Short stories from long runs

This blog about my run and training

My alarm went off at 5:05 this morning, which felt kind of cruel after going to bed at 10:30 and being up for a while in the middle of the night with the baby, who is either teething, ear-infected, or voraciously hungry this week. I’ve been doing the five am thing more or less daily and while I’d probably wake within minutes anyhow, the alarm is kind of brutal. Regardless of the actual volume, it feels oh-my-god-so-loud. Still, I jumped out of bed almost immediately, willing myself to get a move on before I desperately tap for snooze and roll over.

In what has to be a personal record, I was washed up, eyes-in, dressed, and out the door in a matter of ten minutes. I also rocked the brand new Brooks Run Happy tank my sister gifted me for my birthday, which was kind of fun. I’m not sure why I never just bought it myself, but I’ve wanted one for ages. New gear always makes exercising easier, don’t you think?

The weather was really nice again this morning — I’ve been lucking out like crazy — even if it was a little too humid to call it perfect. The sky was really pretty, too, with lots of bright spots and dark clouds and an almost textured look painted across the horizon. I stopped here and there to try and capture it, but eventually gave up and got on with my run, knowing my time was short.

Yesterday was BBG leg and cardio day, so 24-hours after that leg quivering workout, I was still a bit fatigued. Since I’m still not pushing into NYCM training for another few weeks (though fast approaching… wowza!), I wasn’t hung up on pace much, and pushed only a little. My first mile was 8:37 and my second, 8:13. The second mile surge is something that continues to confound me, since most of it is uphill. Each time I hear my split shave time from the first, I’m incredulous, but pumped. Surely it relates to being a bit more warmed up, but with a pretty sturdy climb following a long, slow drop, it’s definitely a thrill.

This route is really nothing to write home about, aside from it being so well traversed by several generations of Kinvaras that I can detect my mileage to the step. I thought this morning about more beautiful routes, or oceanside jaunts, thinking how the sky must be even more spectacular floating over something other than highway or neighborhood or Dunkin’ Donuts, but that I’m lucky to have an easy, nearby route where I’m comfortable and safe most any hour of the day. Mile three felt fine at 8:09 and mile four kicked my suddenly-very-tired butt, still registering at only 8:23.

My peace of mind, of course, was that there was only one more to go — back uphill, of course, but brief none the less. As I cranked out the last of my seemingly endless lunges and squats yesterday, with seven minutes to go, I reminded myself that during a marathon, or even a half marathon, I’d generally kill for only seven more minutes. To the end of the road and back, I’d tell myself on the race course. You can do anything for seven minutes, I reminded myself yesterday. It occurred to me again this morning, tired and climbing towards home.

The positive thinking and reminding myself to be tough paid off, as I arrived back at my driveway, five miles complete and another 8:09 mile in the bag. Not bad for a push, but don’t push too hard kind of morning. Five miles, 41:34, 8:18 pace.