• Juan J. Arrieta

Strong summer; mostly driven by California Coast 500

Updated: Aug 12, 2020

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary entry to the California Coast 500 Virtual Challenge as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews.

After having my strongest June ever with a 107 running miles, I was able to follow that up with another great month in July with a total of 110 miles. It felt very satisfying to do so for a number of reasons. First and foremost, that was the mark I had set out at the tail end of June in order to keep progressing in the California Coast 500 Virtual Challenge and towards my goal of logging at least 250 miles by September 8th. So July 2020 is now my 2nd highest month total ever, second only to 116 miles logged back in April 2018.

In ALL of the years I've been running, not once have I logged 100 miles in a month during the summer. Not ONCE. I've thought about it and can only conclude that in the past I've just let the challenging heat and humidity during this time of the year get to me mentally and break my discipline. But now, motivated primarily by this challenge, I've gotten past that mental block and been able to put together back-to-back months of over 100 miles each.

Realizing the level of focus and commitment it required from me, in particular during the last week of the month, made the sense of accomplishment that much sweeter. A target mileage check around mid-July revealed I was falling behind and would have to start exceeding my daily/weekly averages in order to reach 110. Like, RIGHT AWAY. No more days off. I even had to double-up on some days, running in the morning and again in the evening in order to fit it all in my schedule and make it work. That's when the weekly mini-challenges and accompanying digital badges of this summer event have helped tons. For example, this badge which I earned by logging 60 minutes of running on 7/16 and also made me eligible to win a shoe & apparel package from @HOKAONEONE. I didn't end up winning the package, but it sure as heck motivated me to get those miles done!

It has also been so neat to periodically check my virtual progress along the California coast and see how my fellow BibRave Pro teammates are doing as well:

Through all of this, I've definitely felt the "cumulative fatigue" factor on my legs, and I am glad, for this is exactly the zone I know that we need to push through as endurance runners, whether in key phases of our training or in the late stages of a race like the marathon. Learning HOW to run on tired legs is simply POWERFUL, and I did quite a bit of that in order to reach 110 in July.

I know for a fact that a lot of people think stuff like this is beyond silly. To them there is no point in setting these arbitrary mileage goals and whether I reach them or not. Not only do I not care WHAT they think, but for me, it's the exact opposite. I feel that these goals are tailored exactly as I need them, and that they're helping me continue my growth both as an endurance athlete, as a coach, and as an individual, in many, MANY ways.

There is still time for you to join me in the California Coast 500 Virtual Challenge as you have until September 7th to register and log your miles for the goal you select between 100, 250, 400, or 500. There is even a Relay team option, so you can team up with family & friends and work towards a combined goal that fits your interests and capabilities. Just go to www.runlocalevents.com/california and select the challenge that will motivate you to get out there and stay active! If you do so, be sure to use code BIBRAVE10 good for 10% off at checkout. If you do, you'll have all that push and motivation to keep up with your running during these summer months, and earn this sweet, handmade, custom medal as well!

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