Since rekindling my love of running in 2011 (after having back surgery), I have meticulously logged every mile I've run in Runkeeper. I usually record my runs on my Garmin watch, but I then go back and manually add each to Runkeeper.
What can I say I like the Goal feature and the graphs. Oh my heaven the graphs! I am such a freakin' math nerd. Haha! I just can't get enough of setting custom timelines to see how many miles I logged during certain parts of my training cycle or busy work schedule, etc.
But I digress...
This post is about the last month of my running career and not about my fondness for Boston's own Runkeeper. ;)
While updating my #WOMSStreak excel document last week (yes I keep one of my monthly total since starting my run streak), I noticed that I would actually surpass 200 miles run IN A SINGLE MONTH in July 2016.
What the FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUU^^^^*****KKKKK????? ;)
Can you tell I was shocked?
Well it freakin' happened on July 30 with the day's 15-miler. Now I should've known it would happen since I ran a freakin 30-mile race (okay 29.89 mile) on July 9. But I was still in disbelief.
After logging my run on July 30, there is was - 203 miles for July staring back at me.
Little old me did that.
After my Olympic tri on Sunday, I officially ended July with 209.2 miles run.
For perspective: in all of 2011 I totaled 251.7 miles. I almost matched that in a single month.
Prior to July, my highest monthly mileage was 168 - set back in April of this year.
Looking back at my WOMSStreak data, I can't believe July also marked my 22nd-consecutive month of 100+ miles run.
Sometimes I get so caught up in the day to day runs, I forget all of those miles add up. Anyone else?
There were a lot of back-to-back long runs in the month of July that impacted this milestone.
July 9-10: 29.89 & 6.11
July 16-17: 12 & 8
July 23-24: 13.1 & 18
July 30-31: 15 & 6.2
If I had to sum up in bullet form what helped lead to me being able to put in miles each and every day of the month and some high mileage runs on the weekends, I would have to say:
1) Ice Baths
I did an ice bath after each run on Saturday and Sunday. I would be in there roughly 10 minutes each time. It was a time I arbitrarily came up with, but hey it worked so why not stick with it.
Ice baths are no fun so I perk them up with music, low-fat chocolate milk, coffee or beer! :)
2) Compression Socks
Oh friends I cannot tell you how much my life has improved since introducing compression into my life. Even in the hot and humid weather of July in New England, I wore my knee-high PRO Compression socks.
Because I knew my legs needed it.
Ever since I had back surgery in 2011, I have poor circulation in my left leg due to the sciatica. So the compression socks help the blood flow while running.
Additionally they help with muscle recovery. My legs felt great wearing them during the run, but also at night. I still can't imagine how much better they make my body feel.
3) KT Tape
Seriously it kept my knee protected and feeling comfortable through a lot of different terrains, hours of training and a ton of miles.
KT Tape has replaced the knee brace I used to wear when I first started running in 2005. It is more comfortable, more colorful and more durable.
Now it has left a little bit of a mark, but its worth it! ;)
4) Varying Pace & Fueling Properly
I didn't go 100% each and every run. Sometimes I can get caught up in the numbers on a run, but really this past month. I focused on the miles not the pace.
I am now REALLY good at tuning out my watch beep. I turn my watch face so it is on the inside of my wrist and I simply tune out the real watch and anything associated with it.
Changing who I ran with also helped me keep my pace varied and in check. Plus the heat was a huge factor in the month of July.
Since the big race I am training for is loops, I was focusing on getting used to loops and the repetition of it. I would use my house as the water stop. This allowed me to stop, get water/electrolytes, use the bathroom, etc. I didn't care how long I took at the stop as long as I left feeling good and ready to be back in the heat.
I am someone that has no problem stopping mid-run if it is going to help me feel better along the way and finish it feeling strong.
Plus for the first time ever, I took a real interest in my fueling (thanks Greg!). I have seen a huge difference in my energy level with constant fueling during the run (food and liquid-wise).
So I can't say one thing helped my mileage in July more than another. But if I had to say what helped the most, the four points above were that.
I am sure there are more, but those are the things that stick out in my mind.
Plus sparkle of course... we can NEVER forget about the sparkle!