steps and the other will hopefully have some good runs.

August Goals:

  • More of what I mentioned in the intro, keep up the good habits that are evolving. Primarily listen to my body.
  • I didn’t train specifically for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, but rather used it as a long run because it was in the middle of my Brooklyn Half training. Oh and I knew I’d be taking 900,000 photos.  I started Runkeeper’s 10m training plan and plan to truly train for the Bronx and then maintain that for December’s 15K. I don’t have a goal yet as I want to see how the training goes, but I want it to be a strong race. 1:57:12 is my PR from my one and only ten mile run. Besides incorporating speed work as I mentioned above, this burst of speed work has taught me that while I still don’t have a 10K pace, I have a 5K pace and a half marathon pace so maybe that will help with workout quality.
  • Figure out my hills strategy! It’s ten months later and the intro to this post still holds true. Part of what I was dreading about the 7 Mile run even before the forecast turned August was that it had all of the Central Park Hills. In hindsight, that was obvious: there’s no other way to get 7 miles in the Park, but it hit me like a load of bricks. I want to do either Lebow again or the SHAPE Women’s Half, and probably the Mini again, so I need to face these hills. Back to Mile High Run Club?
  • Even though the gym visits won’t “count” as the new reimbursement window doesn’t start until September 1, keep up the solid attendance. This will be a mix of here & hotel gyms as I’m traveling. The $200 reimbursement is already earmarked to repay my savings from an amazing day trip while in London.

No precise run plans for this week due to vacation but hoping to get in some good runs especially if it’s cooler.

23 thoughts on “#GoTheDist July 2018”

  1. I cannot imagine doing a race in that heat! I usually run early in the morning before the sun is really up. I would have melted out there. I’m glad you were able to nip PF in the bud — it took me months to chase it away. My Strava data is all messed up b/c my husband borrowed my bike computer a few times and it’s linked to my Strava account. Oh, well.

    1. As much as I consider RunKeeper my baseline because it has all my running, it’s similarly messed up because it has biking data. I didn’t get Strava until I got my run watch about three months into running. Me too with my first bout, which I think helped me recognize it sooner. If it were my call, I’d have been in the gym or running at 5 AM. My last really awfully hot race was 9A, so at least this was an improvement

  2. Well done on the race! Omg it’s been so hot. You were very wise to listen closely to your body and run by feel. When conditions are brutal like that its all you can do.

    1. Yep. The only reason I even looked at the watch was to get an idea of how far off I was vs. mileage markers. Surprisingly this was better, or I was better at running tangents than typically in NYRR races. Hugging the shoulder for my walk intervals probably helped that.

    1. Thank you! Curious to see how it translates in more reasonable weather. Seems like you’ve had even more insane humidity. We at least had a day or two’s reprieve that felt like perfection.

  3. That’s terrible conditions for a race – yuck! My Monday long run was the first time in ages I’d run longer than about 5 without doing a walk-run strategy (I walked up the hill next to the ski slope, mind …). Well done you! I’ll wait to see what the heat wave’s doing and we can always go out early the morning you’re here if it’s horrend on the late afternoon.

    1. Yes, I was just thinking about that.I haven’t booked a London running tour either because I want to wait and see on the weather. Touch wood, if the forecast is right this far out it looks like it’s going to settle down.

  4. Great job getting in under 1:30 — OMG sat was just insane (not that it’s gotten any better, frankly). I was feeling so strong until after my half — now that heat & humidity is sucking the life out of me, although so far I’ve chosen to do my runs outside. Because, really long race coming up!

    Speed work always pays off. 🙂 Maybe not right away, but it does!

    1. Yes! I was glad to see partial gains early. Makes it more motivating.
      I cannot wait for a break in this weather

  5. Races in the heat and humidity are BRUTAL, congrats on getting it done – especially since you had to tackle some steep hills as well!

    And congrats on the 5K PR! Looks like the speed work is paying off!

  6. I ran 7 miles on Sat with a friend and it took us 1 30 min so I think your time was great. Those Central park hills are killers. I always have to walk up them.

    I ran today and I though I would die. This humidity is a killer. And now it’s raining. Same planned for the next few days.

    1. I saw your Insta, that was impressive. I’m getting out of dodge and apparently taking the clouds and rain with me. Yuck.

  7. We don’t even have races around here this time of year! Great job running in that muck! It’s awesome you set both a 5k PR and that treadmill PR within a such a short period of time. You may never get another opportunity to run the NYC Marathon. As long as you’re healthy, I’d say yes (coming from someone who’d LOVE to get in!). Thanks for linking!

    1. That, and a milestone birthday in 2019 are why I’m leaning yes.

      NYRR always has a 5K that’s tied into the annual Harlem Week celebrations, and a France Day one that I’m not sure why is in August vs. July for Bastille Day. This was the inaugural Manhattan 7 miler and their first at this distance since 2005. I personally think it needs a new month, but wonder if it was slotted here because it worked in people’s fall marathon training schedule. This has been an unseasonable August, but it’s never ideal for a run. Outside a 10K and Half in January, we pretty much go silent until April in Manhattan. We don’t go as quiet in fall because an Ultra, a 4M and a 15K follow the marathon before the year wraps in a midnight run of varied distance.

  8. I think you did well! Listening to your body is key, especially in tough race conditions (hello? heat and humidity and hills). There’s a race I have done a few times, it’s at the end of July in the Quad Cities (east “coast” of Iowa). It’s called the Bix-7, and it attracts a lot of elites and big names (Meb is there almost every year). Oh, did I mention it’s constant big hills? It’s always a mental and physical challenge, but that’s what I love about it 😉

    1. Oh for sure. I love the challenge of those hills in cooler temperatures, but I think I’ve come to realize I’m just not a summer runner. Kudos on you for doing that one multiple times as well a the hilly one you posted about a couple weeks ago.

  9. Ugh, those are awful conditions for a race! Great job running it a bit faster than the last time while listening to your body.

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