Having been a runner for over 8 years, I’ve run my fair share of morning runs. Probably not as many as most runners though, the reason? I just don’t like it. I’d rather run at night! It’s cooler, it’s dark, there aren’t any people and you can really just be alone with yourself, your breath and the road. I don’t have to think, my mind runs right along with my feet. I work out most of my stresses and problems during night runs, I don’t know what it is but I am a better runner after 5pm. I can’t think of a bad evening run. I can however, think of very bad morning runs.
The morning run for me is always hit or miss. I’m either not awake, not hydrated, not motivated not whatever in the morning for a run. I push myself to get up early but I always hit the snooze. I have to admit it was much easier when my dad ran with me, he’d wake me up and I’d have a commitment to someone. It’s hard to commit to yourself at 6am when your bed, your BF and your kitty are snuggly warm next to you to get up and hit the pavement. In the morning you can never count on it staying cool long enough for you run, but in the evening it just gets cooler which pushes me to run faster. I wish my dad still ran so he could be my alarm clock again and we could trudge along the long miles together, but now I am a grown up and live in a different state so those are just fond memories now, and my morning runs loom on my calendar and often get pushed til the absolute last minute of the day that I can do them.
Just suck it up and do it you say? Yes, I probably should and I’ve been pretty good about it the last two weekends and then I had the worst run of my life last Saturday. I felt like a beached whale running (if a whale, let alone a beached whale, could run.) This would never had happened on an evening run. I knew I had to get this run done, Ragnar was so close and we were meeting friends at Medieval times, and I wanted my slab of chicken and 40 oz. blue moon to be a guiltless as possible.
So off I went, It was a normal morning, I put off my run until about 10am, this was my first mistake. When I got to my starting corner the marine layer was thin, but didn’t look like it was going anywhere, there was a nice ocean breeze. I started my Nike app and took off down the street toward to water. By mile two it was miserable. 9:45 minute per mile pace miserable. I thought about turning around and just doing four miles, but that stupid pinterest thinspiration quote popped into my head, “I don’t quit when I’m tired, I quit when I’m done,” and then I thought Ragnar is in two weeks, you can run 6 miles. So I kept slogging through. By the time I got to the beach, the marine later had completely dissipated. I turned back towards home 2.5 miles to go with no shade down Magnolia to shelter me from the sun.
Running in the sun is the worst. Honestly it’s not the heat that bothers me, I ran in AZ all the time when it was 110 and was fine because my neighborhood was super shady (like tree lined shady, not ghetto shady). But running with the sun beating on you is awful. (looks like I’ll never make it through Badwater).
With a mile to go and a terrible side cramp, which I only get when I’m running slow. (it’s like my body’s way of telling me, “run faster girl, you know you can!”) I had slowed to about a 10:15 pace with a lot of walking. I didn’t even care, I just wanted to be home and done with a giant ice water with lemon. I walked ran the last mile and vowed to run earlier the next morning. There wasn’t anything in particular about this run that made it bad, it was just plain awful. Every runner has runs like this, runs that just suck.
This run was really just a recipe for disaster, I started too late, I didn’t drink any water before, I’d run late the night before and gone to boot camp. I was tired and dehydrated, I really didn’t stand a chance. Yet, this run will forever be the.worst.run.of.my.life. Worse than when I dropped out at mile 15 of the LA marathon, worse than running 9 miles through Lake Elsinore in 110 heat index for Ragnar SoCal, worse than last weekend when I almost got run over by asian tourists driving on the boardwalk in HB.
I will keep pushing through morning runs, because you can’t really be a runner and not drag your butt through them. Plus who has time to run 20 miles after 5pm?
I said I do my best thinking when I run at night, and I had a thought last night during my run. You always hear about joggers getting murdered in a park, or at the beach or wherever they are running. I was thinking that if that ever happened to me, I want to make sure I am not referred to a “jogger” but as a “runner.” I don’t want people thinking I was some whimpy jogger! I asked my BFF to make sure that if this happed she’d take care of it for me. She said of course, but that it was a moot point because I’m not the type of girl who gets murdered. She’s right, we’ve had this discussion before. We came to the conclusion that we are both smart and pay attention to our surroundings to get murdered in the park. But still, in the event that it does happen, I think it would be a tragedy to be referred to as a jogger and not a runner.
Posts about Ragnar in the next two weeks! My tickets to San Fran are booked, and I have a 9 miler planned for the weekend in preparation! Hope I’m not too crazy running an ultra Ragnar on my “light” summer training regime, but we’ll see! It’ll be a beautiful running trip and I can’t wait!