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July 2019 in Review

Total mileage for the month: 310

  • July 1-7: 53.3
  • July 8-14:  70.9
  • July 15-21:  81.1
  • July 22-28:  70.9
  • July 29-Aug. 4: projected at 84


My best photo of the month


  • July 13:  Sweatfest 2 mile in 11:38 and 10 mile in 1:06:16.  This race lived up to it's name, with temperatures of 80-85 degrees and a dew point of 76 degrees for the 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. starts.  I jumped in this one for fun and because the state records were weak in those distances, but I wasn't sure what to expect considering a) the weather, b) I'd done no workouts or long runs for 3 weeks, c) the racing when I'm usually sleeping thing, and d) running after eating 3 meals through the day when most of my runs are done fasted.  But I had a lot of fun!


  • July 5:  Light 8 mile progression run:  7:56, 7:44, 7:34, 7:24, 7:16, 7:07, 6:54, 6:38.  I love progression runs, and I really loved this one because it was pretty easy the whole way.  This week was still a marathon recovery week, so I had lower mileage and no true workouts.
  • July 9:  5 miles "moderate" (heart rate 145-154) in the middle of a 9 mile run on rolling hills - 6:54, 7:01, 7:08, 7:08, 7:01. Running this by heart rate instead of pace was neat because it corresponded with a pretty consistent grade-adjusted pace (all right around 7:00).  This was also not a true workout, but it was something different.
  • July 13:  The Sweatfest races were my first full-fledged workout after Grandma's!
  • July 16:  8 x 1:00 hill sprints, also known as the hardest 8:00 of running in my life (4.3 warm up with form drills, 3 cool down).  On our warm up, I told Rebecca, "It's only 8:00 of hard running" and later sure regretted that comment.  Rebecca ran these with me, which helped me tremendously because she has great speed and hill strength, and Sean and Jeff also ran hill workouts at the same time, so there was a party on this hill before 6 a.m.  We did reps 1-4 and 8 on one hill and reps 5-7 on a steeper hill (they are adjacent, in a bowl shape).  My grade-adjusted paces were 5:33, 5:26, 5:27, 5:23, 5:28, 5:30, 5:38, 5:40.  The steep hill is so difficult that 7:55 pace equates to 5:28 GAP.  I think this was supposed to be a "light stimulus" workout, but it was no joke.
  • July 18:  5 x (2 x 200 m, 200 m rec, 1 x 400 m) with 3:00 between sets (2.5 warm up, 2.5 cool down).  Whaaat?!  A workout like this is certainly my weakness, which is probably why I needed to do it!  My splits were 38, 38, 80, 37, 38, 81, 38, 38, 81, 38, 38, 80, 38, 38, 81, which was really solid for me.  My fast friend Rebecca ran this with me, which helped tremendously just like on July 16.  I felt like I lost about 10 lbs in sweat during this workout at 77*, dew point 74*, but it is easier to do a workout like this than a long tempo run in the heat.
  • July 22:  6 x 2:00 hills + 5 x 0:10 hills (4 warm up with form drills, 1.2 cool down).  My main take-away from this workout was that I like 2:00 hills a lot better than 1:00 hills. Maybe I just had a better day, but I didn't suffer nearly as much on this workout than on the July 16 hills - or maybe it was because I gained a lot from the July 16 hill repeats.  It was hard but not death!  My grade-adjusted paces were 5:45, 5:39, 5:39, 5:47, 5:45, 5:40 for the 2:00 repeats.  My 10 second sprints ranged from 4:20-5:01 grade-adjusted pace, although I doubt a Garmin is very accurate over that short of a distance (I had the durations programmed in so my watch would beep, so it took my splits too).  Rebecca ran this with me, and we compliment each other really well on workouts like this because she is faster/stronger at the beginning of the reps, and I am stronger at the end.  #bettertogether
