If you're going to sign up to run a race, you're going to force yourself to practice for two reasons. One, you don't want to be embarrassed or hurt yourself on the day of the race. Two, you don't want to waste your money. Race entry fees can be very expensive.
So I've been getting up at 4:50am Monday, Wednesday, and Friday so I can get out there and be done running by the time the sun comes up. (It's as much as 70 degrees in the dark some mornings.) Thank goodness, there is a big hill to the east that shields me from the sun for a few extra minutes. Those are a few extra minutes of sleep for me!
Now, I'm not fast, but I will tell you one secret I've found that works for me. Before I go out, even before I go to bed the night before, I think about how great running is, how great the wind feels in my face, what a sense of accomplishment I feel when I run a little faster.
The reason I keep going with this awful circuit training (it's awful because I'm not strong yet and I'm just terrible at all these exercises) is that I know I'm going to run faster if I keep it up. Already, I can tell the difference – I'm regularly running at my past fully-trained speed, the speed I run during a race, and I'm only two weeks in! I may not enjoy feeling like a weakling as I work my way up to a strong body, but I already know it's going to be worth it!
One of the things that I forgot I need to plan for is that I need more sleep with all the extra exercise. I think it was after my second run that I lay down after lunch for a few minutes and slept for two hours! It's much harder for me to get enough sleep in the summer due to the early sunrise, so I have a dark T-shirt under my pillow that I pull out around 5am and put over my eyes – on days I don't have to get up early. Hey, whatever works, right? 🙂
Another thing that's slightly irritating, but necessary, is that you need to train consistently. Tomorrow is the 4th of July – a holiday and, for many people, a day to sleep in. But me? It's Monday, a training day, so my alarm is set for 4:50am.
Plus, I've got a big conference in ten days with events from 8am into the evening. It's an exhausting (but fun!) four days on its own. But guess what I'm going to have to do? Yup, get up at 4 or 5 in the morning and run four miles around San Diego on Wednesday and Friday, and then go to a full day of workshops.
And yet, I'm looking forward to a morning run in a new place. Silly Kitty, I know. But…I guess I've not only caught the running bug…I think it's permanent. 😀