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The other day it topped 160 degrees F in Iran and here I am whining about 90+. I’m going to stop complaining about the heat starting now. At least there’s the extra motivation to get out the door early before sunshine swallows up the cooler shade.

I didn’t do any runs this month over 10 miles mostly because summer running is a chore for me. The other day I came across a picture of snowy mountains and got sad that I wasn’t there wherever there was. Then I started watching a documentary on living in Antarctica, which I’ll tell you about when I’m done. I’m watching it in short increments because I haven’t been home much and enjoying even 10 minutes of it at night gives me the best dreams.

This has nothing to do with running other than it’s where my mind was when my body tripped on a tree root in the park and proceeded to stumble for about 20 feet before finally landing on my arms, face, bum in that order. The dry dirt crusted and would not be brushed off. This was my most uncomfortable run of the month. Also happened to be the day we ran past a bunch of clean people on a shoot for some show called the Blacklist. The very next day there was a shoot for a show called Limitless just a block away. For all the things shot here, I rarely notice the neighborhood in movies and shows.

My boyfriend still perks up when he sees something being shot nearby because sometimes he works as an extra for the fun and good food, though not so much anymore. Commercial shoots always have tasty catering. Too bad he can’t pass for Dominican woman because Orange is the New Black is looking. After graduating college with BFAs and no ability to find jobby jobs, a few friends and I went to Central Casting. I don’t recommend doing this if you have thin skin. MoonPie mostly gets office guy, traveler, party guest type notices. Most of the notices they sent me were for prostitutes, junkies, murder victims and confused crack whores. It’s very possible I forgot to brush my hair before they took my picture. To this day whenever a pile of strung out lost causes makes a cameo I sigh and think that could’ve been me.

Back to running.

My favorite run this month was on the Ocean City, NJ boardwalk. I read somewhere a while back that wood boardwalks are among the best surfaces to run on because they’re solid, but have some give. Don’t know if this is scientifically true, but wood boardwalks do make me feel like I could keep running forever. This one was about 6 miles out and back and ended with a high-five from my little nieces. I left early early and for some reason I expected to have the boardwalk mostly to myself. Between all the bikes and surreys it was hard to figure out which lane I could safely run in and you best stay in your lane or the crispy sunburnt vacationers will end you. Once I hit my stride, annoyances faded and I savored the ocean view and gentle breezes.

Mileage Update:

Jan – 162.81

Feb – 127.46

March 153.13

April – 167.15

May – 163.07

June – 133.96

July  – 140.83

Total – 1048.41 miles

I beat my June self and passed the 1000-mile marker!

My goal for August is to get in a few longer runs and do around 150 miles. It’s too hot for me to be ambitious – that’s not a complaint just an observation. I’m also going to try to increase the mileage I run in my new shoes, maybe from 7 to 10 miles.

Like July, this month will be fueled by home brewed cold-brew coffee, fresh fruit – lots of blueberries, watermelon and soon warm dreamy tomatoes. In theory, this is an ideal month for cooking because there’s so much local fresh produce and it all looks so bright and smells like it should. In truth, I’ll do anything to avoid turning the oven or burners on. As a result I’m eating a lot of salads – making a large batch of quinoa or kasha every few days and mixing some in a bowl with a bunch of things I like. May not sound very exciting but it tastes good.

I have to mention again how much I’m loving the coffee sock my sister gave me. Last summer I got hooked on cold-brew New Orleans style coffee and spent all of my money on this marvelous concoction. The coffee I make at home tastes even better and only costs what I normally spend on coffee beans, plus a box of chicory but that’s only $3 a box. It’s basically a giant mason jar you fill with water. Add coffee grinds and a scoop of chicory to the sock (filter thing) and put it in the fridge for about 12 hours. Some people get really specific on their brew times. Overnight is fine with me. Cold-brew is better for you than hot because its less acidic, just keep in mind it has way more caffeine because the exposure time is hours versus minutes. I mostly drink mine black with nothing in it, but adding almond milk and a little sugar is like a boost of invincibility. Simple hot brewed coffee is still my first love, but ours is a three-season romance.