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? 


7 thoughts on “Tuesday Morning Run & Marathon Thoughts

  1. I am a morning runner usually, but only due to scheduling necessity. If I am not running (during the week,anyway) at 5am, chances of me getting a run in later are slim to none, especially on the days I have class. However, I feel much better running after my legs have woken up a little (and 5am is not that time ;)). I have been really bad at getting out the door early for weekend long runs because I feel like that is my only time to sleep in, even just a little! But I need to get better about it because like you said, it is cooler, but it’s also way easier to get it done right away than to have it hang over your head until you do it.

    • It seems to take my legs about the same amount of time to wake up no matter what time I go running. I should probably do warm-ups before heading out, but it’s hard enough to get out there as it is! I was foam rolling before running for a while, and I think that actually worked pretty well, but I lost that habit before it was even formed. And, I feel the same about wanting to sleep in a bit on the weekends, but I should really just get over it – I could get up early at least one day of the weekend.

  2. I think your decision to run a marathon in the fall is a highly personal thing. I guess the main question is, why do you want to run a marathon? Do you want to do it because you enjoy the demanding training schedule? Do you want to see how far you’ve come from your last one? Or do you just feel like you “should” because you’ve already done one?
    I can tell in your post you have an itch to improve as a runner as a whole, and I know when I was upping my distance hard to train for an ultra, I was not seeing any steady improvement. I neglected things like speed work and tempo runs because I felt so banged up from just having to get in my miles.
    I decided against the fall ultra so that I could get back to a point where my speed was improving instead of my distance, but I really honestly think the answer is WHICHEVER YOU prefer. There is no right or wrong path, it’s whatever you want your journey to be focused on.
    I wish you the best either way!!

    • Those are all such great questions! Just like you said, I want to run another because I so enjoyed the demanding training schedule. I don’t specifically want to see how far I’ve come, but I do have a feeling that I’ll be disappointed if I get a slower time. And that second part is what’s stopping me from committing to a race.

      • I hear ya. I personally think if you research some different training plans, you can find a really demanding schedule, no matter what the distance. I am chomping at the bit to get running again because I just finished reading the Hanson’s Half Marathon book… It’s a 6 day a week running program with cycling phases of speed work, tempo runs are run at race pace… It builds up to over 40 miles a week for the beginner plan! But I see how it can work.
        All in all, you gotta do you 🙂 I think you will figure it out.

  3. I’m typically an evening runner because I love sleep and my bed too much right now to drag myself up and out the door! I’d love to be more disciplined and try running in the morning though… maybe one of these days.
    I agree with Martha that your marathon decision is a personal thing. If it were me, and I weren’t really feeling it, I’d probably hold off until I was ready to throw myself into it 100%. Godspeed with whichever decision you make! 🙂
    I think Baby S would be an awesome training partner, especially as she comes equipped with her own jogging stroller! 😉

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