Tuesday, August 30, 2011
11 Miles Before 6:00 a.m.
There is something about getting up REALLY early in the morning to run that just feels...secretive. Like I'm sneaking out of the house for some sort of clandestine meeting. And by "REALLY early" I mean setting the alarm for 3:55 a.m.
I don't often get up at that hour to run. The usual time is 4:50 or 5:00 a.m. to meet the girls, and a little later when I run solo. But on this particular morning, Katie needed 20 miles and she had to be home before 8:00 a.m, so I said I would join her. We have done this once or twice before for various reasons, and even though it is brutally early (and by 2:00 p.m. I am usually a useless lump of sleepiness), it is always fun. This morning was no exception.
We met at 4:15 a.m. to begin our run. The temperature was perfection as we started out and we headed for an old familiar route that would get us about 8 miles. I wasn't planning to do the entire 20, just 10 or so, but by then it would be light out and Katie would feel better about running alone.
As we ran we chatted about everything as we always do. Running, family, blogging, life, running, training, running... and the time seemed to fly by. We ran through part of a new neighborhood that was not very well lit, and as I looked up I was dazzled by the stars. They were so bright and there were so many! And they twinkled. I interrupted Katie and told her to look up. I did not expect to see so many stars at that hour, and they shown so brightly! I made a mental note of the gift as we continued our run and our conversation (which I think was on jogging strollers at that point).
It was fun being the only two people out and about at that hour. It was as if we had the cool morning temperatures and the brilliant starlight all to ourselves as we chatted and ran, enjoying it all. Eventually we spotted other runners and walkers as the morning hours became more reasonable, and just as we were reaching 8 miles, the sky finally began to grow lighter. I ended up running a total of 11 of Katie's 20 miles. I felt really good, but I knew I had No Boundaries that evening and I did not want to overdo by increasing my mileage too quickly and risk injury so early in my training.
Katie grabbed some aid before continuing on with the rest of her run just as two of our other running buddies were finishing theirs. I got in my car and laughed as I saw it was just a little passed 6:00 a.m. As I got ready for work, however, I began to feel the effects of such an early start. I glanced at the clock, saw that it was only 7:00 a.m. and grabbed a quick cat nap until Jason got home from his run. It was a little too quick for my tastes, but it helped. Especially when followed by an entire travel mug of coffee.
I might fight sleepiness later this afternoon, and bedtime may come as soon as I finish my last bite of dinner. But I wouldn't trade this early morning run for anything. Great company, good mileage, brilliant stars... you can't beat that. Not even with more sleep.