As I close out another month of traning I'd like to go back and review what went well, what didn't, and what the goals are going into the next month. Since I only started this blog halfway into July, this will be the first complete month of blogging I've done, which has allowed me to go back and carefully look at all of my experiences.
What went well:
First off, let's look at monthly mileage starting from the beginning of this year:
March: 109.97 (this is when I went running crazy and stupidly ignored the 10% rule)
April: 103.58 (and this is when my ignorance of that rule took its toll in the form of a knee injury)
May: 96.99 (tapering for my first half marathon + a week of vacation)
Overall I'm extremely pleased with that number. When I wrote my training plan for August I had only scheduled 171.5 miles, so considering that I clocked more than that, I'm not terribly upset at myself for not doing my 18 miler this past Sunday. It clearly was made up for (and then some) by sneaky extra miles during other weeks!
It's so interesting to look back and see what I have done previously. I remember in March I was so excited when I passed the 100 mile mark and even more thrilled when I landed at 109! Now it feels as if 100 miles is not a big deal anymore. As my sister said a week and half ago when we spontaneously (and indifferently) added on and extra mile to our 16 miler, "it's a strange thing when you realize how distance has become cheapened."
In addition to a generous increase in overall mileage, my improvements with speed went very well! Reintroducing speed work firmly into my plan at the end of July really paid off, and I found myself clocking some of my fastest times to date. This makes me a thousand times more confident going into my September races, which I had been feeling hesistant about.
I also really amped up my endurance this month, starting with several consectutive weekdays of doubles. By the end of the week I was exhausted, but since then I've had much better endurance and have responded very well to higher mileage weekdays and successive doubles. This all bodes extremely well for the marathon and future ultras!
What didn't go well:
So what (if anything) went wrong this month? Well, I immediately think of my calf strain that I suffered at the end of last week and how that impacted my weekend. As much as I am enjoying my new found speed, I need to be careful not to overdo it. I should really try to follow my own advice and take it easy.
As far as what else didn't go well, I think I had some trouble adjusting the mileage increases at the beginning of the month. It wasn't necessarily a huge percentile increase than the week before, but I started doing 16+ mile runs, and my Tuesday/Thursday runs increased from 6 to 7 miles. Even just those small adjustments took some getting used to.
Goals for September:
My current training plan for September has me hitting at least 190 miles. While for the past two months I have increased about 25 miles from the month before, in September I will keep my weekly mileage pretty consistant over the whole month. This is mostly due to the races that I will be running and the tapering that at least one will require. It would be great to get to 200 miles, but I'm not going to force it.
I have three races in three consecutive weekends: two 5ks with a half marathon in between. I've mentioned before that I am nervous about the half because I feel pressure to set a PR from my half in May. Every run makes me feel a little bit better though, and with the weather (finally!) cooling down, I know I will improve even more.
Grad school starts next week! Yikes, that was fast! I'm sure it will take me the entire month of September to get used to going to class four evenings a week in addition to all of the homework that will need to be done outside of those hours.
Got any goals for September?
I will close out this monthly review with a hilarious comparison that our dog walker pointed out to Mike and I in one of her notes one day this past month:
|Sophie the Bichon|
|Falcor the Dragon from The Neverending Story|
I guess I can see the resemblance!