Best ever? Not yet

Before I jump the gun and call July 2011 the best running month ever, I want to get through this entire training cycle first. I was ready last night to call this month the best ever, but what if next month is even better? There's a lot of running to do between now and Oct. 15, so what I want to do is take a moment to reflect on this month and then keep my eyes on the big prize -- the Baltimore Marathon. My goal is to not have "best ever" months, and I can certainly hand out the "best ever" awards later.

  • running, goalsI set two race PRs in the 5k and the 5 miler. I haven't had two race PRs in a calendar month in four years.
  • Overall, I'm a lot faster. Out of 22 runs, 12 of them were under a 9-minute mile pace. Last July I ran 20 times with just 5 of those runs under that pace. Up until the past few months, I haven't paid much attention to my everyday pace from an overall perspective. Now that I'm paying attention to it, I want to go faster. I really like my new slow.
  • One of those faster runs included a double-digit 10-mile training run in flat Ohio, definitely one of the best long runs I've ever had.
  • I ran down a mountain.
  • I did two doubles (running twice in a day).
  • I ran 122.5 miles -- the third highest mileage month ever, just 2.2 miles off September 2010. My highest mileage month was October 2007 when I ran 133  miles.

Looking ahead to August, I've established some mileage goals that I have never hit. Besides the mileage, I want to continue getting faster and stronger -- it's quality and quantity continuing to come together.

This week will be a cut-back week before what I am anticipating will be three very intense weeks. In two weeks I am running the Lynchburg Half Marathon. I will set a very specific goal for this race as I will treat it as a test of where I am physically. I am beginning to have some thoughts of what I want to do for Baltimore, but I need this race and the next several weeks to come together before I get specific about the marathon.

For the last full week of August I have written down a goal for something that I've never done -- 40 miles. All told I have a goal of 140 miles for the month. How I get to that number is much more important than just hitting that number.

I am embracing what I have put in front of me, but as always I will change my goals if I have to.

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net