Not half bad: July by the numbers

Well, I did it. I finally managed the half-marathon distance that I have been planning for a few months now. And it wasn’t a half-bad time, given my lack of training and the overall conditions for my run. Indeed, the whole of July wasn’t half-bad, number-wise.

My half-marathon plans for the year had originally included running 3-4 organised races to smash out a new personal best finishing time. I had intended to run my first race in April, but that race was cancelled postponed indefinitely along with pretty much all races around the world. I didn’t want that to stop me though, so I decided I would run my own races.

Frustratingly, as I was ramping up to run my first “race” at the end of May, I pulled a muscle so had to back off a bit. (Worse, I pulled it towards the end of a 12-mile run. I was so close!!) It took most of June to get back to the longer runs and then come July I was busy with work and enjoying long walks on the weekends. But I knew I needed to get that first half-marathon in before the end of July if I was going to have any chance of reaching my goals.

I also had a July goal of running 100 miles, which I realised could only be done if I ran a half-marathon. And with time running out (pun intended!) I knew I would have to run that on the 31st. Only that meant running 13.1 miles on a workday which isn’t ideal.

And so, I took the day off work so that I could run. It seemed like the sensible thing to do. Even more so since I have been working at my new job since 30 March (four months!) and hadn’t had a day off. (I really must book a proper holiday soon!)

Despite my best intentions, I didn’t get out to start my run until nearly 8.30 am – 90 minutes later than intended. Unfortunately, that meant it was really starting to get warm by the point (hottest day of the year so far!) which meant more water would be needed. I had prepared for that by planning a route that would bring me back by the cottage after 7 miles. I left a small bottle of frozen water on the fence to collect on the way past and, as hoped, it had half defrosted by the time I grabbed it. Sadly, the bottle wasn’t really fit for the job and leaked quite a bit which meant that I had to be rather judicial in my hydration. Given the heat, I really could have used more water. But I managed to make it. (And will order a second “good” running water bottle for next time.)

There was a point early in the second leg of the run where I thought I might finish within seconds of my mid-goal time. But as I continued, I realised that I wouldn’t be able to do it safely because it would exert too much energy for the amount of water I had with me. So, I slowed my pace with the knowledge that I would still make my general goal time for this run on this day.

Overall, my first half-marathon of the year was quite good and very encouraging. It didn’t really feel like a “race” without all the cheerers, but that’s a feeling I will have to miss out for the whole of the 2020 season. I will just have to find another way to draw encouragement during my “races”.

But I’ve promised some numbers for July, so here we go:

  • Number of runs: 18
  • Total miles run: 100.7
  • Number of walks: 9
  • Total miles walked: 60.2
  • Total number of steps: 463,430
  • Average number of daily steps: 14,949
  • Number of geocaches found: 10

Those steps include taking 30,000+ steps on both the first and last day of the month. The steps also add up to be the most steps I’ve racked up in a single month (since I began keeping track in October 2015).

I don’t know what to expect for my August outputs, but I will do my best to do as much as I can – whilst finding a balance between pushing myself too hard and letting myself get too lazy. But I do feel quite confident in saying that, no matter what, I will manage to have a good month. Or at least a month that’s not half-bad.

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