Since coming back from my post-marathon recovery period, I’ve been getting back to a regular workout schedule — particularly with my running consistency. Without getting too far ahead of myself, when I start my Ultra training program in a couple weeks, my plan calls for 4-5 runs per week. Once I got into the rhythm of marathon training, 4 runs a week was my normal — 5 will be challenging.

Des Moines run blogger weekly group runs

But why would I be running an Ultra in the first place if I didn’t like a good challenge?

WHAT’S FUN?
The most fun of the last few weeks has been getting out on the dirt trails. I LOVE BEING ON THE TRAILS! I’ve run at Jester Park, Sycamore, and Center Trails. I like each of them for different reasons, though I think Center is my favorite (if only because it kicks my ass). If you’re in the Des Moines area — or plan to visit — you can definitely have some fun in the woods here! Once I get into the meat of my training program, I’ll move onto trails that wreck my quads and that are a bit more technical, difficult, and with more elevation change.

Bring on the hill repeats!

SOMETHING SOMETHING
I quit my gym membership, and along with that, my yoga spot. I enjoy the Yoga with Adriene videos (particularly those geared towards runners), but I’d like to find a place for regular practice again. Des Moines has some fabulous outdoor “pop-up” yoga this summer though. Rounding out my cross-training: I’m doing strength at least once a week in my home gym with dumbbells or kettlebell, and following up my easy runs with core workouts. I love this glutes workout from SELF. I also do my hip and glute mobility and balance work several times per week — if not every night. The nightly repetition just makes the movements part of a mindless routine — just like brushing your teeth every night.

I’m also participating weekly in a women’s golf clinic, which is every bit as fun as it is frustrating. Because I am NOT GOOD, it’s also challenging. So, for the betterment of my (eventual) golf game, I continue to go out of my comfort zone and learn something new every week.

des moines lady golf beginner

That said, I am NOT enjoying this summer humidity at all. The 5K that I ran on July 4th felt awful (despite still running a respectable pace), and this past Saturday’s 8-mile long run didn’t feel any better (despite it being 10 degrees cooler). I’m also feeling sore, which is not something that I usually experience. I’m hoping for a little cooler temps for my challenge race next weekend… but it’s not like Minnesota is a winter wonderland right now.

Earlham Firecracker 5k race

Did you notice that I changed the site branding? As most of you know, I aged out of my old blog name, and I honestly don’t have the energy or time to rebuild something from scratch. Given my updated goals and upcoming running adventures, this was the perfect way to carry on the ol’ URL for a bit longer (the idea came to me spontaneously in the shower, so who knows how I’ll feel about it in another month or so 😆).

JULY MILEAGE UPDATE: 25.5 miles
MILEAGE FOR THE WEEK: 20.4 miles
MILEAGE FOR THE YEAR: 481.7 miles
LAST RACE: July 4th Earlham Firecracker 5K — Finished 4th in my 40-49 Age Group! Official Time: 28:22
UP NEXT: Minnesota Nut House Challenge — Totally Nuts! (5k, 10k, Half Marathon)

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