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Reviewing August

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August 2019 in Review

Total mileage for the month:  375.8 - new monthly mileage PR!

  • July 29-Aug. 4:  84.5
  • August 5-11:  87.3
  • August 12-18:  96.0 - new weekly mileage PR!
  • August 19-25:  88.1
  • August 26-Sep. 1:  69.2 - scheduled cut-back week


  • August 31:  Brookhaven 5K in 18:22 [splits of 5:48, 5:48, 5:59 (5:15 kick)] for 6th female (race recap coming).  Although not the time I was aiming for, Sarah Kiptoo came to the race to break the Oklahoma state 5K record (which came with a very nice $$ bonus) but came up 1:04 short on the warm humid morning, and Brooks Beast professional runner Hannah Fields was 3rd in 17:48, which made me feel better.  I never race well when the dew point is over 70!  Although a slower pace than my 10K PR, it was the fastest I've run in a certified road 5K (I've run 18:18 twice but neither were certified), so it could have been worse!


  • August 1:  2 x 3 miles "moderate" (heart rate 150, no higher than 155), with 1:00 between during an 8 mile run.  I hesitate to call this a workout, but it's faster than easy pace (although not hard, which I suppose is why it's called moderate, haha!).  My mile splits were 7:19, 6:58, 7:01, 6:51, 6:57, 6:50 and I averaged right at 150, peaking at 156.  The first mile was mostly up incline, which was why it was slower at the same HR.  I used to run 6:5X all of the time and call it easy because I can hold a conversation just fine at that pace, but I'm learning more about the different HR zones and just because a pace is slower than tempo and you can talk doesn't mean it is truly easy!
  • August 5:  12 x 30 sec hill repeats with wog (walk/jog) down the hill recoveries, within an 11 mile run.  I continue to be amazed at how much my legs can burn from such a short time period of hard running!  My grade-adjusted paces were 5:21, 5:02, 4:41, 5:05, 5:07, 5:18, 4:54, 4:51, 4:54, 4:49, 4:58, 5:03.  A good title for this workout would be "the longest 30 seconds of your life", but I can tell hills are making me stronger.
  • August 9:  5 x 1200 m in 4:09, 4:15, 4:19, 4:21, 4:23 with 3:00 recoveries (3 warm up with strides + drills, 2 cool down).  My target time was sub-4:10, which was insane ambitious.  Although my splits showed a solid regression, I was actually very excited about it because 1) I hit the insane target time for one rep, 2) I've developed enough speed to actually be able to start out too fast and fade on speed work (I used to be unable to get out too fast if I tried!), and 3) I split 2:46 and 2:47 for the 800 m splits on the first two reps, and I haven't run an 800 m in the 2:40s since high school!  I used to be really reaching to run an 800 m in the mid to low 2:50s, even though I've run a 10K at 5:50.  I also used to get pretty down on myself for not hitting my target times, but during this workout I embraced giving 100% of what I had that day and knowing that I was getting the benefits from it even if my times weren't as fast as they "should" be.  It was 72* and 98% humidity, which isn't ideal, but we have those conditions pretty much every morning during the summer so it was nothing unexpected.  Rebecca ran these with me and with no planning we ended up complimenting each other super well; she would get out faster and I'd be trailing for the first half of the rep, then I'd pull around her around the 600 mark and have a stronger second half.  Always better together!
  • August 13:  3 x (600 m, 30 sec, 600 m, 30 sec, 600 m) with 3:00 between sets (3.2 warm up, 3.6 cool down) in 2:07, 2:06, 2:08, 2:08, 2:08, 2:10, 2:11, 2:11, 2:11. This workout was in The Dew Point of Death (75*, air temp 78*) so I knew I'd need to adjust expectations and was happy enough with how it turned out.  I was also out of town for work and ran on a track I'd never been to before that was about 10 minutes from my hotel, without my usual track work buddy.  I've realized that I really struggle with negative splitting anything when it's humid out - as evidenced by my splits on every workout this month.  Also, I would never have written a workout for myself that only had 30 seconds of recovery...ironically on August 5, those 30" hill repeats were the longest 30" ever, and during this workout the recoveries were the shortest 30" of my life.
  • August 15:  8 mile wave tempo alternating 0.5 at tempo and 0.5 at MGP in paces of 5:56, 6:15, 5:55, 6:15, 6:04, 6:11, 6:03, 6:19, 6:05, 6:27, 5:58, 6:27, 6:08, 6:23, 6:21, 5:58 - 6:10 average for all 8 (2.3 warm up, 2.2 cool down).  I have wanted to run a workout like this ever since I saw others running them on Strava, and I have given similar tempos to friends to do when I've helped them with training schedules, so I was really excited when I saw it on my schedule.  It was sure a lot harder than running 8 miles at a steady 6:10 pace, that's for sure!  The weather was on my side for this one, at 64*/dew point 63*, but I still faded some towards the end, and from 7.0-7.5 could not get back down to tempo pace - but after a straight mile at 6:22 I was able to kick it back to tempo for the final 0.5.  This workout reminded me that one reason I love tempos and long races is because I get in a rhythm and stay there, which was not the case for this workout.
  • August 20:  3 x (800 m, 40 sec, 400 m, 40 sec, 800 m) with 3:00 between sets in 2:51, 1:22, 2:50 / 2:50, 1:22, 2:50 / 2:52, 1:24, 2:53 (3.1 warm up with strides + drills, 3.6 cool down).  It was "only" 73*, dew point 71* for this workout, and Rebecca and Scotty helped push me during it.  Although I wished I could have kept the final set at 2:50/1:22, I was pleased with these results because they are much faster than I used to run 400s and 800s, with very little recovery within the sets.  I've started looking forward to track workouts - they used to be my least favorite, but seeing improvements in my speed this summer has been very rewarding!
  • August 24:  5 warm up, 4 at 6:25 (actual 6:22, 6:22, 6:19, 6:21), 4:00 recovery, 3 at 6:20 (actual 6:20, 6:14, 6:14), 3:00 recovery, 2 at 6:10 (actual 6:09, 6:05), 2:00 recovery, 1 at sub-6:00 (actual 5:55), 4ish cool down to 20.3 miles.  I love workouts like this and it did not disappoint!  I felt really strong, although I had to push to get that final mile under 6.  Rebecca ran the warm up and 4 mile tempo with me, and it was 66 degrees, which almost felt cold.  This was my best-fueled workout of the month, as I had Generation Ucan and nuun energy before, and nuun energy and an Accel gel during.
  • August 27:  5 x 1000 m with 3:00 walking recoveries + 4 x 200 m with 200 m jogging recoveries in 3:33, 3:34, 3:39, 3:42, 3:41 / 0:39, 0:40, 0:40, 0:41 (3.5 warm up with strides + drills, 3.1 cool down).  This was just not my day!  I had a very stressful day at work the day before and woke up with a headache after getting minimal sleep the night before.  If I hadn't been racing on Saturday I'd have bumped this workout back a day, but I just did the best I could with what I had!  I ran this one solo, which is always much harder for me on track work, and it was 71*, dew point 70*.
  • Doubles:  August 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 15, 16, 20, 21, 23, 27, 29
  • Strides: August 7, 30, and at least a couple before all workouts and races.
  • Strength work:  Weekly totals of 2:26, 2:08, 2:00, 2:27, 0:58
  • Yoga:  Weekly totals of 1:05, 1:00, 1:10, 0:34, 0:30
  • Favorite workout:  The August 15 wave tempo, since I've wanted to try one for so long!  August 20's track workout was a close second though...and you guessed it, I counted the August 24 workout as my favorite long run.


