So much for Aug.

And just like that, another month is gone in Operation Marathon.

Numbers: 130.4 miles running - nearly identical to June and 29 miles less than July. However, I cross-trained for a running equivalent of about 28-30 miles, so my aerobic output for the months was virtually the same.

The cross-training, according to the FIRST plan, should make my "quality" workouts better. I think there's some evidence of that:

1) Aug. had a 20 mile run and 16 mile run, both @ 8:15 pace. The 16 miler had an HR of 149 and the 20 was a 143. So HR on long runs is dropping.
2) July had 5x800 workout @ 3:15 pace... I had much harder interval workouts in August.
3) The tempo run and I had many fights in Aug., but we're certainly getting along better than we were in July, when most tempo efforts were 7:45-7:55. Today I did 6 miles, with a 4 mile sandwich in the middle that was 7:24, 7:25, 7:15, 7:11.

Considering my frustrations of late, it's good to look back and truly see what's changed. One of the difficult things about a marathon plan is you can't screw it up with a road race every weekend, which serve as great fitness gauges.

While I had a blast at this month's Half-Wit Half-Marathon, a 13.1 mile trail race is useless for telling you where you are.

The good news is that September will be highlighted by a normal road half-marathon. My goal for that one is 7:28 pace -- the same goal time for my marathon Nov. 11. Simply put, if I can't do a half at that pace by the end of the month with something left in my tank, I'll need to re-adjust my goal.

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