Where did the summer go? Somehow we're already in mid-August and the countdown to fall racing is quickly approaching. Here's a quick rundown of the past few months for me:
I finished my spring racing at the New York Road Runners Oakley Mini 10k in June. I was thrilled to toe the line with some of the best women in the world in what was the most competitive international field I've competed in. Unfortunately, a long spring campaign and an extremely hot + humid day got the best of me, and I finished a disappointing 23rd. You can't win 'em all, and while I was upset about my performance, I was also happy with a breakthrough spring.
From New York, it was off to Tanzania for 2 weeks for Avi and my belated honeymoon. The 8 days up and down Mt. Kilimanjaro followed by 5 days on safari were adventurous, challenging, wonderful and memorable - a perfect honeymoon!
We saw tons of animals on safari (including the Big 5 - lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhino), but I have to give a special shout-out to the wildebeests. At first I was hating on the wildebeest because let's face it, they're pretty ugly. They're mangy and their ribs stick out and they look awfully awkward with those skinny little legs.
But once I saw the wildebeest in motion, I took back all my insults. When a wildebeest runs, it glides effortlessly across the savanna, flying smoothly through the grassland, against all odds. The wildebeest is an expert runner, and watching them in motion, I had to admit, it is my spirit animal. It's no mighty lion, no flashy cheetah; but the wildebeest has long-distance cred that none of the other Big 5 have. Wildebeests are the marathoners of the Serengeti, running annually across Tanzania to Kenya in the Great Migration, and for their running grace, they were my favorites :)
But back to training - I've been back running for 6 weeks now and have slowly found my fitness. The first few runs back after the honeymoon were ROUGH, as are any runs after an extended break. But I was glad for the opportunity to take a step back, as the year ahead is a big one.
I spent a week in Ohio for work and got to run on some of my old favorite trails, including the Towpath in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I also traveled to Chicago for a family wedding and ran joyfully along Lake Michigan with my brother Brendan - sibling miles are the best kind of miles!
Back in Rhode Island, I've been supplementing running with yoga to improve flexibility and have gotten in many runs and workouts on our bike paths.
Bike paths are great and all, but they do get rather boring... So, I've also been exploring new trails throughout New England. Training partner Katie Dicamillo and I checked out some new trails in the Blue Hills Reservation in Massachusetts, and I recently got in my fair share of hills in the White Mountains in New Hampshire. Summer training is less about hitting exact splits and more about time on your feet, which makes it the perfect time to log some trail miles, which I've been enjoying.
I'm holding off on racing while I gear up for a big fall campaign. Look for me racing here at home in Providence for the USA 5k Road Championships in September, then at the 10 Mile and 10k Road Champs in October. But first, time to put in some more miles!