  • July 25: 10 x 1:00 on/1:00 off after almost 5 miles of easy running.  Why is running hard for 1:00 so hard?!  My push paces were 5:39, 5:37, 5:20, 5:42, 5:41, 5:24, 5:38, 5:23, 5:45, 5:22, with the grade adjusted paces being around 5 seconds faster on most because I ran this on rolling roads.  I was solo for this one and definitely missed Rebecca!
  • July 29:  Broken miles track workout - 4 x (1000 m, 60 second jog, 600 m) with 3:30 recovery between sets.  I thought the pace goals my coach gave me were insane ambitious (3:31 and 2:03), but I figured out what my 200 m splits needed to be (42 on the 1000s and 41 on the 600s) and went for it!  Rebecca ran part of this with me.  When we started our warm up it was raining moderately hard, but it appeared that the storms would stay south of us.  By the time we started rep 1, the rain had lightened up and the only minor problem was soaked shoes.  I hit my 1000 in 3:31, splitting 42s the whole way, and my 600 in 2:03, splitting 41s the whole way.  I was really pumped about the 1000 especially, because just in April I was excited to break 3:40 in a 1000.  I also felt like I could maintain that pace for 4 more reps with walking/standing rest like we had, so I was excited!  We started the second 1000 and I was through the 200 in 42 and the 400 in 84 - spot on again.  Then the storm came!  For the second half of that 1000, the winds picked up (later I learned they were gusting to 40-50 mph) and the rain picked up so much that I could barely keep my eyes open as it pelted my face.  I managed to finish that one in 3:35, although I couldn't see my split at the time.  I then took the 60 second jog and managed a 2:09 600 m.  At that point Rebecca decided to run back to her car (we park about 1.5 miles away and run our warm up to the track), and I was left with the dilemma of what to do.  I was very invested in the workout and was too far in to move it to the following day, so I just kept going, even though I knew I wouldn't hit my times during the storm.  The third rep was the worst - wind, pouring rain, flooding on one curve of the track (I am now ready for a steeple chase water jump), and my shorts were so soaked I could barely keep them up.  But I put my head down and kept going!  That set was 3:52 and 2:14.  When I started the final set, it was still bad, but on the final lap of the 1000 it let up.  I managed 3:43 for that one and then got my final 600 almost back on pace with a 2:04 in light rain.  In hindsight, I should have stopped after rep 2 for 10-15 minutes and waited the worst of the storm out; I think I could have hit my times that way.  However, that would have probably made me late to work, and at the time I didn't have any way of knowing how long it would take for the storm to pass (my phone was 1.5 miles away in my car).  So it is what it is!  Based on how I felt at the beginning I think I could have hit the splits or come close throughout; I have a hard time getting out "too fast" in workouts because I don't have much speed...although this workout showed me I am improving on it!  I do not think I'd done a 2:48 800 m as an adult until this workout!
  • Doubles:  July 8, 11, 15, 16, 19, 21, 22, 23, 25, 29, 30, 31
  • Strides: July 3, 12, and at least a couple before all workouts and races
  • Strength work:  Weekly totals of 2:10, 1:18, 2:15, 2:05
  • Yoga on several occasions (weekly totals of 1:26, 1:20, 1:57, 1:25).  I started entering it into Strava but quickly forgot, much like with strength training.  But this was proof that if my coach tells me to do something, I do it!  I learned that I feel so good afterward, I actually like it...
  • Favorite workout:  I think I ran best on the July 22 hill repeats, but I actually kind of liked the July 18 track workout, at least after I'd finished it, haha!


