As I just emailed one of my friends, I really love running in the early mornings. I hate getting up in the early mornings, as I have never been an early morning person. But there are several factors that make me run in the morning: there's a lower amount of smog then, the weather is cooler, and my stomach is empty or nearly empty without me making any special schedule arrangements for it to be that way. (Running on a half-full or full stomach equals bad cramping problems for me.) When the alarm goes off and I make myself roll out of bed, I usually haven't slept well, and I always think, "I am too tired to do this." But by the time I fasten up my awesome sports bra for women with big boobs and lace up my shoes, I am awake. By the time I am done stretching, I have pumped myself up to go. I get out to the park when it's still dark outside--I can even see a few stars, or, more likely, satellites--but in my first few minutes out there, the bands of gorgeous, muted color that signal sunrise form on the horizon. It's a glorious thing to be outside moving my body through the darkened trees while the sun pulls itself above the horizon.
Yesterday morning when I was running, I decided to push myself to run faster (and therefore farther in my alloted 25 minutes). I was trying to balance pushing myself with not making myself miserable and not pushing myself so hard that I had to walk part of the way. When I got home, I was really excited because of the extra distance that I had traveled. I got my husband to look at Google Earth with me to measure my distance.
And then I was a bit disappointed. I hadn't run as far as I had thought I had. All the curves in the path are tricky, and I'm not good at guessing distances anyway.
My husband was a bit surprised when we discussed it last night over dinner. "But you nearly ran two miles! That's amazing!"
"But I should be running 2.25 now to be on track."
After he asked me how I felt on the run and afterward, I admitted that I feel like I could have pushed myself a bit harder. The problem was, I was afraid of having to switch to walking at some point and then feeling disheartened because of that. But after the run, I was barely sore. (You know, really sore is bad, but a little sore is good indicator of growth.) And today, I can barely tell I ran that hard yesterday.
So tomorrow morning, I am going to push myself a bit harder again and see what happens. I'll still be one of the slowest (if not THE slowest) runner in the park, and that's okay. But I'm going to see if I can do the whole 25 minutes at the pace I started with yesterday. If I have to stop to walk, that's okay; it's a day when I'm testing my limits. If I succeed, I'll know I can get that much of a better workout and get that much closer to my 5k length.
It's one month until my 5k, too! I'm so pumped about that.
In other news, we may move my blog location soon. I've been ruminating on that for a few months. My husband has had two major papers he's been working on for his Ph.D. thesis, but those are both due today, and we may pursue the change once he finishes those.