Thursday, September 17, 2015

Making the Running Happen

I had plans to run after work yesterday.  My goal of getting up extremely early (4:15 am-ish) to run on Tuesdays and Thursdays hasn’t really panned out.  I did it for a couple of weeks, but somehow 4:15 am still feels like the middle of the night to me.  I’m actually a morning person, so I’m often awake at that time and could get up and go if I were really committed.  But when I get up to run THAT early, there are two options:  1. Run outside or 2. Get in my car, drive to the neighborhood gym and treadmill it. 

Option 1? Running the dark scares me. 


via GIPHY
Me running outside when it’s still dark.

Yep, I said it.  I don’t have anyone to run with at 4:30 am, and even in my ridiculously suburban-type neighborhood, I get nervous running in the dark.  Not just because a bad guy could jump out of the bushes and get me, but even scarier: I live in North Florida.  We have toads. Snakes. And bugs. Big bugs.  I really, really have issues with the idea of a giant-ass toad being squished on the bottom of my shoes.   My Facebook friends have been regaled recently with some of the Florida wildlife that I’ve seen in my yard.  I dodge toads (lots of toads) every single morning when I walk the dog and in the evenings when I dare to step outside my front door after dark.  And that’s with me stepping carefully and with a flashlight app on my phone. Not only that, but when I was running outside in the early morning a few months ago, a guy who was running toward me warned me that there was a snake on the sidewalk ahead and it looked like a water moccasin.  Double bonus: both yucky and poisonous!  I guess if I bought a headlamp, that might alleviate some of my bug/snake/toad concerns.  Something to consider. 

Option 2? Treadmilling it at the gym. This is actually a decent option (and one I actually do, when I choose to get up early).  I like running on the treadmill for the most part, but my biggest complaint is the size of our little neighborhood gym. It’s tiny – like apartment-complex-gym tiny.  And it’s PACKED at 4:30 to 5:30 am in the morning.  IDK.  I just don’t love being in that tiny room when there are 10 other people crammed in there all wanting to use the machines. 

So all those excuses reasons are why I’ve been making a real effort to run in the evenings when I run during the week.  Of course, there are also challenges with that down here in Florida.

Ah, summer in Florida . . .

The image above is Northeast Florida pretty much every evening in the summer. That map was actually from yesterday.  The roads were flooded.  Torrential downpours on the way home.  I was worried the evening run wouldn’t happen.  But, I waited the worst of it out, and then felt like quite the badass when I did actually hit the road with my firstborn to do a nice 3-mile interval run / walk.  Connor (the aforementioned firstborn) often likes to run with me, and while we aren’t hitting the training distances I really need if I'm going to do more than stroll my half marathon in November, it’s still running.  And that’s the main thing for me.  To get and keep moving.  Plus, I like that Connor likes to run, too.  It’s something we can do together. 

At any rate, if its OK with you, I'd like to ignore for the moment the fact that the real badass runners out there wouldn’t think twice about running in the rain.  But I’m still regaining my running groove.  Baby steps, you know :-).

At the end of the day, we did 3 miles and were happy with it. 

Though, ironically, we finished after dark and spent the last ½ mile dodging toads and a small unidentifiable snake that was slithering through a sidewalk puddle.  Sigh.