Monday, August 31, 2015

August update

If you live in the Houston area, you already know that it's been hot as hell. We had almost a whole week of 100+ degree temps earlier this month and I went through my longest streak of not baking or cooking anything from scratch in a while. But we've gotten a smidge of relief in the last week and there's light at the end of the tunnel, I'm sure of it.

A couple of months ago, the folks at Kushyfoot emailed me offering to send an "essentials kit" of socks to try out and review*. As a runner/regular human, I could always use more socks, so I said "sure," and they sent me a package with No Show athletic socks, athletic foot covers, leopard-print "Flats-To-Go" (basically ballet flat-style slippers) and a pair of yoga socks (think fingerless gloves for your feet).

I'm all about leopard-print everything these days.
I have so far just busted into the athletic socks. As long as I don't end up with blisters, I'm not super-picky about my running socks, and these do the job just fine. The "foot covers" don't stay put with running shoes, but I'm sure I could get some use out of them with regular shoes this fall. I've yet to try out the last two products — not only do I typically do yoga barefoot, but as previously emphasized, it is summer in Houston and I've had no need to further warm up my feet. But I'm sure I'll have them in heavy rotation for house-lounging once cold weather (what is that??) actually hits.

Despite the oppressive heat, the second half of my summer (non-)training has actually gone pretty well. I was feeling all-around exhausted after the Peachtree Road Race on July 4, so I decided to take an extended break from racing to avoid further burnout. Between that and a few other lifestyle changes, things finally picked up about a month later and I'm actually seeing glimpses of my speedier self from four years ago, when I had my PR streak before the plateau.

I finally raced again yesterday at the inaugural Run One (Mile) at Discovery Green, and missed a PR by just seconds. However, the only other times I've logged a 6:xx mile split have been the two times I raced the 5th Avenue Mile in New York, so there was no disappointment after crossing yesterday's finish line. The race had a small-enough field, was very well-organized and made me want to run one of the next ones of the series when they finally get scheduled.

No lie, though, I was a tad bitter to have failed to beat Headphones for One Mile Dude.
#HouMarathon ambassadors represented; especially Hung, who won the open heat!
My second summer of non-training (read: plenty of easy miles to keep in shape and maintain a decent base) came to an end a few weeks ago, and I'm counting down until RHC's Saturday runs are actually long runs so that I can get one of my weekday sleep-in days back. I also recently discovered an open school track across the street from my office building, so I joined the YMCA next door for showering purposes and have been driving up there once a week for pre-work speed workouts. I don't know if it's the kinder surface for speed (I used to do all my interval training on Rice University's gravel path) or the aforementioned health tweaks, but I've been seeing paces I never thought I would, and that half-marathon PR I've been chasing for years looks within closer reach than ever. Here's hoping I just didn't jinx myself by typing that...

That's all I've got for now. Although I'm taking another month-plus racing break, Houston Marathon training is in full effect as of now...

*As has been the case with similar posts, I was not compensated for reviewing these products. All opinions are my own.