Let’s get one thing straight; I live in South Texas, where prolonged heat is a way of life. We basically have 2 seasons. Hot, and slightly less hot. There’s a roughly 6-week window where it’s pretty cold in the mornings, but other than that I am used to logging miles in the warmer weather. That is one of the reasons I wake up at 5:00 am and try to be out the door by 5:30. If I’m going on a 10k run, a 5:30 start time means I’ll barely see the sun rise in the summer months. Longer ones will still wrap up before the sun is too high. This is just how I do it. So to say July is for runners, knowing that I live in Texas, is a bit comical.
July 2017 was definitely my month as it pertains to running. I last wrote about an unintentional 10k PR that I set early on in the month (July 6th.) This fueled my drive to push harder and discipline myself more than I had the first half of 2017. Five days later I broke that PR by 1:37. I started the month coming off of a 66-mile month, which after a slow start to the year, was my highest mileage of 2017. My goal for July was to get to 75 miles, which would’ve been my 2nd highest since I started running. Halfway through the month, I was way ahead of pace. I ended up finishing July at 103 miles. This was my first voyage over 100 miles in a month. I also happened to set a 5k PR last week in Little Rock, AR. We took our church youth group to a conference in Indianapolis, so I got to enjoy some new running scenery in Memphis, Indy, and Little Rock. I enjoyed the change of pace and scene. We strategically placed our hotels in Memphis and Little Rock near popular running routes. The Little Rock route had some incline over bridges and even some stairs, so it’s kind of crazy that I was able to set a PR. I felt great. I was a little tired from the travel from Indy that day, but overall everything clicked. My friend Ethan also broke his 5k PR.
Additionally, July was the month for my long awaited redemption run at El Chupacabra. If you read my recap of the 2016 edition of the race, you know that I experienced a lot of frustration and setbacks. So when July 21 rolled around this year, I felt ready. I had finally purchased trail shoes to protect me a bit more from the rough(er) terrain, and I was in better shape than I was in 2016. I also brought along 4 friends, 3 of whom are pictured below. That added to the excitement and competitiveness of the run. I set out with a goal of 55 minutes and a top five placement in my age group. I ended up finishing in 1:00:14, which granted me a 4th place finish in my age group (25-29,) and 29th overall. Ethan also ran and finished 6th in our age group. I absolutely could’ve run better, but overall I am happy with my results. I started WAY too fast, keeping up with my friend Dale for the first mile and a half. That was a bad choice. At one point we were 1st and 2nd and I didn’t really have any business being up there. It wasn’t sustainable. Oh well. Lesson learned. I’m taking a restful week this week, with low, slow miles. Training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon begins on Monday the 14th! Next week we are working a youth camp and my running time will be non-existent. I hope to get some swimming in as cross training. I keep this page updated with my training progress, and I still plan to post about RnR 2016.