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The Loop

Jumping July



July 2020 in review!

Total mileage for the month: 290.3
  • June 29-July 5: 62.2
  • July 6-12:  71
  • July 13-19:  60.7
  • July 20-26:  75.0
  • July 27-Aug. 2:  projected at 64, and I noticed my weekly mileage totals illustrate that I've been taking a day off every other week
  • July 9:  6 x 2:00 hill repeats within a 9.11 mile run (yes, the 911 was on purpose!).  This was Christian's workout and the type I never run on my own accord, meaning that it's good for me because it addresses my weaknesses.  Nothing like trying to keep up with a couple of 24 year olds on a hill to get the heart pumping!  I miss the GAP feature on Strava (now only on the paid version), but this was a good effort for me, and I kept up with the ladies who were recently running in college, so I'm calling it a win.
  • July 14:  5 mile tempo at 6:45 average via 6:42, 6:49, 6:36, 6:41, 6:56 (2 warm up, 2 cool down).  Christian had a 5 mile tempo at 6:45-6:50 so I decided to go for it, even though I really had no idea if I could run it.  It felt really good and not very hard for the first half, then I think we got a little too ambitious on mile 3, and mile 4 was harder, then suddenly mile 5 was quite a struggle (for me, she finished strong!).  It was unlike tempos feel when I'm in good shape; usually on those the first mile or two is the worst and then I find a groove and finish with my fastest mile.  As I was fighting to stay under 7:00 during mile 5, I started thinking, "I used to fight to stay under 6:00 (!!)."  I really have no idea how I used to run tempos so fast.  But, for being back to running for 6 weeks and not having run any miles under 7:00 before this workout, I was happy to run my 1st through 5th sub-7:00 miles back consecutively.
  • July 16:  5 miles easy, 10 x 1:00 moderate/1:00 easy, cool down to 9 miles.  I helped my friend Amy with a starter workout and I ended up feeling really good on the pushes, which averaged about 6:30 pace.  I would have guessed they were more like 7:00 pace, so things are feeling smoother.
  • July 21:  6 x 1 mile tempos with 1:00 recoveries in 6:22, 6:28, 6:18, 6:22, 6:27, 6:34 - average 6:25 (2.2 warm up, 2 cool down).  Christian had this workout with a goal pace of 6:30-6:35, but we got out a little fast and then it changed to try to stay under 6:30.  I felt good for 4, then 5 was a stretch and 6 was a struggle.  Christian is in one rep better shape than me (we were together for 1-5 but her last mile was 6:20, like the July 14 workout where we were together for 4 miles but she finished strong and I died on the last mile) so it's really helpful for me to run workouts with her!  I couldn't have run this on my own.
  • July 23:  Fartlek of 3 x 3' on/90" off/2' on/1' off/1' on/30" off (2 warm up, 5.3 cool down - the farlek covered 3.7 miles so it was an 11 mile day).  This was, again, Christian's workout that she was kind enough to drag me along for - she says I'm helping her but she is definitely in better shape than me and I mostly hang on!  It's been really good for me to get some speed back.  This was a nice effort-based relatively short workout.  Our push paces ranged from 6:01-6:27.  Afterward I told Amy I wanted to run 4 more miles so she took me out for 5...
  • July 28:  3 easy, 3 moderate in 6:58, 7:01, 6:54, 4 easy.  Missy asked me to do 4 miles sub-7:00 with her but I stopped at 3 (plus 2 wasn't even sub-7:00) - which is the beauty of not having a training schedule I guess, but I was not feeling it on this run.  Our third warm up mile was 7:33 and that already felt hard so I knew I was in trouble.  In hindsight I think I did a bit too much the previous week, so live and learn!  The weather was also atrocious, but that was the case for every run this month so I did not even note it (dew points of 70-76*).
  • Strides or hill strides on July 2, 4, 7, 13, 18, 20, 27.
  • No running doubles this month.  It's possible that 75 miles is the highest weekly mileage I've done in singles only, and if not it's close.
  • Biking:  I biked on July 5 and 19, and to and from running group several times.
  • Elliptigo-ing:  My elliptigo arrived on July 23.  I rode it as double on July 23, 27, 30, and on July 29 for a day off running.  I'm not good enough on it yet to get my heart rate up to where I need to, but I'm improving each ride.  I think it's like running about half the distance, e.g., an 8 mile elliptigo ride is like a 4 mile run.  The website said that most people don't use all 8 gears, but riding in the Ozarks I definitely need them all!
  • Strength Training:  1:55, 2:01, 2:16, 1:45.
  • Yoga:  1:05, 1:25, 1:10, 1:30.
My first ElliptiGo ride
Long Runs:
  • July 3 - 15 miles (8:18). This was a hot, humid, hilly, breakfast run!  A Friday long run worked best for most of our running group this week, so we ran long a day earlier and then had breakfast at First Watch after.  I'd planned to do a light progression in the final 5 miles - dropping about 10 seconds per mile (something like 8:10, 8:00, 7:50, 7:40, 7:30), but at mile 10 when we were facing 3.5 miles of net uphill and I'd sweated out more fluid than anyone should, I decided I didn't really need to do that!  Everyone ran slightly different distances, but the group included Sean, Sierra, Christian, Rebecca, and Elise.
  • July 11:  16.2 miles (8:04).  I only planned to run 15 so the extra mile shows I was feeling good - I got faster/stronger throughout and my final 7 miles were in the 7's or very close (e.g., 8:01), keeping it easy - this was also the first time I saw 7:30ish miles (the final 2) with my heart rate truly in an easy zone during this return.  I ran 3 miles solo, 9 with Christian and Sierra (they had a cut-back week), then 4 solo.
