Since as long as I can remember, August has always been my favorite month of the year. Often, it brings the hot and stable weather I seek – the kind where you just want to spend all your time at the beach. And I love driving past the golden fields, and breathing in the smells of harvest time as combines work the fields.
Despite two sad anniversaries – the passing of my mother and grandmother were both in August – I still get excited for the month.
There’s the dawn of another football season, and now as a runner, some terrific races. This month brings the Wildwood Challenge, which offers 10K and 25K options for those looking to run the trails of Minnesota’s Itasca State Park, on Aug. 15.
The following week, I’ll be meeting up with my team for the Ragnar Relays, a 200-mile run from Winona to Minneapolis. I’ve drawn one of the toughest straws – the cumulative distance of my three legs is the longest and probably includes a lot of uphill running. It’s a challenge that I’ll embrace, and if I’m lucky, one of the legs will be the same as one last year that had one of our runners going uphill for more than 5 miles. If that doesn’t test you as a runner, I’m not sure what would.
For me, this month also brings a lot of training miles, which is one reason I’m looking forward to the races. The races are really just uptempo training runs for me, but they’ll help break up the miles. I’ve logged close to 50 miles in each of the last 2 weeks in my Twin Cities Marathon buildup. I’m not sure what my peak mileage will be for a week at the height of training, that will be determined by how well my body holds up. My hope, though, is by the end of this month and into September, that I’ll be logging 60 to 65 miles a week.
On an unrelated note, but one much more worthy of mention, congratulations to Laura Roesler, the phenom mid-distance runner from Fargo South High School. She’s ran in the 800 meter finals later this afternoon at the Pan Am Junior Championships, finishing 6th overall in 2 minutes, 7.5 seconds. Here are the results:
Finals (Name, country, time)
1 – Rose Almanza Blanco, Cuba, 2:03.83
2 – Chanella Price, USA, 2:05.13
3 – Helen Crofts, Canada, 2:05.19
4 – Rachel Aubry, Canada, 2:05.46
5 – Samantha John, Bvi, 2:06.64
6 – Laura Roesler, USA, 2:07.50
7 – Alena Brooks, Trinidad & Tobago, 2:12.21
8 – Alicia Zapata, Dominican Republic, 2:12.32