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Friday, April 29, 2011

Before the Sun Comes Up

Something about running over a bridge filled with 700,000 bats at sunrise makes me feel like I'm in the beginning of a vampire movie.

You see me running toward the Capitol, and then the camera pans to under the bridge where the bats are asleep. Then one takes off. Another. Another. They fill the screen and it blacks out. The next shot is the Austin Police Department standing around a white running hat and a pair of Saucony running shoes with the feet still in them. "They said it was bats," says one detective. "No way," says another. "It couldn't be the bats. Bats are nocturnal."

"Or are they?" says a third, pale-faced detective who is just a little too calm about this whole thing...

I may have to take a break from the blog and write a screenplay now. Nah, let's get this done first.

That's two mornings in a row when I've been up at 5:30 with no problems. I did have one long, lingering look back at my bed this morning, but I had miles to cover. As a favor to my wife, I removed the dog from where her legs should have been, and then got myself dressed. I planned to do all my core and arms stuff before my run, but my arms are still a little sore from their sudden re-immersion into the workout world, so I only did half of my curls, shoulder extensions, and squat thrusts. I did, however, make it through all of the Russian twists, walking lunges and medicine ball push-ups that I had planned. I got all of those from a Runner's World article, but I can't seem to find it online. If I come across it again, I'll let you know.

For once, I checked the weather before I went outside. Using the Dashboard on my Mac, I saw that it was 56 degrees outside. I did not believe this one bit, so I checked with The Weather Channel. Sure enough, it was under 60 degrees. Not sure how well my body has adapted to southern weather, I was nervous when I stepped outside to do my weights, but it was a perfect morning. The sun was still down, there was a light breeze in the air, and the temperature was just cold enough. If I had to stand still for an hour, I might have gotten cold, but standing still was not in the plan today.

Once again, I decided to run with music, mostly because this was supposed to be a slightly faster run, according to Hal's plan. That being said, I knew I had to run 23 miles in two days which is more than I've run in any of the last four weeks, so I figure putting miles above minutes is my best plan. Hal agrees. I assume.

My run started with Billy Joel's New York State of Mind, which was perfect for the tempo that I wanted to set. As my mind wandered to various scenarios, I let it go freely without too much interruption. Keeping the focus away from the run itself is a great way to get through it without too much anguish. As I neared downtown, I noticed that I was seeing many groups of runners. I was impressed to see so many people out, though it could be they've always been there and I've just never been up early enough to see them. At one point, though, I felt kind of like the loner at the bar on Valentine's Day. It seemed that I couldn't pass one runner without passing two more. Everyone seemed to be in a group.

Until I got to the trail, that is. Wait, wow, I'm already at the trail. Seriously? I'm halfway done?

I checked my pace and realized that I could afford to pick it up some, as I'd already done more than half of my miles and I wasn't really breathing hard yet. As I neared the Mopac pedestrian bridge, the crowds got a little more dense, but I weaved my way through them pretty quickly. I was feeling better than I have in a long time, especially on a long run, and while I'm sure that the weather had a lot to do with that, I feel like something else was at play, too.

About 11am yesterday, I started bouncing around in my chair at work. I'd had my coffee, and combining that with the general adrenaline I had running through me all day, I felt great. I was happy with my workday, I rocked at a few episodes of Jeopardy (we're a few days behind, but thank you, DVR), and I greatly enjoyed my rehearsal. Even made it home early enough to spend some time with the wife before bed at 11. And when it was time for sleep, I was out cold.

I did wake up several times, still a little paranoid about oversleeping, but I was able to fall back asleep pretty easily. Overall, I'm feeling better than I have in weeks, and the simple solution was actually getting less sleep, not more. I know it won't work for everyone, but it's doing wonders for me.

The trick here is to get less sleep on purpose. It's not that I'm missing out on it. It's that I'm planning ahead and basing my expected hours on my own personal sleep cycle. I'm refreshed, I'm excited, and I'm a little smelly.

Off to the showers.

Friday's Workout:
56 degrees / Clear
- WSS Ab Workout
- 6x(5 Curls, 5 Shoulder Extensions, 5 Squat Thrusts)
- 2x(10 Russian Twists, 10 Walking Lunges, 5 Medicine Ball Push-Ups

8.11 Miles
1 Hour, 1 Minute, 22 Seconds

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