November 9, 2009

Just Me & A Raccoon

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.

Running Log
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????


Jamie said...

good for you getting up and getting it done. I think the more you get into an early morning running schedule the more your body will adapt. I'm sure it won't always be so tough!

Our Love On The Run said...

Wow, you truely are amazing for sticking to ur plan of the 5am run! I sure as heck would have gone back to sleep! Sorry to hear that u feel sluggish, that's certainly not running's intention. :-( How is your diet? Are u getting enough protein? U said you took a bit of time off, do u think u jumped back into too much distance? Like what if u just ran 2 miles, how would u feel? If u feel sluggish ur body might be trying to tell u something. What if u cut a run shorter and only did 2 miles? If u felt great after 2 miles but stopped anyway you'd be ending on a high note. Then next time just do 3 and get that great feeling back. Sometimes I back off my running and go back to low mileage and then buildup from there again. When the longer runs aren't fun anymore I drop down to less miles/more fun and then I'm reminded of why I run. Ehh I guess its something to ponder on a run!

kilax said...

It will take a while but you will get that feeling back! I am slowing finding it again too :)

Now, if only all of your 5 am runs could be so warm! I am surprised there were hardly any people out!