Pressing On

Since the May 5th truck incident, I took some time off from racing, yet was able to keep logging “training” miles. I put training in quotes, as I don’t follow any plan, I just try to run regularly, at a steady pace, and enjoy it. Enjoyment of running, in Las Vegas, during summer, leads me to believe I may have some masochistic tendencies, at least in this realm of my life.

May was, at month’s end, the lowest mileage month of the year. It also took top spot for average temperature during runs, by one degree over April. I kept 4 miles as my shortest run, with a monthly average of 5 miles per run. Not too bad, for my background, anyway.

June ended up being a whole different animal. My monthly mileage dropped by nine miles over May, while the temperature jumped 16 degrees from May! My monthly average pace also jumped by nearly 45 seconds per mile. The spreadsheet I put together to track my running is definitely showing me the data I always tried to guesstimate in the past. Heat, as we all know, slows us down. It was not just heat keeping my miles down, my running partner had surgery on her knee, which lead me to take a few Monday’s off, allowing me to handle some things around the house that needed my attention.

Crossing over the year’s mid-point, July wrapped up as fourth most miles ran in 2014. It was a mere .99 miles short of being in the #3 spot. July is also where my hypothesis of heat causing me to slow down were called into question. With 42.5 miles ran in July, at an 8:49 average pace, I managed to bring my average DOWN by 31 seconds per mile! Of course, there were other factors involved, a few early morning, cooler weather 5k races, plus an overall reduction of the month’s average temperature by three degrees.

Additionally, researchers have stated higher temperature exercise causes the body to adjust the volume of blood, allowing for stronger efforts, in higher temperatures. This is akin to living in, or visiting, high altitudes. Increased red blood cell counts carry more oxygen, more oxygen transported to muscles in need, which allows people to run at a similar perceived effort.

August is now here, and my plan is to dramatically increase my mileage, in preparation for September and October. Both months have some races in store for me. September will have three halves in two weeks, two of them fall on the same day.

Cedar City’s Half Marathon on September 13 should be a good start to the half and greater race season before me. The big drop in elevation for the Cedar City Half Marathon course is one that I hope to take advantage of, propelling my body down the hill in a controlled, high speed descent.

Two weeks later, I’ll be taking on the Saints & Sinners Half Marathon at Lake Mead in the AM, and Calico Racing’s Twilight Red Rock Half Marathon in the PM.

Legs, don’t fail me now!

October will hold my second attempt at my first Ultra Marathon. Utah’s Goblin Valley 50k is calling to me! Not just because of the beautiful scenery, but also, some friends from Salt Lake City will be down to run the race and take photos in the park. It has been too long since we have seen each other, so I hope to take advantage of the opportunity!

Outside of running, equipment issues and outright failures have thrown entire toolboxes into the works of our side projects. Closing out previous commitments, and not taking on more projects is allowing me to focus on making tough decisions, working out longer-term plans for new ideas and existing projects. Changes are coming, it’s just a matter of how major the changes will end up being.

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