Up Early & Taking on the Day!

We’ve just shifted our clocks back to standard time, and at this latitude that means the sun is setting as I’m leaving work. That complicates my workout schedule. It didn’t when I was training for the Badger Mountain Challenge, as I was still willing to run on pavement. Since I’m avoiding pavement as much as possible, I found myself debating what to do. The Hubs really doesn’t want me running alone at Chamna in the dark (I will refrain from telling him that I have in the past). That leaves me with Badger and the 5K cross-country course in Pasco. I’d rather not run Badger unless I’m specifically doing hill work — this crafty gal has included no hill work in her training schedule — and the Pasco 5K course is really soft. That’s okay for cadence workouts but it’d suck for a tempo workout in which I’m trying to maintain a specified pace. 

I can also run near home. There’s a dirt path along the irrigation pipeline/canal south of our neighborhood. The only downside to this is that it’s a mile of pavement to get to the dirt. That wasn’t a problem when I was doing longer workouts, but because my workouts are 3 miles or less that extra mile adds a lot of time  to the workout. Nonetheless, last night I decided that if I woke up at five, I’d get up and do that workout this morning.

And then I work up at five. Damn it.

One problem with an early-morning workout is that I believe I’m slower. I certainly feel slower. My morning commutes on the bike always felt slower than the ride home, too. As it turns out, I was slightly faster this morning than I was during last week’s cadence intervals (by :02/mile — not much, but I’ll take it!).

I wasn’t sure how my body would feel doing this workout in a fasted state, but I didn’t notice a difference. I wasn’t ravenously hungry afterward, either. All in all, it proved to be a good way to start the day, even if I really needed that extra ninety minutes of sleep.

I have the option of doing my workouts at lunch – another advantage of training for a 5K rather than a longer race is that my workouts are really short. I can warm up by walking to the park that’s several blocks from my office and then run on the grass, around the perimeter of the park. I’ve done that a few times. It feels a little ridiculous, but it’s an option. However, because I never know if I’m going to have to be in court at 1:30 until I get to the office in the morning, relying on doing the workout at lunch can be risky.

I’m feeling pretty good about this overall. The training is going well, although I’m undermining my progress with some of my fueling choices. (I really miss the amount of food I could eat when training for an ultra!) My knees are a bit hurty, but I don’t believe the running is aggravating it. I’m already tempted to sign up for a trail half-marathon. It’s a pricey one, put I’ve heard it’s well-organized. It’s at Deception Pass, and the course is mostly identical to the Deception Pass 25K I ran a few years ago. The registration price goes up at the end of December, so I have some time to ponder.

We all know I’m going to sign up for this, right?

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