Monday, December 13, 2010

Mileage and mornings

When I woke up this morning at 5:00, it was 52° F.  But since that kind of weather is usually from out of town, it is transported to Denver on strong and steady winds.  So the first and last stretches of my run today were attended by a pretty good headwind.  Still, I'll take that over the sub-freezing temperatures I've been running in lately.  And it is such an encouraging, simple pleasure to turn a corner and find that the force which has been dogging my every step for the past few miles is suddenly to my back and helping push me along.

Since taking up running back in August, I've been working on pushing my mileage up in hopes of being in shape to run the Denver Marathon next October.  Earlier this month, I broke through the 10-mile mark for the first time, and I've been hitting that distance consistently ever since.

It is beginning to occur to me, however, that I am near a point where I must choose to either stop increasing my mileage or start running faster.  I don't have that much time in the morning to work out before going to the office, so continually increasing the amount of time I spend running isn't going to work.  But I started doing the math, and my pace would have to improve dramatically to make very much difference. I think I need to adjust my schedule and do a longer run on the weekend.

Sunrise, December 1st, 2010 
I've never been a morning person before, but even on non-running days, I've really been enjoying a little bit of quiet time before the rest of the family wakes up.  And on the days that I am out there running, it feels incredible to be able to experience the day breaking: the sun rising; the first golden rays of light illuminating the treetops, roofs, and the mountains.  I feel like I'm getting to tell the whole world good morning.

I pass lots of dog-walkers, kids on their way to school, and people driving to work.  I wonder if they are having the same experience, or if there is something about the physical exertion, the open air, or the fact that I'm out there voluntarily that somehow makes it more meaningful to me.  I'm certain, at least, that I'm not the only one who is in this state of awe.

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