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July 2018 in review

Total mileage for the month:  290.5 (in comparison:  January - 207, February - 254, March - 298, April - 307, May - 355, June - 232).  In July 2017 I ran 275 miles, and I was pleasantly surprised to be higher this year - I thought I was running less due to my Grandma's Marathon recovery phase.

  • June 25-July 1:  58.1
  • July 2-8:  58.7
  • July 9-15:  64.1
  • July 16-22:  67.8
  • July 23-29: 67.2 (vacation week and definitely the most volume I've ever run while on vacation, although I wish I'd had 70+!)
  • July 30-August 5:  projected at 72


After an extremely humid run


  • July 7:  Shuffle for the Shelter long 5K in 19:40 for 1st overall person.  The week before I ran a short 5K, and this one was long, so I guess it evens out, right?  I won a free massage so that mostly made up for the course being long.  I really called it in on the second half of the race, so this race/workout was really something like 1 mile at 10K pace, 1 mile at half marathon pace, 1 mile at marathon pace [face palm].
  • July 10:  Fleet Feet Track Meet 2 mile in 12:15 (1st female), 1 mile on the DMR in 5:59 (1st team), and a leg on the 4 x 100 m probably at half marathon pace also (2nd team no thanks to me).  This was a fun way to get in a sauna session track workout!
  • July 21:  Girls Just Wanna Run short 5K in 16:17/18:17 for 1st overall.  Maybe someday I will run an accurate 5K, but not in July 2018!  The lead cyclist cut 4 block off of this course.  I finished in 16:17, but they adjusted my time to account for the cut course by adding 2:00.  This was my final short summer race (whew!).


  • I don't start back to full workouts until August, but I had a bit of faster stuff this month.
  • July 4:  9 miles with 3 fast finish miles in 6:22, 6:26, 6:11 (the first 6 miles were progressive-ish as well, and my average for all 9 was 7:00 on the nose).  I was going to run a Firecracker 5K, but the logistics didn't work out, so I did the 3 mile fast finish on my mileage for the day "for fun" instead...and based on how I felt on those 3 miles, I was sure glad I hadn't raced a 5K!  I ended up running a 3 mile cool down, so this was a 12 mile medium long run.
  • July 10:  The Fleet Feet Track Meet 2 mile (6:07, 6:08) counts as my season opener tiny tempo!  Somehow I will work up to 10 miles at that pace over this season...which will definitely require it not being one million degrees. The 1 mile I ran after (5:59) counts as *bonus*!
  • July 21:  I was scheduled to do 3 miles progressive fast finish on the tail end of 10 miles, so I ran the Girls Just Want to Run race as a progression.  I was aiming for 6:20, 6:15, 6:10 (then sprint in), and my splits were 6:19, 6:16, 6:01 so I was very close to my goal, especially considering that the final split wasn't for a full mile (meaning I started off closer to 6:10 and then sprinted in once I saw the finish line).
  • July 24:  4 mile fartlek of 3' on/3' off (2.3 warm up, 2.4 cool down).  I ran this on vacation, and I love running on vacation but running fast while traveling is always a challenge for me, especially in unknown areas!  My push paces were: 5:50, 5:46, 5:43, 5:50, 5:54, and I was more than happy with that, because I don't think I'd have really run any faster at home.
  • July 28:  13.1 miles with 5 x 0.15 presses.  Technically I was scheduled to run 12 miles, but I also ran this on vacation and got back to my hotel at 12.8 so made it a half marathon.  The pick-ups were at the beginning of miles 7-11, and my paces on them were 5:59, 5:48, 5:58, 5:45, 5:48 (I was trying to keep them sub-6:00).  My average pace for the whole run was 7:17, and I was happy enough with that on the tail end of an exhilarating but exhausting trip.
  • July 30:  I had a mini-speed session during my second run, including 2 miles of 1'/1' fartlek (1.5 warm up, 1 cool down).  This was my first time having a little "work" within my second run of a double.  I ran 9.3 relaxed miles starting at 5:30 a.m. that morning, and then ran this workout at lunch starting at about 1:00 p.m.  My push paces were all over the place - ranging from 5:01-6:05 - making me suspect that my Garmin wasn't accurate when measuring pace for only 1:00 (I also ran under two underpasses, twice for each one, so I imagine that didn't help).  But the effort was there, and it was fun to do a little workout in my second run for the first time ever.
  • Doubles on July 10 (Fleet Feet track meet), 16, 19, and 30.  I did not run any doubles as I eased back into mileage at the beginning of the month or during our vacation week, but in August I'll have 2 a week again.
  • Strides on July 26, and before races and most workouts.
  • Full body strength workouts on July 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, and 29, and 5-10 minutes of core work most days.  I didn't do full strength sessions on July 21 or 25 as scheduled due to traveling, but I did 10-20 minutes of strength work creatively here and there (before and after runs, while waiting on everyone at rest stops, while waiting on everyone to go to dinner, etc.) and ended up with 100 minutes total for the week, which is just a little less than I average, so I felt like it was a victory.
  • Favorite workout:  I'll say the fartlek on July 24, mainly because I felt good running sub-6:00 pace and it was much better than the failed farleks that began my Grandma's build.  CIM 2018, I'm coming for you!

