07 January 2012

Run to work day

The Official Run to Work day isn't until 24 February, but I couldn't wait.  Actually it is something I've thought about doing for awhile.  The timing of Shannon's announcement with a busy Saturday and icy not very runnable trails made me think "why not this week?".  Like all successful grand ideas, the idea struck and enough groundwork to not be able to back out was laid down before any reality could set in.  I have found that is the best way to do stuff you might otherwise talk yourself out of doing.  For better or worse.

I first thought of the idea on Wednesday while driving to work.  I mapped it out over lunch, told a couple of my runner friends in the afternoon (so I couldn't back out), and packed an extra lunch and extra clothes and such Wednesday evening.  Thursday at work one of my friends asked me what time I had to leave.  Hmm, I hadn't thought that far ahead yet.  The route I mapped was 21 miles, give myself a leisurely 4 hours, arrive to work at 7:30 to have time to shower before 8:00, holy crap, I have to leave at what time?  Like I said above, best to commit before figuring out too many of the gory details.

Thursday night I went out to the unseasonably warm (it was so warm that half-naked co-eds were seen frolicking along the Spring Creek Trail) FCTR social run, told a few folks of my plans to further cement them, and then did my best to do some carbo loading after the run while still leaving early enough to try and get some sleep.

Friday the alarm went off at 3:00 AM.  I found myself more awake than I thought I'd be and hopped right up. I made some coffee, had some pop tarts (the trail runner's food of choice before epic adventures), and suited up.  I went with tights, a long sleeve shirt, wind shell, and hat and gloves.  After drinking the coffee and eating the Gingerbread pop tarts (my children wanted these and then didn't like them, I am secretly OK with that) I was out the door at 3:37 AM for day 74 of the Streak.  

The first couple hours went by pretty quickly as the novelty of running all alone on almost completely quiet roads was fun.  Sometime around 5:30 I began wishing for the sun to come up though.  The next 90 minutes or so before sunrise were tough mentally and my pace suffered greatly during this section.  I took advantage of any excuse I could come up with to stop and take off my pack, look for this or that, etc.  I think I was getting lonely too, as I often am able to find company for my long runs and rarely run for 4+ hours solo.  My mind of course wandered to wondering what this time of night would be like if I had 75 instead of 13 miles in my legs and didn't get to sleep the night before.  Oddly or not, I still want to find out.

Eventually the sun did peak up over the horizon.  It was an impressive sunrise and I snapped quite a few photos as the sun came up.  This all seemed to buoy my spirits  and I was able to pick up the pace some for the remaining 7 miles.   Overall it took me about 30 minutes longer than I hoped (watch not stopped for any stops/breaks), which is disappointing given my goals for the Colorado Marathon, but I have been tired all week after the back to back 5Ks and did run relatively hard for 7.5 miles the night before so I will blame that a bit.  There's still work to be done before that trip down the Poudre Canyon though.

I got around work alright as long as I didn't sit on one place for too long.  My glutes were definitely sore all day but I was able to disguise any hobble for the most part.  ;-)  I was wiped out in the early evening though.  I am sure I was terrible company during the ride home my buddy gave me and once home I nearly fell asleep on the couch while talking to Shawn and the girls.  I still think I'd rather run to work than home from work though, even though it means an early start.

I'll do it again someday, but probably not on 24 February.  I wouldn't want to kill my Trudge the day.  Next time I might sacrifice the shortest possible route to take me by a 7-11 or coffee shop for a little mid-run break and fuel as well.  I'll also have a better breakfast waiting for me at work.  The Greek Yogurt was good but the oatmeal was totally unappealing.  A nice breakfast burrito would have been a better choice.  You'd think I'd have a better handle on what I'd crave after a long run, eh?

Run to work sunrise

Alpenglow on Longs and Meeker

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