Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Moonlight Mile

This running and weight loss journey has seen me doing many things over the years that I never would have found myself doing before.  I have gradually become a somewhat better human being, a smidge more responsible and organized and have grown in unexpected ways that thankfully don't include my thighs or ass.  But today, today was the ultimate in new experiences.  Today I woke up at 4:30 am, got ready and went on a run.

Four. Thirty. In. The. Morning.

I am not an early morning runner.  It's just not my thing.  I'm not an early morning anything really.  While I do wake up early, I need at least an hour of ramp up time before I am safe to be around.  Ramp up time consists of coffee, Golden Girls reruns and silence from all the other lifeforms in the house, and being forced to forego that usually results in me going full on Calvin Tran.

Here go, hell come indeed.

But I've had to make peace with the fact that if I'm going to run this marathon and do a better job at it than I did the Portland Marathon, then I have no choice but to follow my training.  I got away with murder the last time by only doing one run a week to train for a MARATHON.  But I don't want to just get away with murder or skate by for Seattle, I want to do my race and be proud of my efforts.  So I have to do the training.  Doing the training means putting aside some of my little horseshit quirks and dislikes in order to get things done.  Ergo, I woke up freaking early.  But the sweet note Eric left on my coffee cup helped.

Preparation was the only way I was able to pull this thing  off.  I had a bunch of running outfits folded, put together and ready to go in my closet, so all I had to do in the morning was grab an outfit and put it on.  I had packed my lunch and breakfast the night before, so there was no stressing about having to do it when I got back.  Once I took care of the dog and got all my stuff together, I was able to blow out of the house at 4:45, right on schedule.  I drove to the nice neighborhood I've been running in, because honestly I am just too scared to run in mine when it's still dark.  I mean it's not like I live in Compton, but it's gnarly enough to where a woman probably should not go running all alone before daylight.  I mean I'm not sure what the witching hour for rapists is, but I don't really want to find out.

Anyway, I had fully intended to do my 5 mile "long" run that was on the schedule.  I had done the math (another new to me thing...voluntary math!), figured out how much time I would need, and figured I could get it done in an hour since that's how long roughly it's taken in the past to do a 5 mile.  But, things went south quickly.  I mean the run part was whatever, though running in the dark was a bit frightening since I couldn't see the ground.  The sun was coming up pretty quickly so it wasn't an issue so much at the end of the run, but it definitely slowed me down in the beginning.  So strike one for me.  One of the other reasons I don't like morning running is that I have absolutely no energy at all, and I was definitely dragging this morning.  Strike two.  And despite initially feeling triumphant that I was at least making it out when it the temperatures were reasonable, about 0.30 of a mile in I got that dreaded feeling of someone trying to smother me with a hot, wet quilt.  Strike three.

Have I mentioned how much humidity can absolutely kiss my ass?  I mean seriously, it really has become ridiculous.  One of the many reasons I made a life changing move from Louisiana is because the weather there sucks, and now it's big time sucking in very similar ways here in Oregon.  I mean Jesus, where do I have to go to escape heat and humidity?  Siberia?  I thought I was just being a baby until I checked my weather app and saw the humidity was 83%.  Yeah.  I checked a few difference sources since I didn't believe it was that high, but the site readings ranged from 91% to 83%, so clearly it was that high.

Thought the sunrise contrast from beginning of my run vs. the end was pretty cool!

Anyway my long winded point is that I was much slower than normal, so I had to cut my run to three miles.  I kept checking the time, and it was clear that my calculations were going to be off since I didn't factor in humidity into my plan.  It got to the point that I was going to be insanely late to work had I continued for the full five, and I obviously didn't want to be that douchebag even though my boss probably doesn't care honestly.  So I cut my run to three miles.  I was so disappointed with myself, and while I would normally brush it off, I did beat myself up a bit this morning.

I'm not going to lie, I've been kind of surly and pissy all morning about it taking me 40 minutes to run 3 miles.  I mean, I can't get up at 3:30 am just to have time for runs, that is beyond insanity.  I'm just really having one of those days where I'm embarrassed and sad about my slow pace.  Normally I really don't care that I am a slow runner and will likely always be a slow runner, but these are the times it really sucks.  I wish I could be one of those people that can do a 5 miler in like 35 or 40 minutes, it would honestly make my life a lot easier in situations like this.  But I'm not, so I guess I need to let it go.  I can always split my runs I guess, even though that seems a bit asinine to do for a silly 5 miler!

3 Miles - Time:  40:03 - Average Pace 13:21

I haven't talked much about nutrition and weight loss lately, but I am being like 85% diligent in tracking on MFP and am continuing to make an effort to make sure I am eating healthy!  I have been really good about bringing my breakfast and lunch to work, and have been pretty on point.  Boiled eggs, fruit, veggies, cottage cheese, tuna salads and the like.  I am a bit frustrated because I feel like my weight has stalled, and my shape lately is annoying me because I am mushy around the middle.  Like, my pants are tight somehow even though I haven't gained weight, so I am clearly gaining inches.  I did bump my calorie amount up from 1500 to 1600 last week because I wanted to account for the fact that I am in training and don't want to be starving all the time.  Logically I need more calories, but hopefully that's not what's throwing things off.  I will let it ride another week or so, and if I am still chubby, I am going to have to make tweaks I guess.  I of course want to make sure I'm properly fueling my body with enough food, but also don't want to gain a ton of weight either.

Anyway, overall I'm bummed but not defeated about today.  I guess it's positive that I went out of my comfort zone and got up early and ran in the dark, which is pretty huge for me because I had to overcome my fear to do it.  I got a training run done.  I get to eat delicious broccoli cheddar soup from Panera tonight, which you cannot convince me doesn't contain copious amounts of addictive crack.  I am not sure what I will do the remainder of the week for my other two runs on the schedule, but tomorrow the high is only supposed to be 78 degrees, so that may be a good chance to tackle my pesky 5 miler after work, and then maybe do my 4 miler on Saturday before my shift at the shelter.  We'll see!


  1. Back when I was running I think my best 5k time was 42:00 so I had to chuckle a bit. I truly give you mad props for sticking to your training through the depths of humidity hell. I always admire seeing anyone getting anything done out in the heat of the day.

    1. I know, lol. It's just more that normally I run a 5k in like 35 minutes, so to be 5 minutes slower totally bummed me out! The humidity has become ridic.

  2. I so feel you on the humidity thing. It's murder in Chicago as well, and my pace is at least 1-1.5 minutes slower per mile. Not sure if you decided to drop your intervals, but I did that and it's helped a lot. I used to do .9 run/.1 walk but switched to timing them/shorter intervals...so 5 min run/30 secs walk which works out to about .5 mile/.05 mile...but while I'm running, once I hit three miles I shorten the run and lengthen the walk, both by 30 seconds. It's the only way I'm able to make it through without death happening.

    1. Oh man, Chicago can have some gnarly summers! I totally feel you. And actually thanks for reminding me, I'm going to attempt to do my 5 miler tonight, and dropping my intervals to 0.50/0.10 would probably help me get through it better. I tend to start looking down at my Garmin at about 0.50, so that seems to be my body's natural "walk pleeeeeeeease" point!

  3. Putting aside quirks and dislikes to get things done - that is when we know we are serious :) Getting out bed so early is no joke - I hope it continues to work for you. Love the notes your husband leaves you - so sweet and encouraging :)

  4. I totally sympathize - it sucks that slower pace means everything takes longer and that just adds up over the miles. I wish I could do a "quick 5 miler" in the morning. Alas, no such luck. Hang in there!