Today was what I would consider my first long-ish run of the year, a 12-miler. I've been super excited for this for days. All year we've had to be conservative with mileage and baby my legs thanks to issues that I shall refer to as thing one and thing two. Thing two is still somewhat in the picture but being managed.
The only good time to fit this run in was first thing this morning. No I mean REALLY first thing this morning - 5:30 am! I decided this run would be really extra super fun if I started in the dark and ran with my headlamp. I've only done that once before. I picked a nearby road with a wide bike lane and a trusty surface, donned the Petzl lamp, stuck my blinky bike light on the back of my shirt (and put my pepper spray in my pocket...you never know), and fired up the podcast playlist (This American Life, The Moth, Endurance Planet, Wait Wait Don't Tell Me).
For most of the first half of the run I ran down the middle of the road because....well....because I could! There was no traffic. I owned that road! Yeah!! About the time the sun started coming up, traffic picked up, but I kept the lights on so the sleepy drivers could see me. I laughed wondering what they imagined this lit up thing to be?
Once light enough, I dropped the lights at my centrally-parked car and ran free.
It was a good run, I think I hit it just right. My first two miles were the slowest, as is to be expected. It takes me some time to warm up/wake up these days. Maybe it's age? My last three miles were my fastest and I finished feeling great! I needed that.
Fall to me means long runs and there's nothing quite like it. I think your mind is freer to roam on a long run than on a long bike. On the bike you must be ever vigilant for road conditions, traffic, shifting, etc. On a long run, on the right course, you set the cruise control and settle in for some quality time with your own thoughts.
The reality of the impending half Ironman is beginning to dawn on me. I'm venturing into the great unknown at that distance and have no expectations other than to enjoy the experience and learn some new things. After that then it's gearing up for my third Richmond Marathon....wow! Just 3-1/2 years ago I ran for the first time in public. It's hard for me now to imagine my life before swim/bike/run/lift.
My parting thought it just to challenge you to find ways to spice up your workouts whether it's riding with a new group, heading out on a different course, or running in the dark ;-) Make it an adventure!