" Long" Runs/Medium Long Runs:

  • I think it's clear why "long" is in quotations this month, but I ran a lot of 10-12 milers.
  • July 1:  11 miles (7:20) for my first straight double digit run since Grandma's Marathon (I ran 10.4 miles on June 30, but it was split a bit into warm up, 5K, cool down).  I didn't have a structured training plan for the week that ended on this day, so when my friend Casey asked me to run while she was in town I told her I'd run whatever distance she wanted.  She said 8 miles, and she picked a course that was "about 8 miles", but I ended up at 10.6 miles when I got back to my house so tacked on a little more to get to 11...in retrospect I should have gone 12.
  • July 4:  12 miles, as described above in workouts.
  • July 7:  11 miles total with the Shuffle for the Shelter race in the middle.
  • July 12:  12 miles (7:23).  This was supposed to be 10 miles, and as per my season goals I ran a new route, which I was completely sure was going to be 10.2 miles.  It was actually 11.2 miles, and when I realized it was going to be long I doubled back to tell Rebecca (who I'd dragged on this new route with me) about my error, and when I got back to my car I was at 11.6 so just made it a 12!  I felt terrible because Rebecca had to text her boss that she was going to be late to work since we ran farther than planned, but she kept telling me it was not a big deal.
  • July 14:  12.4 miles (7:08), throwing in a MGP final mile (6:21).  I ran that final mile by feel (did not allow myself to look at my watch), trying to zero in on 6:17 effort and I was close!  This was a very hot, humid, and hilly long run.  We had 6 people start with our running group, but everyone was doing different distances.  I had company for about 8 miles.  Anytime someone said something about how oppressive the weather was or complained about the second loop that I took them on (which has some ridiculous climbs), I said, "That'll help your marathon".  I was the annoying person who felt good on this sauna-esque run.  Then I laughed really hard that I finished this run with a faster final mile than I ran at Shuffle for the Shelter race the week before.
  • July 18:  12 hilly miles (7:29).  This was another accidental 12 on a 10 mile day, as I was again exploring a new course (I am doing well on that season goal!) .  The route looked simple on a map because I just had to follow one road (which I knew how to get to) until I hit a highway (that I am also familiar with), which I would cross and then loop around on other roads that I was familiar with.  The one road I had to follow was very rural, curvy, and hilly, and at one fork in the road the street sign was bent over so was therefore no help at all.  I guessed which way my correct road went, and I guessed wrong, so I ended up running on the shoulder of a highway for 1.5 miles (not ideal!) to avoid making the route 15+ miles.  I got back to my house at 11.8 instead of 10.X, so I just went to 12 again.
  • July 21 - 10.6 miles with the Girls Just Wanna Run "5K" in the middle.
  • July 23 - 11.2 miles (7:28) in Florence, Kentucky.  It appeared that I'd have nice running options from our hotel, with a paved recreational trail just across the street, but, alas, it was less than a mile long.  I strung it together with some sidewalks for a 2.6 mile loop, then ran around a golf course cart path for a 1.4ish mile loop.  I then ran both of those loops in the opposite direction as I had the first time, and added a bunch of parking lot loops to get my distance in.  It was a hilly run (891 feet of elevation gain), and after finishing it I felt confident that I could run from about anywhere if I had to.
  • July 25 - 10.5 miles (7:38) in Niagara Falls, New York.  I ran from our hotel towards Lake Niagara hoping to find a running trail, and I did!  It was pretty and the distance I had scheduled took me just to the edge of Niagara Falls State Park.  I only saw 3 other people running the whole time I was on the path, which made me wonder if it was dangerous or something, because when I've run on paths like that in other cities they've been much more populated.  I carried my phone on all of my vacation runs just in case, and I never felt unsafe even if I should have.
  • July 26 - 10 miles (7:22) plus strides, for 10.8 total.  I drove 1.8 miles from my hotel to the running trail I'd found the day before so I could run farther on the trail, and was rewarded with a rainbow over Niagara Falls!  We'd walked all around the area in Niagara State Park, but running it was even better.
  • The line between medium long runs and "what I run every day" has again become non-existent, so I won't note these next month, especially because I had a lot of 9 milers this month that will doubtlessly be 10 milers soon.  #doubledigitseveryday
  • July 28:  13.1 miles, as described above in workouts.
  • Favorite long run:  The July 14 12.4 miler was the one that felt most effortless, but it's pretty hard to beat seeing a waterfall over Niagara Falls on July 26!




