Tuesday Morning Run & Marathon Thoughts

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Jeff and I usually run together. It’s nice to have a couple days a week to have a training buddy and it’s a good time to chat about our day and other things like weekend or vacation plans. Normally, we go when he gets home from work, but today he has to stay late, so we decided to run in the morning.

We were up at our usual time, and out the door by 6:10 AM. I was surprised by how many people I saw out walking or running. Over the winter, when I was doing the winter running streak and ran in the morning, I rarely saw even one person. I suppose I shouldn’t be so shocked that more people run at 6 AM in the summer than at 5 AM in the winter.

It was a nice way to start the day, but I wouldn’t say I liked it any more or less than running at other times. I know a lot of people have a preference one way or another, but I don’t know that I’m specifically a morning runner or an evening runner. Both have their benefits. I think the biggest plus about running early today was that it was a cool 70F at 6 AM, while it’s 87 F (feels like 91F) right now.

Hopefully, the ease of getting up and out the door this morning will stick with me for the summer. I have a tough time getting my butt out the door for my long runs, but it really would be nice to avoid some of the heat by going earlier. Last Saturday I didn’t leave the house until around 8 AM, and I know it would have been much more pleasant if I’d started an hour earlier.

Goal: Leave the house by 7 AM for this week’s long run. 

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By the end of my long run two weeks ago, I was so hot and tired I couldn’t even smile correctly. And it’s only getting hotter. I must remember this feeling as inspiration to get out the door earlier!

Now, speaking of goals and long runs….

This would theoretically be a good time to announce that I’ve finally made a decision about running a fall marathon. Unfortunately, I’m being super wishy-washy about this, and still have not decided. I really enjoyed training last summer, loved the high mileage, and I want to experience that again. But there is a part of me that doesn’t want the pressure of having to add mileage every week right now. I’d rather get up a decent base mileage and then get to a point where I feel comfortable running quicker for a shorter distance (8 to 12 miles) before I start adding miles.  I suppose it’s really a question of whether just running the marathon is enough or if it’s more important to me that I improve on my last one.

I’ve put together a mini long run schedule so I’m not completely unprepared should I decide I want to run a marathon this fall. Drawing that up made me super excited about racing and I almost signed up right then, but after running the first two long runs, 8 mile and 9.5 mile, I’m leaning more towards putting it off.

Both of those long runs were tough. I got through them both and felt pretty happy about it afterwards, but neither one left me feeling strong and excited to push further the next week. I ran/walked both, but wasn’t able to shorten the walking periods as I got further into the run (like I normally do), and I couldn’t manage to run the entire last mile either time (another thing I like to do).  This makes me think I was going too fast, but at an average pace over 11 minutes per mile, I definitely don’t want to slow down even more.

For now, I guess I’ll just stick with this mini training plan while I contemplate what my training would look like if I were to build to and maintain a base. I’m also going to consult my two sisters in law on what they think. They’re both runners, and we’ve talked about running a marathon together. I’m not sure either of them are sold on a fall race this year, but if they’re definitely interested, that would sway me.

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This little lady has a jogging stroller and says I should join her for a run some time. I don’t think it’s possible to say no to that face!

Now, some questions for you: Are you a morning runner/person? Should I run a Fall marathon this year or hold out for when I think I can do better and am really excited/sure about it? Should I add Baby S to my new list of training partners?