Running quote of the week

“I love track running. There’s something about that red 400-meter circle that lets my brain switch off—no roads to cross, no bikes to watch out for.” – Kate Carter

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

4:00 AM float

The skies were clear at 3:55 AM as I rose this morning, sleepy but excited to run outdoors. Every day I have the same reaction to the alarm: surprise that it's time to get up and incredulity that I'll be running in less than 10 minutes. When I run on the treadmill, or use the elliptical, the bright lights of the guestroom prepare me for athletic activity. Once I'm on those machines I'm fully engaged. It might as well be 4:00 in the afternoon at that point. Going from the darkness of the house to the darkness outside is a different story.

When I exited my house this morning equipped with headlamp and reflective vest I was struck by the way my neighborhood looked. There was a light mist, not quite fog, and palpable quiet. The darkness was peaceful and the streets looked inviting. As I made my way up the road the action of running felt effortless. It was almost as if I was still in bed while my body was outside doing this run.

My plan was to run about 2 miles to allow me to stay on schedule. I tried to maintain a brisk pace as I remembered my previous 4:00 AM run when the darkness made me think I was running faster than my actual speed. I monitored my time and distance on the Garmin and the Petzl Tikka Plus headlamp did a great job illuminating the watch and everything in my path. I tried to pick up the pace even more on my last stretch and when I finished the run I saw that I had covered 2.16 miles in a little less than 20 minutes. The Garmin showed this as a 9:17 overall pace which seemed a bit slow. I Gmapped it and confirmed that distance so the illusion of speed continues.

Like the first time, the experience of running this early was extremely satisfying and fun. I didn't encounter a single car or person this time. I wouldn't say the run was effortless but the cool air and light breezes felt great and counteracted the moisture in the air. The run was more like a float, part of that was due to not being fully awake by the time I hit the street. It sure beats the treadmill as a start of day activity. I can't wait to do it again.

2 comments:

  1. I did my own 3:00 am run this morning and find it peaceful yet a little creepy. I actually do run faster than I plan and don't know if it's fear of being late for work or fear of being attacked but I almost always run 30 second to a minute faster per mile than I plan on. Guess maybe I should find a midnight run!

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  2. Yikes, I never thought I'd say any time would be too early to run but I think I'll draw the line at 4AM. Good for you to get so much speed when running in the dark!

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