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There’s no sugaring it up, June was a sticky month to run. As predicted, my mileage dropped and pace intentionally slowed and that’s fine by me. Summer is my season of doing the best I can. Thinking cold thoughts, I hit my monthly goal and took a few gloriously rainy days off to read and play.

After finding a tick crawling up the bathroom wall, I replenished our bug spray supply and have become annoyingly paranoid. Each little tingle could be a tick crawling up the leg or back or arm. Every slight itch is probably a disease carrying blood sucker licking his lips on your flesh. That’s right. Now this is about you, too. I’m constantly running fingers over my scalp for little bumps. What I found looked like a blacklegged tick, a kind that can carry Lyme diseases. I guess a little paranoia is good. Bart Yasso’s book My Life on the Run makes a pretty convincing case that Lyme disease is to be avoided if possible.

Enough about ticks.

My favorite running day this month wasn’t my furthest or fastest. A boring treadmill run in my sister’s basement watching my nieces battle it out in a video game. I’m not a fan of treadmills, but it’s nice to have access when I’m alone with the girls and otherwise wouldn’t get to run. Strange to have a little audience though. I finally started to hit my stride and zone out the looping Simpsons video game music when the little one hits pause and comes over to me. She says with a confused shrug, “Hehe,” because that’s the name she gave me “why so slow?”

There are so many answers to that question, but it was easier to squirt her with the water gun. Water guns are an aunt’s best friend until the tiny people use it against you.

I should’ve listened to her. After a few more runs, I realized why this treadmill running felt so much harder and indeed slow. You know the number you hit to jump to the speed you want? Well this one has buttons for speed and incline right above each other. Turns out I kept hitting 6 incline instead of speed and some how didn’t notice I was running at a 6 incline. That’s what I get for zoning out. I think I heard my calves sing a thank you when I finally lowered it down. They sing like angels. And how come there’s no decline setting? I think I earned a few downhill miles.

Mileage Update:

Jan – 162.81

Feb – 127.46

March 153.13

April – 167.15

May – 163.07

June – 133.96

Total – 907.58 miles

My mileage goal for July is to beat June. If there are any cool spells or I manage to get out before the sun comes out I’m going to try to complete a 15-mile run. 15, not 14.6.

This month I’m most looking forward to seeing Mudhoney and The New Pornographers. Partying with a bunch of 7 year olds. And finally getting to the Jersey Shore for some boardwalk runs, movies on the beach and that special smell of salt air, peppers and onions caramelizing on an open grill with Italian sausages, hot zeppoles and fried stuff.

Happy Fourth!