Highs and Lows: A July To Remember

Bryon Powell takes a look back at his July filled with high highs and low lows.

By on August 12, 2020 | Comments

I wish I had some grand running lessons to share this month, but I don’t. I was about to share that I don’t have any life lessons to share either, but I guess that’s not true. Through its highs and lows, July was a good reminder to and good practice in taking things as they come, both the good and the bad.

Karl - Weminuche Wilderness

Way up high in the Weminuche Wilderness on a run/fish adventure with Karl. All photos: Bryon Powell

The first three weeks of the month were fantastic. After overworking myself through the spring, I committed to a more reasonable workload for the month. That opened up space to check off plenty of long outstanding to-do items in my personal life, which felt great in and of itself, as well as giving myself enough time to bring my running back up to a level that I enjoy.

Continental Divide above Cunningham Gulch

Coming off the Continental Divide above Cunningham Gulch.

The month kicked off with my first 70-mile week since March and I repeated that the following two weeks. For the most part that running was lumpy in the most enjoyable way. It was filled with moderately big single-day adventures with low volume days in between. It was a perfect way to up my running game with a low risk of injury or burnout.

Most of these adventures centered around fly fishing at some point along the way. The fishing provided a spark for checking out new locations and routes while at the same time breaking up my longer days (up to 32 miles) into more manageable subsections. All in all, I managed to have a great time over a couple weeks–maybe my most enjoyable weeks in years–without getting carried away with it.

Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout - Conservation Population

A member of a conservation population of Rio Grande cutthroat trout.

And, then, I got what must have been giardia. After feeling bad on an evening run with Meghan, I was really sick for two days, and kind of sick for another four or five days. Then, I was finally able to connect with a doctor for an antibiotic prescription. Not much more than a day later, I was feeling more or less myself and everything’s been good since. During the illness, which I’d highly recommend avoiding by filtering or purifying all questionable water and being mindful of not cross contaminating water that you’ve treated, I laid low and took things as they came, not doing anything the first few days and, later, doing only what I could given my condition.

Running with Giardia

A not-so-great day running with giardia.

That’s all. July came and went with a couple high highs and low lows, but managing it all with an even keel has me looking forward to August and beyond. Time to take what comes my way.

Call for Comments

How was your July?

Bull Moose - Rio Grande del Norte

A close encounter with a bull moose along the Rio Grande del Norte.

Bryon Powell

Bryon Powell is the Founding Editor of iRunFar. He’s been writing about trail running, ultrarunning, and running gear for more than 15 years. Aside from iRunFar, he’s authored the books Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons and Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running, been a contributing editor at Trail Runner magazine, written for publications including Outside, Sierra, and Running Times, and coached ultrarunners of all abilities. Based in Silverton, Colorado, Bryon is an avid trail runner and ultrarunner who competes in events from the Hardrock 100 Mile just out his front door to races long and short around the world, that is, when he’s not fly fishing or tending to his garden.