July Recap & July Races

July was a bit more steady in terms of running. Even on a three week vacation I managed to get in regular runs. I love running when I travel because it gives me a new way to see the location. I enjoy looking up routes, checking out local running sites, and then mapping out a place to go. I started my vacation in Anchorage where Mr. and I ran the Boondocks Breakaway 5k.  It was a memorably difficult race as we’d arrived the day before and had Opening Night festivities with friends the evening before the race.

PicMonkey Collage

The Boondocks Breakaway 5k was through wilderness on a cross country skiing track in Kincade Park. It featured rolling hills and lots of twists and turns. It was a smallish crowd of maybe 50 runners and Mr. and I were certainly in the back third. The folks were kind and I won a door prize of an awesome waterbottle! While running we saw a moose right on the side of the trail. It was my first live moose sighting – pretty nuts how huge it was and Mr. tells me it wasn’t full grown. We got in one other run on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail while visiting and since we didn’t have a race photo (too distracted/hungover to remember to take one), we got this gem:

2015-07-14 10.55.52   After Alaska, I flew to Chicago where I got in a jaunt through my childhood neighborhood. Such fun to see the changes to the streets and houses while plodding along. My Dad’s garden was in fine summer form!

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Next, my dad and I drove to Iowa to see my sister and her family.  While there, I couldn’t pass up the Solon Beef Days 5k. Beef Days. Yup – I was cracking up when I heard about the race and it was a short drive from my sister’s house. It was quite the adjustment to run in the heat and humidity of Iowa summer. It felt like running through pudding the air was so thick and hot. My big sis was a champ and major kudos to Solon for having a rad trough. All I ever want to eat after a race now is watermelon. Perfect.

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While in Iowa my runner brother-in-law suggested a trail at Harvest Preserve.  It was a beautiful shady trail but ended up being half hike half run. There is an impressive sculpture collection at the Preserve so I kept stopping to check them out – also, I was clearly the first person there that day and had to contend with the plethora of spider webs across the trail. It was early, but hot and this pic is me with sun and sweat in my eyes.

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The final stop on my trip was the Philly area to visit my brother and sister-in-law. They live near a cool two path on the Delaware River so I made my way along that canal for a nice 5 miler while I was visiting. I tried to find a race in the area but the only options were a 45 min+ drive and I just didn’t want to loose that much time with family. The two path was half shady and nicely maintained. There were locals fishing in the canal, bikers riding by, and families walking with strollers. It was sparsely populated though so the run was quiet and beautiful.

While I am proud I continued to get some runs in while on vacation, I didn’t’ quite get in my full monthly mileage as I’d hoped. Still, I ran 24.7 miles in 5 different states and completed two more 5k races!

july

July Mileage: 24.7
Year-to-date Mileage: 206.7
Year-to-date Races: 10

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Cold Showers

I love cold showers.  Not freezing  cold, but quite chilly and brisk. I know that might make some of you cringe, but it is so refreshing – especially after coming home from a warm, humid, sticky, sweaty summer run.  In general, I like to shower and I like cooler rather than hot hot showers (although sometimes hot feels SO good).  I often shower twice a day just because. Getting into bed all clean makes me sleep better and helps me wash away the day’s worries and frustrations.  Combine that clean and renewed feeling with having just gone for a run and I am pretty much superwoman.

I went for a quick run yesterday and it was a steamy warm day.  It had rained through the morning and the afternoon warmth turned it in to a bit of a humid mess here in the evening.  Despite that, and perhaps with the motivation of escaping the banging above me from the roof repairs being done, I laced up and set out.  It was a short run day so I pushed myself to run just a little faster and I was happy with my effort afterward.

My ankle has been feeling a bit better so I even did this short jog without my ankle brace.  As it heels I’m giving it little tests here and there, but my longer runs and in races I’m still wearing the brace for good measure.  The bruising is gone but it is still a bit swollen (it’s been 11 weeks for those of you counting along with me) and there are some movements where I cringe and remember that it is not at full strength.  My patience is wearing thin, but my desire to be healthy and back at 100% is strong so I’ve been mostly behaving and taking good care of it!

Oh yea! I almost forgot! I was in Alaska last week! I’ll post about it later, but here is a preview for you to feast you eyes on: IMG_1967[1]