Wait, really? August already?! I honestly feel like I was just typing out June’s monthly recap. I wish months like February would go this fast and it has less days to boot! Guess the nice weather makes time just flyyyyy. It’s like that Einstein quote
Put your hand on a hot burner for a minute and it feels like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour and it feels like a minute
Before I get into my recap I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who commented on my stressed out post. It was just one of those days where everything seemed to come crashing down. I really hate how all or nothing things can be sometimes. But I’m on the upswing and, while still very stressed out, there are some really amazing people in my real life ( as well as you guys in my blog life!) who really stepped up and took care of me when I needed it. 🙂
Since then I’ve taken *another* full length practice test. I actually took it on Saturday and it officially marks the end of everything I have to do with my course. Yippee. Now that in no way means that I’m done. I’m taking another practice test on Tuesday and still studying my butt off, but knowing that all the “have to”s are done is nice. The results of this past test were…interesting. Science scores are easy to keep boosting so I keep making great progress there but my Verbal score is pretty stagnant.
Not a bad thing per se (because I’m okay with the actual score if that’s what I get on test day) but it’s discouraging to not see tangible improvement. That said, I do have new study tactics that, while they haven’t been around long enough to pay dividends yet, I’m already feeling good about. After taking 5 practices I’m comfortable with the length of time it takes (aka I sit on my butt for 5.5 hours!) and the format (and hopefully the material too haha) but I need to work on my pacing in certain areas. Wow another parallel with my running! I think I can make anything related to my running haha (Again, sorry to dedicate so much space to the MCAT but it’s the most pressing thing on my mind right now.)
And the literal physical running has been going GREAT. Seriously seriously great. My average daily run paces continue to get fast while maintaining the easy effort that I’ve always been putting in. Some great stuff here. Part of it might be the *amazing* weather here in New England (would you hate me if I said the highs the past few days have only been in the upper 70s? It felt cold! And the lows have been in the upper40s. Ummmm I slept with a comforter to keep me warm) but I also know that the reduced mileage is a very large part of running fast and effortlessly too.
Speaking of….here is the month of July in review:
Week of June 28 – July 4
- 130.8 Miles
- 18 Hours 43 Minutes 36 Seconds
- 8:36 Pace
- 4X Core, 1X Lifting, 0 XT
Soooo about that whole cutting back? In fairness I didn’t realize that cutting back needed to happen until the very end of June so this week is inflated by that. This was also the week that I dominated that 5M. Woot. Way happy about that despite the mileage being so high. AKA the most miles I’ve run in a single week. Ever. Did I mention I’m not training for anything?
Week of July 5 – July 11
- 111.1 Miles
- 16 Hours 7 Minutes 25 Seconds
- 8:43 Pace
- 3X Core, 2X Lifting, 0 XT
Mmmmmhhhhmmmmm. So clearly I was lying to myself when I said July was going to start with a cut back! In fairness I did cut back the first 2 days of the month. Apparently, though, I picked right back up where I left off! While it was 20 miles less than the week before I don’t think it was nearly enough to really be considered cutting back. I do like how I managed to get to the gym to lift twice though.
Week of July 12 – July 18
- 59.6 Miles
- 8 Hours 48 Minutes 20 Seconds
- 8:52 Pace
- 1 Core, 0 Lifting, 0 XT
Hello Philly! As expected my mileage took a hit. Not that I’m complaining really: something needed to force me to stop running so darn much. I got to run with Flo which was a highlight of the trip and do some Philly exploring in the early hours of the morning. My pace was a bit slower than previous weeks but I’m okay with that because I was on vacay. I also dropped doing core work and have yet to start up again. Oops.
Week of July 19 – July 25
- 56.4 Miles
- 7 Hours 58 Minutes 59 Seconds
- 8:30 Pace
- 0 Core, 0 Lifting, 0 XT
Wowza to that pace. Another week of treating my legs better and the runs became even more fluid and fast. Unfortunately because all the runs looked the same (just easy going mid-distance stuff) I actually stopped writing down comments in my log book! So all I have is the raw numbers hahah. But suffice it to say I was probably pretty stoked to have that pace and I do remember looking at my watch after several runs and shaking my head in awe.
Week of July 26-August 1
- 60.0 Miles
- 8 Hours 23 Minutes 7 Seconds
- 8:23 Pace
- 0 Core, 0 Lifting, 0 XT
So my average pace keeps dropping? Pretty effing sweet. Since this week was pretty crazy in terms of studying (this was the week that I was just flooded with every little thing that could go wrong doing so) I don’t really have much to say about the runs themselves. Also goes back to what I’ve been saying all this week about my runs just being boring overall. Exciting stuff to look at in terms of trends, just not very fascinating day to day.
Month of July
- 354.5 Miles
- 50 Hours 54 Minutes 49 Seconds
- 8:37 Pace
Obviously not June. But that’s okay. In fact I’m a little shocked that my miles are as high as they are given how “low” the past 3 weeks have been. Guess everything is just relative. I’m also shocked (and SO PUMPED) at that monthly average pace. 8:37?! That’s a solid 7.0 on a TM. Hollllllllerrrrrrrrr.
I’m also happy that I was able to break the cycle of doing more-more-more. While I don’t think it was really hurting me, in hindsight I can definitely say that it wasn’t for the best. Maybe if I was training for a big huge long event. But I wasn’t. I’m still in search of a marathon for the late fall/winter so it’s very good that I’m backing off now if I end up ramping it up in the future.
So what’s next?
I know lots of you set goals at the beginnings of the month and whatnot. I’ve thought about that. And while I don’t have any concrete goals that I’m going to make sure I hit ( at least for running. Hello MCAT? Hello moving?) I do want to try and make speed work happen this month. I’ve lamented over and over how I’m not racing BUT there’s a race in NH (the half that I want to do with Lacey ) and then a 5k in Providence that I might want to do; I’ve been getting their emails since I ran it last year but haven’t seriously considered it yet ($$ being the issue). Not to mention the Tufts 10k in October. I want to smash some records this fall and planting the speed work rewards into my muscles now will likely pay off big.
Oh yeah. And some core + lifting might be a good thing too. Maybe today?
And I guess I do have a “wishy-washy” goal for this month too (aka a goal that’s not really concrete or tangible): chill the eff out. I’ve been so stressed that it’s been way hard for me to find time for myself. I’ve gotten better at it lately (reading, seeing friends) buttttt it’s something I’ll likely need to work on for the rest of my life. This month I am taking a vacay…well I was going to say next week but I leave on Thursday. So I’m leaving soon. That’ll be fun. And once my test is over and I’m moved my life might be introduced to this concept called fun again. It’ll be a good thing to be at a job and not have to be “on” 24/7 like I was at school. I’m definitely looking forward to that 🙂
Well this is getting long and I need to hit the books some more. But in terms of what I mean by “chill the eff out” here’s my new most favoritest picture that was taken on the Philly trip with the girls 🙂