That's the time I get up most week-day mornings to go running. For some crazy reason, I love running in the dark (Sally says I'm 'in the dark' most days but I digress). I like the quite and almost total lack of traffic early morning. I should clarify though: I get up at 4:30 am...I don't go running until nearly 6 am. That's one of the things about growing older: it takes me nearly an hour to 'go running':
- I don't like to run on a full stomach. Unless I'm going for a long run, I don't eat anything before heading out. I drink water though...I sweat a lot even in the winter so having to stop for a 'bio break' isn't a problem for me.
- The first thing after I get up is to check the weather. Unless there's been an ice storm overnight, I'm going running. I am sensitive to temperature though so I check that via my handy Smartphone App (The Weather Network).
- Once geared up: In the summer, short tights and a technical T shirt; in colder conditions long tights and layered tops, I walk down the four flights of stairs from our apartment. That's it for pre-run limbering up. I have never liked stretching before a run: something about straining cold muscles.
- With a nod to my age, I walk the first 100 metres before breaking into a jog. Most mornings it's only a few minutes before my breathing normalizes and I pick up the pace. That's a good running day...some days it's 20 minutes in before things settle down. On those mornings I ask myself, "This is fun?"
- I run about 40 minutes 5 days a week now with a couple of days off. My 'long run' is usually a Saturday or Sunday up around 75 minutes. After running and racing and training for events most of the past 30 years, I really only have one 'race' that matters: the annual pilgramage to Negril each December for Reggae Marathon.
- I don't run with music. I like my 'alone time' while running and when all goes well just enjoy an easy pace. I do solve all the problems of the world while running though...unfortunately I never seem to remember the solutions after. I know my head is clear though...that's all that matters.
- I sprint for the final 500 metres. OK, an exaggeration but I do pick up the pace as I near the finish. Old habit...I like to finish in a flat-out sprint. I'll never be Usain Bolt but it feels good trying.
- Post-race I walk for about 10 minutes to cool down. I don't stretch after running either...the walk seems to be enough.
- Since I run early in the morning and don't eat before I run I come back famished. Lots of water plus hot cereal does the trick. That's the plan anyway...I usually end up with a cereal bar.
That's the anatomy of my typical daily running routine. Well, it's exciting to me!
Until next time...