Post-run tree pose


Happy people who nailed 800s & 400s during a heat advisory


Rainy run

Long Runs:

  • August 3:  17.1 miles (7:30).  Another enjoyable easy long run!  Kristen and Rebecca ran this with me (Kristen all 17 and Rebecca 15), and it flew by.  I was supposed to keep my heart rate under 132 for the first half, and was close at about 135 (which meant around 7:40 pace); then for the second half I was allowed to go up to 145 and maintained about 142 (which meant about 7:20 pace).  Heart rate is so interesting!  It was 72 degrees and 100% humidity, much like every summer morning in Missouri, and I have no shame running with a Fuel Belt on easy long runs so that I can drink along the way.
  • August 10:  18.2 miles (7:16).  I felt a lot better than I expected on this run, which is always a nice surprise!  I'd run a track workout the day before and it was HUMID, but it was smooth for the most part (I did get hungry at the end!).  I let Kristen set the pace because she had specific pace goals and mine was just "easy", we talked the whole way, and the miles passed quickly.
  • August 17:  20.3 miles easy (7:49).  I was glad this one was easy by feel - my legs were quite tired en route to my weekly mileage PR for the week, in addition to the August 13 track workout and August 15 tempo, not to mention work travel and getting up at 4:30 a.m. 4 days this week.  I mention all of those things because I sure felt them during this run, oy.  I ran most of the mileage with Rebecca and Casey, which was awesome as always and I'm glad no one was pushing the pace.
  • August 24:  20.3 mile workout, described above.  Oddly enough I think this was easier than the easy 20 the week before.
  • August 31:  12.2 miles with the Brookhaven 5K (yes, I did a 6 mile cool down, oy), and then I had 15 miles on September 1.
  • Favorite long run:  August 24!


After my favorite long run!

Running highlights/thoughts/randomness:

  • Humidity is the poor man's altitude training!  I really don't mind training in it, but I loathe racing in it.  I look to information like this for comfort, but what really feels good is when times drop in the fall!
  • I enjoyed this post on an Audience of One. 
  • This, which was linked in the Fast Women newsletter this month.  My favorite sentence:  "The race is simply each of you seeking your absolute best with the help of each other."


How we feel about a dew point of 76*

Life highlights/randomness: 

  • The first weekend of the month included back to school shopping.
  • The second weekend we attended a wedding.
  • Albani started 6th grade! 
  • I also started school - teaching again as an adjunct at Missouri State.
  • We went to Silver Dollar City with family the third weekend.  Since this is a running blog I also have to point out that I ran 20 miles before the excursions. #poortiming
  • The last weekend of the month we went to the Oklahoma City area for a Labor Day getaway and so I could run the Brookhaven 5K (Friday and Saturday in this adventure were in August, while Sunday and Monday were in September, so more photos are coming in next month's post...).


After middle school orientation




1st day of 6th grade!


Traditional pick-up photo - Albani unhappy about

my sweatiness (her bus comes at 6:45 a.m.!)


Traditional Bandit photo


Ready for our day at Silver Dollar City


Quick photo after they took the one they wanted to sell us


Tired baby


Soaking wet children


My first day of school!

Myriad Botanical Gardens
Henry Overhoaster Mansion
Myriad Botanical Gardens


  • Let Your Mind Run by Deena Kastor 
  • Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld
  • Meb for Mortals by Meb Keflezighi
  • The Joy Project by Tony Reinke
  • Night by Elie Wiesel
  • Lottery by Patricia Wood
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • What Made Maddy Run by Kate Fagan

Theme of the month:

Summer of speed - because did you see all those track workouts I did?  Plus I raced a 5K - enough said.

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"the longest 30 seconds of your life" made me literally LOL - funny how the opposite can also be true if there is only 30 seconds of recovery! I had a workout last week where the work time got longer and the rest time got shorter and by 30 seconds, I was wondering if our coach was counting properly (he was). 

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