Thursday, September 4, 2014

Awesome August, Awful August

August. August gets a bad rep in the running world because of its weather. Hot. Humid. Muggy. Pop up thunderstorms. However, running a fall marathon demands August training, so it is a necessary evil. August had its share of awful moments for me, but I had some really great August moments, as well. Here's a summary.

The Stats
My August stats boast the highest monthly mileage and training hours I've ever accrued. Check it out:

Miles Run: 140.33
Runs: 15
Hours Run: 22:01:11.2
Average Run Distance: 9.36 mi.
Average Run Pace: 9:24.9
Average Run Duration: 1:28:04.7
Average Temperature: 68.7°F
Longest Run: 18.03 mi., August 23
Shortest Run: 3.00 mi., August 6
Favorite Run: August 2, 16.13 mi.
Trips To Gym: 4
Total 2014 Mileage: 773.10
Total Lifetime Mileage: 3,725.84

I ran over 140 miles, much of it before sunrise and in super muggy conditions, without getting injured in any way. Do you know me? Have we met? One hundred forty miles, UNINJURED. It's amazing. Awesome August.

The Injury
I didn't get injured, but dear Wendy did. On August 7, our orthopedist (yes, we share a doctor), put her on crutches due to a broken femur. Awful August. Three weeks later, tests revealed that Wendy's leg was not broken after all. Her "fracture" was a substantial nutrient vessel (haha), and she was cleared to run. Awesome August. However, the three weeks of rest did nothing to heal her or curb her pain, and doctors surmised and later confirmed that she has obturator nerve entrapment. She will need surgery and will not be able to run the entire Monumental Marathon course with me. Awful August.

The Long Lone Ranger
Post-Run Coffee with "Whitney"
When Wendy's injury took her out of the training game, I lost a running partner. Many of our friends have run with me; however, with the exception of Wendy's brother Wes, no one wants to run at o'dark thirty, and not even Wes likes to run that early on the weekend. That meant I would have to do two and three hour runs alone. It's not terrible to run long by oneself, but it's certainly more fun with a friend.

However, I've found that I enjoy listening to lectures and books on tape while running long. I've also had great success with my long runs, especially  a 16-miler on August 2 where I felt like I could run forever. Also, Wendy has made it a habit to be involved in my long runs, whether she takes me to a destination starting point or drives beside me while I run. We also get lunch/coffee afterward. Awesome August.

Back To School
School started. Awesome August. It's been hard on my voice. Awful August. My students are great, and I couldn't be more thrilled to be paired with them for a school year. Awesome August.

Cobbs +2
The Claude
Every year, Dad, Ed, Sam, Mac, Mike, and I play as a team in Otis Park's famous Claude Akins Classic Labor Day Scramble. (Mom is cheerleader.) It absolutely poured rain on us ALL DAY, and we didn't win. Awesome August. Hey-o, orange you glad I didn't say, "Awful August"? I truly had a good time losing in that monsoon. I love playing with my guys in The Claude every year. I recorded the stats from The Claude, too, and they're pretty funny to see.

August had lots of highs and lows, but I feel like it was mostly a positive month. I'm so happy with my running right now. Wendy is coaching me through a great training cycle, and Sam continues to keep my body in shape to endure the pavement (or trail) pounding. I look forward to every run, and tear off each run on my pull-tab chart with a good feeling of accomplishment. School is great, family is great, and all the other "Awful August" stuff will eventually resolve and become a memory. I can hardly wait for Super September and the fall days that will follow.

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