This week started my reduced hours at work, which means I don't have to be at work until 8 am, which means that when the baby wakes us up at 5:30 am I have a good half hour to whine and complain about his early internal alarm, 10 minutes to talk myself into going for a run, 5 minutes to get ready for said run, and then 5 minutes to explain to the other early morning risers that Mommy will indeed come home from her run to shower and eat breakfast with them before she has to leave again for work. And after a 5 minute goodbye hug, kiss, wave, high-five, hug and kiss again, then a final smooch all from Maggie, I am ready to hit the road.
The first mile of all my runs, but especially morning runs, is so incredibly awkward. I feel like a newborn foal learning how to walk, my back and hammies are stiff, my breathing is off pace, my clothes aren't hanging properly, and my ipod decides to play those slow songs that somehow got mixed up in my running music playlist. I love Alan Jackson's "Remember When" but it's not exactly the tempo I am striving for.
I start to hit my stride in the second mile and play games in my head to help me not look at my Garmin to see my pace and time and distance. I either try to just look at my pace without getting depressed that I've only gone 1.1 miles and still have a million to go, or I want to see the time to make sure I can manuever my way back home to shower and eat in time before work, or I look at my pace just to punish myself into picking it up a little faster.
By the third mile I am in the zone. My breathing is even, my body is loose, my pace is established, my route is determined, my fast tempo songs are playing, and I just start thinking. I think about how beautiful the weather is, how lucky we are to live so close to the ocean, how much I love my husband and kids, if and when we are going to expand our family, how God has blessed me abundantly, you know deep stuff like that.
Mile four is about the time I start writing blog posts in my head. I'll see three cute bunny rabbits and think about writing a post on procreation. I'll pass by two elderly ladies out for their morning walk and remember the importance of friendship and relationships and wonder why I am so bad at cultivating them in real life. Then I'll remember all of my bloggy friends and wish that they could all be my neighbors because it is slightly stalkerish to know so much about someone you've never met.
This morning at the 5th mile marker I received my first cat call ever. At least I think it was a cat call. Two 50-something men were sitting outside their shop in lawnchairs and I'm pretty sure drinking beer at 7 am, and one of them said "Heeeeeeyyyyyyy!", and I look over (force of habit) and they smiled. That's the perfect definition of a cat call, right? The only thing that didn't completely send me over the edge with fear is that I knew I could run away faster than their beer bellies could carry them.
As I approached the sixth mile, I was so close to home and picked up the pace to finish strong for all the non-existent crowd support. This is when I always wonder how fast I could've run if I had this much energy and speed saved up for the end. Maybe if I had spread out my energy better I could have run sub-9 minute miles. Oh well, I'm not running for training, I'm running for eating. And on that note, I am off to prepare lunch and think about what's for dinner while eating it :)