July was an uphill climb

July! One of the three favorite months on my personal calendar! The other two being June and August! And as it does every year here in the desert: it did not disappoint! Temperatures reached up to 115 degrees and this girl was one happy camper. Summer dresses, tank tops, flip flops, Frappuccinos, al fresco dining, and frozen yoghurts! It does not get any better than that. And now we still have August to look forward to.

Here in the desert a lot of residents take off to more moderate climates during the heat of summer but I always like it best and never want to go anywhere, not even to the coast, which has been very cold, foggy and miserable this year. More so than is normal for California coastal conditions. Yes, that’s right, California coastal summers are not what commercials want you to believe. When we lived in Santa Barbara we could always spot tourists by the way they shivered in their summer dresses and short shorts, locals knew better. I was born for this climate, no doubt. I only had to bide my time in Germany long enough to eventually find nirvana. I often look back on my childhood and how even then I always looked forward to the dog days of summer. Heading to the local public swimming pool with friends, popsicles, chilled watermelon and eating outside at night. Not to mention annual beach vacations in Southern Europe.

Even though temperatures have been steadily in the triple digits I do run outside most mornings. Getting up early before the heat hits the ground. Those early morning runs are something to be cherished for sure. The air is balmy and the streets are quiet. Sprinklers are running and the damp grass still smells fresh and promising, water drops reflecting the sun rising on the horizon. I did cut back on mileage just a little this past month and have been using the treadmill more often for interval runs and uphill training. I would be lying if I said the first hill run was a breeze as it was anything but. Yet, after four weeks I am well on my way and as always it has gotten easier with each run. Pier-to-Peak is just around the corner after all and although I will be well prepared for the annual Labor Day heat wave in Santa Barbara it was time to run some steep climbs.

Here are the running stats for July:

Total Distance: 216.18 miles
Total Time: 52:37:50 min
Run Distance: 158.5 miles
Run Time: 19:57:50 min
Walk Distance: 57.68 miles
Walk Time: 17:50:00 min
  • Shortest run: 5 miles
  • Longest run: 7.1 miles
  • Average speed: 7:33 min/miles
  • Strength & Endurance: 3 hours
  • Weight Training: 2 hours
  • Yoga: 5 hours
  • Spinning: 2:30 hours

Today’s Running Tip: Running hills is hugely beneficial for runners!

Hill running makes your body stronger, which in turn means you will run more efficiently. If you dread hills start slowly. Start at the base of a hill that is about 200 to 400 yards long. Run up it for 45 seconds (on a 1 to 10 scale your intensity should be about a 7). Jog back down for 30 seconds. Repeat three times. As you get stronger, increase the number of intervals up to eight and the length of intervals up to 75 seconds  but always maintain recovery time.

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