Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Moonlight Paranoia

I awoke seconds before my alarm went off and stared in disbelief at the clock that flashed 3:50 AM. I went to bed last night exhausted and as I headed to the guest room to change into running gear I had to remind myself that running is something that I choose to do. By the time I finished preparing for the run I had transitioned from sleepy to semi-awake. I retied my right shoe and soon regretted that action when I took my first steps into the street and felt a sharp pinching at the top of my foot. Since I'm on a tight schedule in the morning I chose to run with the pain rather than stop and restart. I figured the shoe would eventually loosen up enough to displace the pressure.

That worked out okay and while I dealt with the pain I was distracted by the shadows cast by house floodlights, street lights and secondary shadows that came from the almost full moon. I'm already a little paranoid running around the neighborhood in the dark at 4 AM. The effect of two asymmetrically placed shadows, one ahead to my right and the other just in sight slightly behind me, created a sense that I was being closely followed. The quiet of the night punctuated only by the spitting sound of sprinkler systems and the thwacking sound of my own running shoes is both creepy and serene. With the addition of these shadows it was even creepier and much less serene. All the same I didn't worry much about it once I figured out the source of my paranoia. It helped that my shoe loosened up enough to make the majority of my run pain free.

I ended up covering 2.5 miles at 9:07 and I felt very good during the run. I'm discovering that hills and long elevated stretches are easier to take when it's 50 degrees outside. I'm really hoping for cool weather on October 25th. I have a feeling my experience at the marathon will be shaped as much by the conditions of the day as by my own readiness.

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