  • July 17:  13 miles (7:46) on a Friday long run.  I was thrilled with this one because it was the effort level that just 4 weeks previously got me about 8:30 pace!  I ran with Missy chatting the whole time and didn't realize that we were staying around 7:45 pace until I stopped my watch at the end.  This was my first cut-back week since I started running again at the beginning of June - I built for 6 weeks then took the 7th week down, which is probably a little too much, but I am calling it a win because in the past I wouldn't have taken any weeks down when not being coached.
  • July 25:  15 miles (8:00) on the Bass Pro half marathon course, kind of as part of the Bass Pro Recycle Run.  Our group of Rebecca, Christian, Sierra, and Colin and decided to run the half course (which is also 13.1 miles of the full course) for those in the group training for Bass Pro who haven't run it before.  We all got goodies and snacks afterward!  Will the Bass Pro Marathon weekend actually happen?  Kind of doubtful.  Will I run one of the races if it does?  Likely.
Running Highlights:
  • My running group did Jumping July photos almost every day!  We decided that Jumping January wasn't enough for the year.  I included almost all of them in this post.
  • I ran my first 7-day week back July 6-12, and I was proud of myself for waiting that long.  The following week I took a day off, then another 7 day week July 20-26.  A day off every other week for me may be a good spot right now, but in August I will let my coach decide!
  • I enjoyed this article, about time trial PRs and whether they "count".  I'm not in a position for this to be an issue (there is not enough GPS error in the world for me to PR at the moment!), but I've seen a lot of people run really fast time trials during COVID-19 and I think it's awesome!  Personally, I would not count a time trial PR unless it was run on a track with manual splits, or if I could run a certified road course exactly (which would be difficult).  I see people using GPS on the track and shake my head...a 5k is 12.5 laps, not 11.7 no matter what your Garmin says!  On a straight course GPSs can be really close or even right on, but you just don't know the margin of error that day.  You may have actually run faster than your watch says too!  In the big scheme of things I also think if it makes someone happy right now then so be it, but you're setting yourself up for future disappointment by running (for example) 50 laps on the track and calling it a half marathon PR.  But my favorite parts of the article was that the author mentioned that really every PR has an asterisk - whether it was perfect weather, a fast course, a great pace group, etc. - and a contributor mentioned that he always figured he could actually run 1-2% faster than his PR since there is always something not quite ideal about race day.  I agree with both of these so much! 
Life Highlights
  • Our garden thrived this month, producing tomatoes (several varieties), peppers (several varieties), eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, okra, cucumbers, and lots of blackberries.
  • Since no one is taking real vacations this year, we have had family visitors instead.  My brother-in-law's family stayed with us for almost 3 weeks, and my parents visited for 4 days this month.   I didn't do much with my brother-in-law's family because I was in quarantine most of the time they were here (after a firsthand COVID exposure, but it was outdoors and I was fine), but Albani and Jon did some fun outdoor activities with them (zoo, farmers market, etc.).  We took my parents to Dogwood Canyon and made a day of grilling out at home another day, plus lots of board and card games.
Savasana, or corpse pose
Nugget got sprayed by a skunk this month,
& this was how he felt about the hydrogen
peroxide, baking soda, & Dawn bath
Latest cross-stitch
Dogwood Canyon
About half of our butternut & spaghetti
squash harvest!
  • Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb
  • Someone We Know by Shari Lapenda
  • An Anonymous Girl by Grer Hendricks
  • The Turn the Key by Ruth Ware
  • Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond
  • The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games #0) by Suzanne Collins
  • I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb
  • Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
  • Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together by Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Vincent
  • Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller
Theme for the month:
Different goals.  I'm not going to run a yearly mileage PR because I had to take 15.5 weeks off, but my goal is to run 2020 miles in 2020.  I did the math on what this would take - averaging 54 mpw from here on, which is very doable as long as I stay healthy.  I also was inspired by my friend Liz's recent virtual half to set the goal of running a 1:25 half this fall.  I have run every time between 1:20-1:29 (most multiple times) except for 1:25!  What makes this ironic is that I had the goal of running a 1:25 for years, but then I ran a 1:24 and that was that.  After my time off that also seems do-able, whereas PRing in the half does not.  People who run really fast off of cross-training, I salute you, but I am sure not one of you!
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Zero book matches this month.

