Monday, June 22, 2009

The First 4 a.m. Run

Monday June 22nd

Because the summer heat is upon us, I've had to make a decision to change the time I normally run. For the last year, I pretty much have run immediately after leaving work, starting my runs around 3:30 pm. But It's just way too hot now to run at that time. So, I've decided that I need to get up early to do these runs. This morning was my first 4. a.m. run.

I had everything laid out the night before...all my clothes, my heart rate monitor, my reflective arm bands, ipod, etc. I needed it to be as mindless as possible in terms of getting my butt out the door. That was good planning. The roughest part was simply rolling out of bed and getting dressed.

I had mapped out four miles the night before as well on However, as I began down the street, it occurred to me that I might have to change my route. I don't know WHY, but not a single street light was working in my neighborhood. Fortunately, my street is at the back of the neighborhood and the next subdivision is only a block away, so I got their subdivision and saw that all their street lights were just fine. I now see why its been so easy for all the car break-ins to have occurred in our neighborhood! Anyhow, I thought maybe by the time I entered back into my neighborhood on the route I planned that maybe the lights would be back on. So I continued with my plan.

It is so peaceful at that hour. I had decided not to turn on my ipod, as I was concerned that if somebody WAS out at that hour, I needed to be able to hear, for personal safety reasons. You know, I really enjoyed running without my ipod. Next time I'm not even going to wear it. Just the sound of bullfrogs by the retention ponds, as well as my feet hitting the ground, and some occassional sprinkler systems going off. Really, it was awesome.

I only saw one person on my run, and that was about at 4:45 a.m. He was walking down the sidewalk, and as I ran by, he stopped and watched me. Kind of creepy. He probably wondered what the heck someone was doing out running at that hour! Little did he know that I was approaching the end of my run!

Anyhow, I ran the run as planned, without the streetlights. I'll call the city this morning to see about getting them working. Also, I did three strides after I hit the four mile mark and was headed home. That's the first time I've done those. I was supposed to do 4-10 strides, but whose counting, right? :)

I know this...running without the sun blazing down on me made a HUGE difference in how the run felt. It was one of the best runs I've had in awhile. Next early morning run will be Wednesday birthday!

Running info: 50 minutes, Avg. HR 152, Max HR 178, 470 calories burned.

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