Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Running in the Dark

I used to be an evening runner.

Then I became a lunchtime runner.

Now, this year, a morning runner.

Tonight, I went back to my roots - a 9 miler starting at 6:30 P.M.

I started late because I wanted to run with some fellow 10:30's in CARA's training group. CARA holds midweek runs on Wednesdays during Marathon Training at Montrose.

Tonight is the first time in three years I went.

I was spoiled in 2008 and 2009 - I was able to talk my friend and former co-worker Katie in to running with me. Katie was training for the Chicago Half (held in September) both years, so it was easy to talk her in to doing some mileage with me.

It also helped that our offices were right next to each other.

It also helped that she was easy to convince.

We might talk about running earlier in the day, but around 4 P.M, we'd certainly talk specifics.

Sometimes we'd start out doing just 5, then we'd turn it in to 7.

Sometimes we ran in flash floods, accompanied by tornado sirens.

Sometimes we'd be chased by Canadian Geese or attacked by nats.

Last week, I didn't get up at 5 A.M. to finish 9 miles before work. I went after work, by myself. I found myself thinking of some very strange things trying to keep my mind busy for an hour and a half. The underlying theme though was that running 9 miles alone sucks.

Which brings me to tonight. For the first time in three years training with CARA, I showed up to the mid-week run. I was happy to see some familiar faces there. The run went well. Right around North Avenue, the street lights started to come on. We were not to our turn around point yet and we'd be running home in the dark.

But somehow, even in low light, it was great. The pacing was outstanding (thank you Kim and Carl) and 9 felt great instead of a slow form of torture.

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