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June Review & Reflections

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June 2019 in Review

Total mileage for the month: 252.1

  • May 27-June 2: 70.1 (2:03 strength training)
  • June 3-9:  77 (2:08 strength training)
  • June 10-16:  62.6 (1:44 strength training)
  • June 17-23:  51.7 (0:25 strength training)
  • June 24-30:  32.2 (0:30 strength training)


After my final little workout before Grandma's


Farm road running for the win


  • June 22:  Grandma's Marathon in 2:47:44.  While this wasn't a 2:45:00, it was my best marathon yet (30 seconds off my PR, on a slower course).  It's difficult to be upset about a 2:47, but it's also difficult to be content with a 2:47...lots of details here.


  • June 4:  2 x 2.5 mile tempos with 2:00 recovery in 5:56, 5:58, 2:56 / 6:02, 5:53, 2:57 (3.2 warm up, 3.6 cool down).  After a couple weeks of feeling weak on workouts (related to bronchitis), I felt strong again on this one and it was a much needed confidence-boost since workouts before the marathon were quickly winding down at this point!  My 5:57 average was my best tempo workout of the season, in 66* and 95%  humidity.
  • June 8:  6 miles at MGP, 1 mile tempo, 5 miles at MGP, 1 mile tempo (continuous; no recoveries) in 6:17, 6:13, 6:17, 6:13, 6:12, 6:12, 5:55, 6:15, 6:12, 6:12, 6:14, 6:12, 6:04 (then 5:57 pace for 0.11 because I had to run to 13.11!), with 2.2 warm up and 3 cool down.  This amounted to a 1:21:15 half marathon and I wrote about the details here.  I was thankful to almost hit this one; the final mile was supposed to be sub-6:00 so I came up 5 seconds short - but I averaged 6:13 on the MGP miles (supposed to be 6:15 this day, although 6:17 would do on marathon day!), so maybe it evened out.
  • June 10:  3 x 10:00 tempos with 2:00 recoveries in 5:57, 5:55 pace for 0.68, 5:55, 6:02 pace for 0.68, 5:56, 5:52 pace for 0.69 (2.2 warm up, 2.6 cool down, because I can't do math).  My goal pace on this one was 5:55-6:00 and my coach said "don't go any faster than 5:55!!" - so of course I planned to try to average 5:54, but I could still feel my June 8 workout on my legs so in the end I was happy to stay in my range. I think that was probably the point of this workout - getting some last-minute gains on tired legs - because I generally have 2-3 days between workouts instead of 1.  Probably the only reason I was able to stay within my range was because it was 61 degrees and only 67% humidity, but I'll take what I can get!
  • June 12:  2 x 2 mile tempos with 3:00 recovery in 6:05, 5:55 / 6:08, 5:55  (3.2 warm up, 2 cool down).  This workout was interesting because I felt super sluggish on the first miles of both repeats, and then strong on the second miles.  My goal pace again was 5:55-6:00, so I was slow on the first miles but it was good enough overall.  I always feel tired, "off", and sluggish at some point during my tapers, so I didn't let it bother me - plus this was my third workout in 5 days, which is very atypical (i.e., has never happened before), but as I mentioned above made sense as a final push in the final days to make gains.  During my 3:00 recovery I kept telling myself, "This is the final 2 miles at tempo of this training cycle!" to pump myself up to try to finish strong.
  • June 17:  3 x 0.75 "tempos" in 4:17 (5:44 pace), 4:12 (5:36 pace), 4:14 (5:40 pace) with full recoveries (which ended up being 2:25 and 3:02), 2.3 warm up, 2.2 cool down.  I had instructions to not run these faster than 5:55 pace, so I failed and they weren't a true tempo workout, but on the other hand this showed me that I can actually run 5:40ish pace for a bit.  It was a super short workout that got my legs turning over but didn't fatigue them.  I also blame/credit Rebecca's speediness plus the rain that was falling and making it difficult to see my watch for making me run these faster than tempo pace.
  • Doubles on June 3, 4, 5, 12
  • Strides on June 20, 21
  • Days off running:  June 18, 28
  • Favorite workout:  The 13.11 mile workout on June 8, hands down.  But I enjoyed all the tempo work too!  Mainly I'm glad there were no track workouts this month, hah.