  • I received a sub-elite entry into the California International Marathon on December 2!  This is the same category of entry I received in 2017.  Since the race is the USATF National Marathon Championships again, an elite entry requires a 2:46:00 or faster marathon (or 1:18:00 or faster half), but as I learned last year, the elites and sub-elites share a starting corral, with separate corrals for men and women.  This is a really nice perk when every second counts, gun time!  I do not get to place bottles on the course like I did at Grandma's, so I will be back to stuffing 4 gels into my shorts while I attempt to get from Folsom to Sacramento 2:15 faster than I did last year.
  • I received an elite entry into the Indy Women's Half Marathon on September 29.  This is also the same entry I received there in 2017.  I figure this will be a nice checkpoint in my build to compare where I'm at to 2017...although at the same time I think I need to stop comparing everything to that season!
  • I ran two runs in Kansas City this month while there for work, and they were both pancake flat; I did not know flatness existed there but it's nice to know I no longer have to coordinate that work trip around workouts like I have been doing since that division opened 3+ years ago!
  • I have run every day since January 27, so I am still streaking.


I found this photo I'd never seen from July 2016 when looking

for online photos from a recent 5K.  Just keeping up my double-

chin racing form!  I also folded that bib number up like mad for

some reason, haha!


I got to meet up with Jessi for a run in KC

Life events:

  • 4th of July...Albani is more interested in setting things on fire than I'd like!  I missed out on most of the fun due to work; Jon and Albani went to Kansas for 3 days without me.  Truth be told, I went to bed at 8:00 p.m. and thanks to white noise slept through all fireworks!
  • We did several fun local weekend activities:  blueberry picking, the Christian County fair, farmer's markets...along with our usual weekend church, groceries, and library routines.
  • Albani spent a week at my parents' house, mostly being spoiled.
  • Summer vacation #2 happened (details and photos here).
  • Jon kept gardening, and I kept cooking and eating (you can find many food pics here)!


She did half of these on July 3


Black and Blue Berry Farm (we are growing both; Jon

wanted tips/secrets)


Her favorite part of the blueberry patch



Ducks at the fair


It doesn't get much cuter than a baby goat!


A tame & tolerant rabbit


Albani saw this with my mom; Jon & I

watched it while she was away


Grandparent activities are exhausting




At a YMCA waterpark



Kansas Cosmosphere




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Truly inspiring. I ran four miles this morning, but this bloop made me want to lace up and get some more miles in.

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Another great month! When I see "received" elite entry, I read it as EARNED. They don't just hand those things out.

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That track meet sounds like a lot of fun (and, a lot of racing). I sometimes miss the super fast stuff during marathon training. 

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I love reading your monthly recaps. They always inspire me to put in the work on whatever training I happen to be doing - which, this summer has been mostly strength training and working up the courage to invest in a spinning bike because I saw how much it increased my fitness this spring. 

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