While I have my eyes on the future, an event on the first day of May seems impossibly far away, so finding shorter-term motivation is a necessity. Let me run through what a typical morning workout is.
- 4:25, wake up to the alarm clock. Swear. Curse. Get really pissed off when one of the dogs decides that he'd rather sleep in than go for a walk.
- 4:50, return from walk & feed the dogs. Fight off tears of jealousy as the dogs get to go back to bed.
- 4:55, start drinking water.
- 5:00, go outside. Remark that it wasn't this cold just a few minutes ago. Start audiobook and runkeeper on my iPhone.
- 5:01, take mental note that, perhaps, running gloves will be a wise investment.
- Sometime before 5:10, cross the one busy street that I must cross
- 5:10, Runkeeper chimes in that I ran a 10:20 mile and that my current pace (as I climb a hill) is 13:20. Try to see if I can bring my time down to 10:00 / mile.
- Sometime before 5:20, have the internal conversation:
- "is that Douglas Ave?"
- "I need to make a right onto Douglas Ave or I'll get lost in this neighborhood."
- "Why the fuck do I run so early when it's dark and so cold that my eyeballs don't work right?"
- "Oh, the street sign is on that corner."
- "No, not Douglas Ave."
- One minute later, make right onto Douglas Ave.
- 5:20, hit two miles of running, hear that my pace is now at 10:02 and that I'm running a 9:40 mile.
- Sometime before 5:30, "Is that Mary Drive?..."
- 5:30, hit three miles of running, time per mile down to 9:59, ask self "For how long do I think I can keep this pace up?" Immediately realize that I only have time to log another mile. Kick up the tempo.
- 5:31, realize that there's a reason that the mile isn't considered a sprint, continue pushing myself without going "balls to the wall."
- Sometime before 5:40, with the single busy road busy, say to self "shit, this is going to affect my timing," think about sprinting across street with a car coming that would probably leave me, remind self that, while I'm certainly not a small object, I'd lose against a car.
- Seconds later, cross street safely. Pick up pace.
- 5:40, hit the 4 mile mark and note that my time is down to 9:50 / mile. Begin "balls to the wall" sprint.
- 5:42, end run.
Without this little running commentary (and without Runkeeper chiming in every mile to tell me how I'm doing), I'd really fear the run just being ordinary...I need to find that thing that will allow me to push myself.
Of course, today's run was on a Friday, and Fridays require special handling. As it's the day that my wife works at the library, we need to both take morning showers & get the kids ready & all that stuff. Well, I get upstairs and my wife is, obviously, not feeling all that great . . . so let her sleep in while I get in the shower while recovering from the run.
Did I mention it was cold out?
Trying to find the right shower temperature, I used my hands, which were numb with cold. But, as my body starts to warm, my extremities get downright hot. So, stick hand in stream of water "way too hot," turn the temp down. "Still too hot," turn the temp down. "Still too hot," but maybe I can bear it. Step into stream of water, shriek as it's downright cold. Turn water back up to a reasonable temperature, realize that showering while you can't really feel your hands is really difficult.
The best part about this run was that I pushed myself, but it's not affecting my legs right now . . . they feel absolutely great. I'm really hoping that I get home at a decent time tonight (after playing a Battle of the Bands) and the weather cooperates enough to allow run another 13-15 on Saturday before my wife leaves for the Library, because I really don't want to wake up early on Super Bowl Sunday to run such a run.