This photo is of the view I’d like to see about 7:25ish in the morning of June 27, 2010. I took it with my iPhone, so hopefully you can all tell that it’s the skyline of Boston, just to the north. It’s around the 7 to 8 mile mark on the Inaugural 13.1 Marathon that is being held just south of Boston this year. It’s in an area that is very pretty called the Blue Hills. Note the second word, “hills.”
The prospect of a route from hell was enough to prompt my friend and coworker, Meg, and I, to take a reconnaisance trip last weekend to check it out. We drove the entire course, and while I think it’s challenging, I think it’s doable. My plan is to do some of my longer runs on the weekends down there so I can get used to the course and know what to expect. (It’s certainly an advantage to doing a local race.)
Just last week, I remember thinking “why aren’t there any races that start in the morning when I’m used to running?” And then I came across this race. It starts at 6:13 a.m., which makes sense considering it’s going to be held at the end of June, and it can be super hot around here by then.
Over the past week or so, I’ve been getting up earlier (or procrastinating less) so I can get out the door and running by as close to 5:30 or 5:40 as possible. That way my usual runs can be longer than 3-4 miles. While a 5 mile run is only a mile longer, mentally it makes me feel a bit stronger. And, I’m finding the roads to be even quieter that early. I usually don’t come across other runners until around 6:30. Luckily, our sunrise is happening earlier and earlier, and the pre-dawn light has been enough so that I don’t have to wear my headlamp and not fear for my life.
I’ve also been paying more attention to what I’m eating. While I still like my chocolate, of course, I’m trying to eat less of it, and made a concerted effort to not buy Oreos whenI was most recently in the store. I’ve also been really trying to get more sleep, and push myself to bed while the hour hand says “9″ rather than “10.” My alarm clock goes off too early, otherwise.
I am not sure what made me decide to do a half now, after I’ve been really digging the shorter races. And, don’t get me wrong, I still do love them, and think I can work it out so I can still do them. I’m going into work at 10 tomorrow, so I can get in an 8-mile run in the morning, take Saturday off, and then run a 4.2 mile race on Sunday that benefits the Boys and Girls Club in a town near me. The following week, I’ve got a women’s only 3.5 mile race on Mother’s Day. My boss has agreed to let me work the 10-6 shift next week, which will allow me to do a 9-mile run next Friday too. Yay! (I have no idea how Kristin could get in a 14-mile run in the morning and get to work by 9 – her commute must be much shorter than mine!)
Luckily, I will start a flex, 4-day schedule the week of May 17th, giving me an extra day off during the week. On top of that, I have so much vacation time saved up, that until the end of June, I’ll be taking another vacation day during the week. That means I’ll only have to go into the office on Monday, Thursday and Friday. Wahoo!
Things just seem to be falling into place. I’m sure not all of my runs will be great, but lately I have been feeling really good when I’m out there. (And don’t worry about me, I’m not getting obsessed, just trying to keep everything in perspective.) Yesterday, I ran a bit over 5 miles and I planned on it just being a “chill out” but hilly run where I’d just run based on how I felt. Well, imagine my surprise when every mile got faster and the slowest was about 9:16 – yay!
I’m not looking at tomorrow morning with dread, but with anticipation. That’s something I’ve not done when it comes to running for more than an hour, in a while, believe me. I know some of you run longer than 10 miles on a regular basis, but for me, it’s been a long time.
Anyway, 4 am-ish comes early around here, so I’m signing off for tonight. Wish me luck!