I love early morning runs but getting myself up out of bed before 6am hasn't become much easier. The only thing I can focus on is that I know I'll feel amazing once I finish, even if my run is less than glamorous, because how many other people are even out of bed then? It's cooler and quieter in the morning. Nothing is rushed and it's pretty motivating to see other people out there on the street/sidewalk with the same goal in mind.
Today though was an amazing morning run. I woke up at 5:45 and got right to getting ready. I'm sure it was easier because it was Monday and I slept in until 8:45 yesterday. I also had a running buddy and I know that helped get my butt out there (and also through the harder parts as said running buddy is quicker than I am).
Lacamas is coming up in less than two weeks and has an elevation profile that is not for beginners. Of course, this was the first half I decided to run last year. I was unprepared and humbled but I'm back this year and while my time won't be stellar, I at least know what to expect and have a reasonable goal. (Smoke last years time by 20 minutes -- not too difficult as it was 2:51).
This week is supposed to be another cut-back week but instead I'm full-on training. I'm being smart about my runs though and for the most part I just know I need to devote a couple runs to either hill repeats or run a rolling hill course. Today was hill repeats and Thursday will likely be the rolling hill run. Living so close to Forest Park is a blessing and is usually my go-to for hills. Last year I trained a lot in the park and while my training was nothing like this year, it was absolutely the hill runs that helped push me through the Eugene Womens Half (a flat course) and finish 20 minutes faster than Lacamas. The crowds at that race helped a lot too. I had never experienced that many people cheering along the way. I wonder if that might be what the Olympics feel like.
Today's pace (not including the hills) averaged out to 10:06/mile. It's good for me to run a little above my comfort zone. We ran 1.75 miles, did 6 hill repeats (it averaged to about a mile of hills) and ran 1.83 miles back. Our last mile was at a 9:26 pace and I've been working hard on increasing my pace at the end so uploading my watch data and seeing that pace meant I did a little happy dance.
Besides sharing these stories with my family and friends (and maybe some other runners who stumble across this blog) it was mentioned that I was super detailed (oh, I know) and I've been reflecting on why I write down so many darn details.
1) It's a great way to gauge how well I'm doing
2) It keeps me accountable - I know you all would miss me if I didn't post for a few weeks
3) And the biggest reason: it serves as a memory bank for me. I'm pretty sure every runner has one. Those tough moments where you surprised yourself and made it through? Those moments are good to take note of because when I'm dragging I summon forth some previous run or race and tell my brain to turn off the negativity. I can do this because I'm strong and I've done this (better or longer) before. Memory banks are key.
For me, writing about a really good run right after I've finished is just like waking up and committing yourself to write down your dreams. Throughout the day the details of the dream fade and after a stressful day at work, it's easy to forget how great we feel in the moment of the runners high. I try to capture that moment.
And with that I shall be heading off to work! I hope everyone has a lovely week and I'll check back in on Wednesday regarding track practice. I haven't even looked at what we'll be running this week.