Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Why I Don't Run in the Afternoon

I got all ready to run this morning. Out the door by 6:20 just as it was starting to rain. Just then all the reasons why I didn't want to run came cascading down. A torrential downpour of images of being soaking wet and fruitlessly and miserably undertaking a stunted tempo run down on the Drives. I looked at my schedule and figured out Plan B: I could go into work early, then leave early, and get my run in that afternoon. So I set about.

Running in the afternoon means having this run hanging over my head all day.

Running in the afternoon means that there would inevitably be some late afternoon fires that I'd need to stick around to put out. So my planned 4:30 escape from work became 5:30.

Out the door around 6:00. This meant dinner would be late and Reba would be none too happy for it. Can't say I blame her.

I always run faster in the afternoons. Common sense would say I'm already woken up and more engaged when I start my run. I think its because in the afternoon I want to finish my run because I have stuff I want to do after I'm done. In the mornings I hang onto my run, as it is all that stands between me and going to work. The world around me seems the same way. Cars are more aggressive, creeping into the pedestrian walks at red lights, less accommodating and raising my flashpoint.

Then I got to the Drives and let her rip. 3-mile tempo run (a.k.a., the usual) down MLK. First mile in 6 flat - nice even 1:30 quarter mile splits (this will be important in a minute). Mile 2 in 12 minutes. I'm starting to visualize a sub-18 time. Then there's a metallic dinging on the asphalt. My housekey has escaped my little shorts pocket. My heart dropped right along with it. I turn around, locate it, pick it up and try to resume tempo. At the 2 and 1/4 mile hash the time reads 13:36. I lost six seconds to the key. I keep pushing, but I am disappointed. However the 2 1/2 mile split reads 15:03. I'm making up time. I thought I pushed the volume to 10 over the first two miles, now I dig and push it to 11 for the last 800 and finish the 3 miles in 17:59.

I won't deny that I'm still totally pumped over this. The time itself is great, the fact that I found an extra gear to get there is even better. Jogged the rest of the way home, eager to get home as it got progressively darker. When I finally got home I realized that it would still be dark when I lace up my shoes in the morning to do it again. Unless of course its raining.

There is a symmetry of atonement to today's run. I dodge the discomfort of a run in the rain only to meet the discomfort of a late afternoon run head on. The toughest thing about the latter discomfort is knowing that had I sucked it up this morning it would already have been over. Maybe that will get me out on a future morning despite myself.

But a good workout puts a silver lining on all that. Greenland Drive loop. 11 miles in 89:08.


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