By all accounts, I should have been excited to run. It was gorgeous, high 40s or low 50s with the sun rising in the morning sky. My legs were fresh after a day of rest and the plan had me doing 4 miles – that's it.
But I was tired.
Si had decided to party the night before. He woke up at 9:50 p.m. and didn't go down until after 12:30 a.m. I had tried mightily to put him down in his crib but each time I would, he would open his eyes wide and bright and laugh at me. I could not make this up. I would not want to make this up. So, at 12:45 a.m. Sunday, I fell asleep on the couch with Si in my arms and "Grey's Anatomy" playing in the background.
There was not enough coffee to wash away the fatigue, I learned later that morning. The rough night had turned into a rough attitude and everything that could make me annoyed made me irate instead. It was fun for everyone.
I knew I needed to run. Deep down, I knew I wanted to run. I just wanted the right time and the right attitude but neither would come easy that morning.
So I headed out, even though I thought better of it. Even though I had eaten bacon and eggs just 45 minutes before. Even though Si hadn't gotten in his second nursing session. Even though I would have to take the world's fastest shower before church.
I had no plan for the run. Just 4 miles, and they should probably easy. However, as I headed down the street toward the greenway, my legs felt lethargic. If I'm going slow, I thought, I could turn this run into a negative split – a challenging and strategic workout that I find to be fun.
And then the first mile beeped in at 9:34. "There goes my negative split," I thought as most of my runs are in the 9:34 average and it takes a decent effort to push beyond that. But then I clocked a 9:20 for mile 2 and 9:15 for mile 4. This run was not supposed to go like this. I was not supposed to be running like this, the old.
I decided mile 4 could be a cool down. The faster miles were good enough ... until I decided to throw in some strides. I wanted to be done. I wanted to be home. Run fast to the light post, jog to the next. Do that times five or so. Run past the house, round the corner and stay strong through four miles.
Beep, beep, beep. My watch read 8:48. I didn't feel tired. I didn't feel grumpy. For a one-mile split, I felt like me.
The week, in running:
Tuesday: 6 miles, fartlek on hills
Thursday: 5.1 miles
Friday: Double – 6 miles at 5 a.m. and 4 miles at 8:30 a.m.
Sunday: 4 miles