Friday, June 8, 2012

Long Run on Fun Facts Friday

Friday Long Run
Tomorrow we are supposed to go to the lake with the family. Usually I do my long runs on Saturdays, but going to the lake meant getting up at 5am on Saturday (um, not gonna happen), ditching the long run, or getting it done today.

So, I got it done today. Since yesterday was a rest day, this worked out pretty well. The plan was to get up just before 5 and head down to the river trails. Jason was going to run part of the route with me, then ride his bike the rest of the time.

Unfortunately, he discovered his bike lock was messed up, so it was a solo run for me and a ride only for him. The sun was just starting to come up and the skies were simply gorgeous. I regret that I didn't have my phone with me to snap a picture of the varying pink and blue hues that sweeping the sky.

The temperatures were incredible, almost chilly with shorts and just a short sports bra at 65 degrees. Of course I quickly warmed up, but was never miserably hot. Since it was still semi-dark and there weren't many people out yet, I went the opposite direction of my usual long-run route. It's more lit and more traveled at that hour.

The only downfall is that I have run that direction, that route so many times over the years that it's become what I call my "dead zone." That area that can be mentally difficult to trudge through. I expected to see some bunnies, but they've dozed part of the tree line. No bunnies, but 5 deer.

The first part of the run was an out and back that put me back to the car at 6 miles. Just in time for more water, potty break, and a peanut butter GU (um, heaven). Then it was off again, this time heading the way I would normally go for a long run. I was wavering a bit on the distance. I knew I wanted to do at least 8. I hoped for 10. But I also felt like I was running short on time. That's the downfall of running before work. I was becoming consumed with time, with number of miles, overthinking.

I decided to split the difference and ended up with 9 very solid miles. My overall average pace was better than I thought too at 9:11. Not a bad way to start a Friday.

The only problem happened when I got back to the car, stretched, and waited for Jason. I had the key. I waited. I waited. Holy crap I'm going to be SO late for work I thought. Then I thought I'd drive towards the house thinking I'd pass him. Nope. Then I thought maybe he had planned to ride to the house. Then I put the key in the door and panicked thinking no way because I had the house key.

I tried calling his cell phone and left a very panicked message. I thought I was a horrible horrible wife deserting him. I showered and stepped out and heard him downstairs. And that was his plan the whole time, to ride home...sheesh.

So, I need to do a reflection of long runs before work, the pros and cons.

Cons:
  • Not enough time to really fuel the way I normally would - banana w/ PB just isn't enough for me.
  • Feeling time-crunched
  • Didn't allow enough time to do my usual stretch and roll session so lots of standing and stretching at my desk. (But will note that my body seems to be very used to the 9-10 mile range so recovery is very minimal. Almost feels as if it was a 6-miler really other than needing to baby my plantar fasciitis and piriformis.)
  • Have to wait a really really long time for my ice cold Blue Moon with orange wedge ;-)
Pros:
  • Not having to think about fitting it in on the weekend
  • Done with workout for the day
  • Feeling accomplished
  • Watching the sun rise
  • Cooler temps

Fun Facts Friday - Wildlife Seen
I was going to do a Fun Facts Friday post about pet-peeves. But I think I'll save that. Maybe it's the runner's high from a good morning run, maybe it was seeing the deer, but I wanted to share animals/wildlife I've seen during my runs down at the river trails.

I don't know why, but seeing wildlife usually makes me smile. Maybe it's just being out with nature and not cooped up in the gym. Maybe I just get delusional when I run :-)

Bunnies
Deer
Snakes
Chipmunks
Raccoons
Swan
Geese (evil SOBs)
Mouse
Squirrels
Birds (lots of varieties)
Bobcat
Armadillo (as in alive, not smashed on the road)
Turtles

What's the oddest animal you've seen while running, walking, or cycling? Anything really scary??

Speaking of animals, I've had a couple of requests for updates on the Heath Man. I think I'll try to get a video of him playing this weekend and do a post. He's doing really well though. He's starting to realize that he needs to listen to us, to our cues and commands. But sometimes he still gets excited and it's like he forgets that he can't see. But he's a happy camper!

Daily To-Enjoy List:
Morning run
Sunshine
Friday