Still feeling 'new'

By the numbers, July was a really good month - 80.8 miles was the second most miles in a month this year, it was nearly as many miles as the past two Julys combined and I had small increases every week in the month.

But for some reason, I feel like I could have done more. While I didn't let the weather win, the heat beat me down sometimes when it shouldn't have.

I actually felt better on my long runs than just about any point this past winter - it's the shorter runs that I need to work on.

I'm discovering how much I need to hydrate before, during and after a run so that I'm not so miserable at various points during the week.

I also need to find more time to get in longer runs during the week so I can increase my overall mileage in August. I did get in 6 miles today for the final run of the month, but that needs to be the norm, not the exception.

I've commented in several social media posts how much running feels "new" to me this year. I've missed these feelings of highs and lows so much, and that roller coaster ride is hard to get used to.

It's not always great, and that's a good thing.

Now it's on to August as I set my sights on more running and hitting (hopefully) triple digits with my monthly mileage, along with long runs that I didn't even get to when I was training for the Blue Ridge Marathon.

I just need to focus on doing my own thing and it will happen ...

No. 1272

Over the past few years, my blog has taken a back seat for a variety of reasons, but generally speaking I didn’t have much good to say.

Now I’m in a really weird spot: running is going really well … and I don’t have all that much to say about it.

I kind of live a lot of my runs on Instagram …

And then move on.

Being happy to run, not feeling miserable and setting reasonable goals are things I’ve been seeking for a long time … I just didn’t realize it until now.

I don’t miss documenting all the things going on in my head and letting the world know, but it’s also comforting to know I still have this blog if I need it and other places on social media to go and vent.

About that next long run ...

These past few summers have been, well, pretty bad when it comes to running.

It’s gone a little like this:

2016: Injured

2017: Injured

2018: I got my long run back to 7 miles in July, but was miserable after. Instead of ramping up my mileage, I pretty much got stuck in a rut and didn’t run anything longer than 3-4 miles until later in the year.

That leads me to what should happen this coming Saturday: A run longer than 7 miles.

I ran 7 miles this weekend and didn’t feel horrible in the heat and humidity. I simply slowed to a pace that was incredibly slow and focused on getting it done. I also didn’t feel bad the rest of the day as I got rehydrated.

Summer running feels new again to me - it used to just be a thing I complained about, but now I’m looking forward to the challenges it brings.

While I hit a lot of my “longest since” milestones this past winter, my “longest since” marks this summer feel like they’re more important. After all, the last time I ran 10 miles or more in the heat was the summer of 2012.

I’ve got plans to build my long runs back up gradually this summer to distances that I admittedly struggled with in the winter and early spring … and then go even farther.

My body feels much more ready this time around …

137 days to go ...

This past winter while I was training for a marathon, I never really got into the training frame of mind that much. My approach was to just run more than what I was used to in the past couple of years.

Now that I’ve gotten through that and much more running than usual in the past six months, it’s REALLY time to step things up.

The Richmond Marathon is 137 days away (plus, several hours as I type this), and it feels FOREVER away.

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But I need that time to be in “official” training mode. I need to get my long runs back to double digits sooner rather than later. I need to get my weekly miles to 30 or more later this summer.

I also need time built in for weeks that life may throw things my way or if I’m not feeling well. I didn’t do that this past winter and it really impacted my training.

So today is day 1. This first week is all about setting a baseline to then build on for a few weeks, actually have recovery weeks and then just keep pushing myself to do more.

I’m not out to “just finish” this race. I will have a goal for it, although I don’t know just yet what that will be.

I just know that I’m ready …

2019 so far: Still doing my own thing

These past six months have easily been the best six months of running I’ve had in many years. All it took was a much more relaxed frame of mind with this attitude of “doing my own thing.”

When I first said that phrase last year, it was something that finally felt right with my running. For far too long, I cared way too much about what other people thought or had to say.

Every so often I have to filter out the noise from others who distract me and remind myself that I’m doing all this for me and making myself a better overall person.

Overall, though, this is working and will continue to be the way I approach running in the second half of 2019.

So by doing my own thing in the first half of the year, I have:

- Ran/walked/power hiked a marathon that I wasn’t really for.

- Ran the most miles in a 6-month period since 2012.

- Ran at the track for 9 straight weeks keeping most of the specific results to myself.

- Signed up for the Richmond Marathon this fall.

- Refocused on nutrition and lost a few pounds.

- Stopped hanging out so much on Twitter waiting for conversations to happen.

- Grew my hair out.

- ENJOYED RUNNING.

And that last point is what’s important. Running is fun most of the time. I like doing it. I don’t dread it at all. I haven’t been able to say that in a LONG time.

So now it’s on to July where my goal is to get back to marathon training, get my miles back up, get my long runs back to the teens and set a goal for November …