Think I mentioned that my view on PRs is the same as yours also. And really, unless you're in an official, competitive group that tracks these things, I'm not sure it really makes any difference. If you say your PR is ##, what business is it of mine to say whether it's legit? You worked hard and ran hard and have some numbers you feel good about. Everybody wins. Not that I'm planning on any PRs again, unless I asterisk them all with AGs.

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On 8/2/2020 at 6:44 AM, Dave said:

Not that I'm planning on any PRs again, unless I asterisk them all with AGs.

that's still a PR..
personally I just switched to triathlon when I couldn't PR a run anymore 😉
but that turned out not to be sustainable..
so, swimming !  ha. 


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2 hours ago, doug in co said:

that's still a PR..
personally I just switched to triathlon when I couldn't PR a run anymore 😉
but that turned out not to be sustainable..
so, swimming !  ha. 


I'm confident I'd rather never PR again than take up swimming! 😂

  • Haha 1
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On 8/2/2020 at 7:44 AM, Dave said:

Zero book matches this month.

Think I mentioned that my view on PRs is the same as yours also. And really, unless you're in an official, competitive group that tracks these things, I'm not sure it really makes any difference. If you say your PR is ##, what business is it of mine to say whether it's legit? You worked hard and ran hard and have some numbers you feel good about. Everybody wins. Not that I'm planning on any PRs again, unless I asterisk them all with AGs.

It shouldn't bug me when people count fake PRs, but for some reason it does!

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It sounds like you’re having a lot of fun.  Fast runs!  Friends and family!  Friendly pets!  Good work young lady.

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Curious how the 6 x hill repeats were run during the 7/9 workout and how that addressed a weakness?  There's a workout I use in the later part of marathon training:  2 mile warm up, 8 x 60 second hill repeats, stand still for 3 minutes (to get the heavy legs feeling going), then 4 miles at GMP on those heavy legs.  The work out is expected to simulate the way the legs feel after mile 20-22.  Is the 7/9 work out designed for a similar purpose?  A different weakness?  Can't help it... I'm a sucker for details and reasoning. 

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