Our new favorite post-long run/workout pose


#fastbraid for Rebecca & #sweatsoakedbun for me!


Better together



Long Runs:

  • June 1:  22.4 miles (7:29 / 2 fast finish in 6:22, 6:12).  I had 21 scheduled, so I ran 6 before meeting Rebecca, who wanted to do 15.  I wasn't sure if I'd be strong enough to run my final 2 at MGP (I was not quite back to 100% post-bronchitis), but in the end I eeked out 6:17 average exactly on them, although it wasn't easy!  As always, the fast finish made me wonder how I could ever run that pace for more than about 2 miles, hah.  I then jogged back to Rebecca and ran in with her, hence the 22.4 total.  Any excuse to run farther, right (sorry, coach!)?!
  • June 8:  18.3 miles total with a workout, detailed above and here.
  • June 14:  12.3 miles (7:26) for my last "long" run of the cycle.  I had this run on a Friday morning so ended up running it solo, and it was fine.  I often feel terrible when tapering, so to feel okay is winning in my book (I do not ever expect to feel good any more during marathon tapers)!
  • June 22:  The Marathon for a 27.4 mile day, counting the warm-up...plus my watch said I walked almost 6 miles!
  • Favorite long run:  June 1 is the clear choice since June 8 won favorite workout, June 22 won favorite race, and June 14 wasn't even long.


Final 20+ miler of this cycle - done!


I laid on the ground a lot this month


I still don't practice yoga, but friends are

trying to convince me...


  • I listened to this podcast about the Bill Snyder Highway Half Marathon.  They noted that of the 1,400+ runners in the race, only 1 participant negative split!  That made me feel a lot better about my positive split.  They interviewed the first overall male and second overall female, and both noted that the final 4ish miles were hot and hard, a sentiment everyone seemed to agree with, including me.  I was mentioned briefly in the podcast as well.
  • I remembered why tapering is not my favorite, but also that it really, truly works - marathon pace NEVER feels strong and smooth except on race day.


Missy can take a selfie while running!


My face is melting here


It's raining, it's pouring


Massage + cupping


Sooooo humid!

Life events:

  • We adopted a kitten!  More pictures here.  He and our established cat are slowly making friends (this is a whole blog post in itself!).
  • Albani and I attended an ABA BBQ that included water guns for kids (those were a major success).
  • We had company the second weekend of the month, my brother-in-law's family.
  • We did lots of gardening - "we" referring mostly to Jon and Albani!  We also began selling blackberries at a local farmers market on June 15, and have sold out every market (up to 150 quarts in 2 hours!).
  • Albani worked on her summer reading program through our public library, and I did the adult program.  We are enjoying our winnings!
  • I traveled to Minnesota and Wisconsin with my parents; an additional post is coming about vacationing before and after Grandma's Marathon.
  • Albani got her ear pierced.


So much cuteness


My best action shot


How we want to look


How we really look


Plus kids with water guns


Global running day tribute (also I ran that day, twice)


Loved this


Bandit is pretty kid-friendly


Our older guy deserves some photographs too!


We officially own cat furniture now


Not quite friends


First Farmers Market


Ear piercing excitement


It stings!


"I never wanted a little brother" - Bandit Ibbetson


They were playing here but Bandit looks evil!


Nugget has a lot of energy


My best shot

Books this month:

  • Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
  • The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
  • Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson
  • Beyond the Point by Claire Gibson
  • This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell
  • The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick
  • Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
  • Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins

Theme of the month:

Replace can't with maybe.  Most of the year I thought "I can't" about the 2:45 at Grandma's, but during my taper I thought "maybe".  "Maybe" didn't mean yes, but it was a step up from a hard no!

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Race day is so important, but less than everything leading up to it. What a valiant effort over the months of getting ready. It's been inspiring to watch.

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6 hours ago, Dave said:

Race day is so important, but less than everything leading up to it. What a valiant effort over the months of getting ready. It's been inspiring to watch.

You're too kind!  I have enjoyed every moment of it, and I am excited to do it all again.

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