This morning my alarm went off at 5:00 AM. After crying for a bit, I hopped out of bed, got into my running gear and took off. The good and bad thing about having to be home by 6:00 AM is that I dont have much time. That means I dont have the time to screw around or rethink the stupidity of 5AM running, but I also dont have time to eat, check a running route, or make sure I have everything before I head out the door.
Its still unseasonably warm in Chicago, and when I left it was almost 60 degrees. That was the only thing that made it a little bit easier :) I took of down my desserted side street expecting to see some more activity when I hit the main roads, but I was wrong. I ran down a desserted sidewalk along a desserted street. About .5 miles into it I saw a guy running for the train, obviously late for work already (that sucks to be him). Then ran in silence again. About 1.5 miles in I could see a girl on a treadmill in a local private / personal training gym. I also saw a homeless person quietly sleeping in the shelter of the bus stop. I kept running. A few cars drove by here and there, but the sidewalks remained empty.
My last mile is down a pretty busy street and I was sure I'd see some people. Nope. Traffic was starting to pick up, but not enough that I couldnt keep running through intersections despite red lights. About .75 miles from home a racoon with a death wish sprinted across the street, narrowly missing getting pancaked by a paddywagon (one of three I saw on my run, so the cops were out ... not sure if that made me more or less safe).
I made it home to a still desserted street. Not a single house had a light on, not a single car crept by. It was a strange feeling. And though I thought 5AM would be better than 7PM, I still found myself low on energy and sluggish during my run. To top it off, its now 11:30AM and I'm in desperate need of a nap.
Time:36:44   Distance:3.41 mi   Pace:10:46
Todays run was supposed to be "40 minutes EZ". Since I cannot pace myself whatsoever, I figured I better map out a route and aim for distance versus time. When I have no time restriction on my run, I know I can run out for a certain amount of minutes and then wrap back ... but due to the fact I only had 45 minutes of time to work with this morning I didnt think that would be such a swell idea.
I ran a little bit faster than expected and ended up short on time, but (since I didnt want to be out there running anyway) that was fine by me. Mile one was 11:12 and mile two was 11:10, which actually means that I DID pace myself pretty well. YAY! Then mile 3 was 10:09 and mile 4 (pacing) was 10:10. I obviously was trying to get the run over and picked up pace at the end (not really intentionally) but kept that pace for about 1.5 miles - not too bad.
So I am still a bit stuck with the running thing. I'm still struggling (which I get, I took a break and I'm still getting back into it) but no matter what I just feel weak when I run. Tired, sluggish, wimpy. I think most runners understand when I say that a good run makes you feel strong, powerful and in control. Thats one of the things I like about running. I want that feeling back. I dont care about how fast (or slow) I run - but I want to feel good when Im doing it. When is that gonna happen????