I seriously hate mornings.
This feeling gets especially magnified on weekends, when I would otherwise have the option of sleeping in, but I don't get to do this because I've got to run. Really, the only issue I've got with this season's training plan is that I'm running on both Saturday and Sunday mornings. When I was preparing for Seattle, Sunday was a "cross training" day, which meant that I didn't have to get up before the sun. Now, however, as I prepare for a Sunday run, I get to run both days of every weekend.
In the end, this will be great for me. If I get used to waking up early every day of the week, it won't be quite as hard to do it, which means being in better spirits for the run, but also for whatever I have planned that day.
However, I'm not used to it yet. When my alarm went off, I managed to pull myself out of bed, shuffle into the living room with my running stuff, and then collapse on the couch. Where I stayed for two hours. For some reason, I just could not convince myself that the run was something I wanted to do today. Every minute that I put off heading outside (and instead sat watching Man Vs. Food thinking, "I could eat that"), the temperature was going up, and the run would be more difficult. Eventually, after much encouragement from my wife, I decided to go and was out the door before I could change my mind.
I was pleased to see that there were a lot of people out and about around the park today, even relatively early in the day. It's always nice to have other people to whom you can wave and smile when you're running. Through the park and up to the devil light, I was feeling quite good, but then I hit the red.
For the first time, I actually measured how long I stayed at the light (since I'm not stopping my watch during runs anymore). The first stoplight held me up for almost a full minute. And yet, even with that minute, I was at a 7-minute pace for my two mile split, which was good and bad. Bad, because I was going too fast. Good, because I didn't feel like crap. I hit another red shortly after that, losing another twenty seconds, but at the turnaround point, I was actually on a pretty strong pace.
Which unfortunately meant that I was getting tired. Losing only 3 seconds to stoplights and adeptly dodging an assassin in a Chevy (LOOK BOTH WAYS WHEN TURNING ON RED, PEOPLE!), I reentered the park a little low on breath. After the acrobatics I performed to avoid collision, I took a quick walking break, which is almost always a bad idea for me. Once I've stopped, the next stop always comes much easier. And yet, no matter how many times I tell myself that and how often I'm reminded myself that restarting is always worse, I can still convince myself that this time it will be better. It wasn't.
My last mile was a bit of a walk-run system, but it was based on landmarks that I chose beforehand, and since I kept my watch going the whole time, it forced me back into a running pace rather quickly. I even managed to run the last half mile without stopping.
This lapse of endurance is, I'm sure, due to several different factors, but I'm addressing them to the best of my ability. It's still really early in the season, but at the same time, recovery is going to be critical for certain things that I'm considering (Oooo, mysteries...) for next year, and I want to have some confidence that I could actually pull it off.
Tomorrow will be a great test for me, as I've got 11 miles to run, and I'm hoping to run them without stopping. As usual, I've got a plan. My brother-in-law is competing in a triathlon (something I could only hope to be able to do), and I want to cheer him on. Since I've got lots of miles to run, I'm going to leave the house crazy early and run to the event. Once I get there, I'll have done my workout for the day, and I'll be able to cheer him on (and dry off) while he competes. It's foolproof.
If I get up on time, that is.
37 Minutes, 27 Seconds