Tuesday, July 10, 2012

4:30 am Run

This summer has proved to be a hot one thus far.

Morning running has proved a necessity instead of a convenience.

However, sometimes even early morning running isn't enough.

Last Friday, for the first time in the five years I've been training, CARA canceled a Saturday long run due to the heat at all their sites. They advised against running Saturday altogether, noting that Sunday's forecast was predicted to be favorable for exercise.

Soon after the CARA email came out, emails flew between a small group of runners. Runners that were somewhat determined to get their 10 mile run in Saturday.

So how does one go about running on a black flagged day?  Run earlier than the 6:30 or 6 am training groups.

5am was tossed around as a meet up time at Montrose Harbor.

My alarm went off at 4:00am. I checked my messages to see Kim had a restless night of sleep and planned to run instead on Sunday. I ate breakfast and put on my gear. I filled my water bottles and made a strong concentration of Gatorade.

It was 4:30. I was ready. And so I went.

Running at 4:30am on a Saturday proved to be much different than at 6. The streets were relatively quiet with scattered police on patrol. I ran down the sidewalk, toward the lakefront path. I could hear my footsteps. A rarity in a city of a thousand sounds.

I wondered how long it would be before I saw someone else with the same crazy idea. I made it just three blocks from my house before seeing the first runner. I decided I would wave or say hi to each runner today. Anyone out at this time had to be partially crazy or a total bad ass.

As George had posted regarding his Friday run, I broke the run into segments. I took time to focus on hydration, stretching and tuning in to how I felt. Today wasn't a day to push through anything. I might think I was tough, but I wasn't going to be a hero for crashing on this training run either.

I was lucky enough to reach my turn around point shortly after the run broke through the clouds as it rose for the day. I had shade on my side on the way back. I barely looked at my watch but to check the overall distance.

I finished right around 6:30. It wasn't a memorable run as to how I felt physically or mentally, but I was happy to have the accomplishment complete for that day.

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