This is how we feel about track workouts


Coaches Elise & Nora walk/ran & cheered us along on the track!


Warrior 2 pose



We didn't even plan this neon day, & we still

almost got hit by a car that didn't look before turning

Long Runs:

  • July 7: 10.2 miles (7:11) - my longest run that week, so I am counting it!  The middle 6 miles were "moderate" (6:50ish).
  • July 13:  16.5 miles total, with the Sweatfest races plus warm ups and cool downs.
  • July 20:  15.2 (7:45), with the goal of keeping my heart rate under 132 for the first half and under 144 on the second half, which equated to around 8:00 and 7:30 pace, respectively, in the heat.  I ran this chatting with Kristen and it flew by!
  • July 27:  15 miles (7:13) with Rebecca, Claudio, Kristen, and Paul.  My goal was to have my heart rate around 140, and I averaged 141 so I'd say I did well!  It was in the low 60s for this run, which felt amazing.
  • Favorite long run:  July 27, since it was in the low 60s and with great people!


July 27 long run crew (minus Paul)


Miles of smiles with these two!

Running highlights/thoughts/randomness:

  • If you don't subscribe to the Fast Women newsletter, you should.  It's a weekly goldmine or running news and links!
  • You should also follow Salty Running - hilarious and running-related!  Start with this article about Grandma's.
  • My coach's recap of Grandma's is here.
  • Another good Grandma's re-cap here, and I agree with her that although there were a ton of women who ran very fast, there were also a lot who didn't run nearly to their potential, and it's not really clear why (the sun did not help!).
  • We watched a lot of the Grandma's Marathon coverage video on YouTube.  I can be seen stumbling in finishing, being checked on my the mascot Grandma, and being grabbed up by two volunteers at about 4:41:35.
  • My fast friend Jessi was interviewed by a Kansas City new station after netting her OTQ at Grandma's (I even popped up in a photo that was shown).  Her story is pretty amazing!
  • Our running group continues to grow, with the addition of two fast women this month (marathon PRs of 3:01 and 2:55, chasing sub-3:00 and 2:45!).


Jessi & I attempting tree pose after a run in Kansas City



This arrived!


I'm on the left beginning to bend over



Grandma came to my rescue (I do not

remember her at all)

Life highlights/randomness: 

  • Jon and I had a low-key 4th of July at home with just the two of us, which was really nice with as busy as we've been.  Albani spent a few days with Jon's parents and lots of cousins.
  • We continued to sell Ibbetson Berries at the Farmer's Market - Jon and Albani sold on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and I helped on Saturdays and July 4.  We pay Albani hourly and she is saving half of her income for her first car in less than 5 years (!!).  She also has an emergency fund, per Dave Ramsey's advice.
  • After a month, our cats began loving each other, mostly.
  • We took a Saturday day trip to Rogers/Bentonville, Arkansas.  We attended the Hot Wheels Legends car show, which my parents were showing in.  We then went out to lunch with them and toured the Walmart museum before heading home that evening.
  • We also took a weekend trip to Southeast Kansas for my father-in-law's birthday celebration, which included lots of family fun and food.


This one loves her fireworks - she spent hard-

earned blackberry money on these


After much ado, our cats are now happy together


She is an amazing salesgirl


The washing machine is really fun to attack


My saleswoman skills don't match Albani's, but I took over on

July 4 when she was at her grandparents & I was off work


Dressed up to celebrate a friend's marriage


Week after the 4th sparklers


Nugget loves laying in bowls set out for garden picking


Albani got a new bike


Hot Wheels car show + hot weather


Hot Wheels car show


Walmart museum


The cats are friends now, mostly


Kittens and cousins in Kansas


My niece Iris and I coordinated outfits...


  • Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins
  •  As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner
  • Run by Ann Patchett
  • Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell
  • 26 Marathons by Meb Keflezighi
  • Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson 
  • The Daddy Diaries by Joshua Braff
  • Related:  I learned that an author that I really like, Elin Hilderbrand, runs 2 hours a day (RW article here)!

Theme of the month:

  • Sweat.  It was July in Missouri, after all.


This is our sweat pose


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I was wondering how the heart rate training was going - seems like it's going well! 
Do you think it has been helping? 

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On 8/2/2019 at 9:28 AM, CompulsiveRunner said:

Albani is creating a lot of fun summer memories. 

Or maybe I just take a lot of pictures, haha!  Or both!

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23 hours ago, eliz83 said:

I was wondering how the heart rate training was going - seems like it's going well! 
Do you think it has been helping? 

I wouldn't say that I am heart rate training, because only about 30% of my runs are HR-based - mostly my second runs are kept below 132 and then a few others runs I'll have a "limit" or a little higher goal for a moderate run.  Most of my easy runs are still effort-based, and all of my speed work and tempos are pace-based.

All that to say, I really like my current coach and believe her training overall is going well!

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On 8/3/2019 at 3:04 PM, SIbbetson said:


"Elin Hilderbrand, runs 2 hours a day"

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13 hours ago, Dave said:

"Elin Hilderbrand, runs 2 hours a day"

Oh, gotcha, haha!  I was thinking the comment pertained to me and was confused.  That's what the article said, although she also said it was "slow".

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On 8/3/2019 at 10:41 PM, DrWhiskers said:

I think the cats need their own monthly post 😎

I think you're right!  Maybe they could report on their monthly totals of napping, snuggling, wrestling, begging, and chasing each other around the house.

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