I am an afternoon runner. This serves me really well, because I am not a morning person, and I have no interest in ever being a morning person. Plus, instead of starting my day out with a run, I get to look forward to it. After my long run Sunday, and a relatively mild stretch & strength Monday, I’m always chomping at the bit for my mileage on Tuesday night.
Today was the first weekday 4.5 mile run. To readers that knock out a ‘quick 5 miles’ before they go out for breakfast on Tuesday morning, I know it doesn’t look like much, but 4.5 miles used to be something I’d almost call a long run, and making it happen on a weekday felt like a big deal to me. So I was excited to run.
I’d had a very protein-rich diet all day (nuts, meat, cheese) and that was probably my downfall. Stepping on the treadmill I immediately felt like this wasn’t going to be a great run. My heart rate stayed manageable, but I felt distracted, fussy, irritable and low self control through the whole thing. My iPod shuffle wouldn’t clip anywhere that didn’t bounce it or my headphone cord, or a piece of clothing. The gym music was terrible, but not int he ‘terrible but it’s gym music so it was at least high energy’ way, more in the ‘terrible, why is this single drawn out note taking so long, oh god maybe the system is broken’ way. And then of course, the news (on the four TV’s hovering in my face) was alternating between deciding whether it was more important that we know Gadhafi’s favorite breakfast cereal or the approximate amount of time the Bronx Zoo’s missing Egyptian cobra would take to kill a healthy adult male/elephant/Libyan Dictator.
I ended up eating a Gu at 2.0 miles just to restore some kind of balance to my run, and it got me through. Today’s workout was still not my finest moment.
On the positive side, in a minor nod to preparing for the race that this is all ostensibly for, I did something that took a lot of willpower. Instead of hitting 4 miles, and just finishing up the rough workout by phoning in that last half mile, I waited until 4.16 and turned the incline up to 7, and ran the last third of a mile uphill, running the whole way (the reasons for this distance will be revealed in a future post).
Switching to that mode, when I’d been struggling just to keep moving the rest of the run, was both demoralizing and invigorating. I know that during my half I won’t have the option of just throwing in the towel and saying “oh well, it was a rough day, no hill right now” and I think that, since I wasn’t injured but really just tired, that it was okay to whip myself a bit into line.
I finished up and headed home for a well deserved Manhattan, which should be the subject of it’s own post, when I can get some noteworthy pictures.
46 days to the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon.