How bad do I want this? Bad enough to start my scheduled 15+ mile run at 3am this morning so I could get it in before our family left for vacation at 7am.
How good of a friend is Nathan? Such a good friend that he got up and ran it with me!
How CRAZY are we? INSANE!!
I honestly didn’t know when I was going to get my run in this weekend, but I knew one way or another it was going to get done. Yesterday Nathan texted me about running this morning with our running group. I said that we would be on our way to the beach while the group was running, and then half-jokingly threw out there that we could start at 3am! While I expected a “Thanks but no thanks,” he actually expressed some interest, and after a few more texts we had agreed to meet at the Edwin Warner Park Nature Center at 3am.
Because of packing, I was not able to get to bed last night until 11:30pm, so this was little more than a nap. Even though I was very tired when we started, it turned out to be a very good time to run since the temps were fairly mild (around 60 degrees).
With night-time reflective gear and head lamps equipped, we took off on a route that included Edwin Warner Park, the Harpeth River Greenway, and a very large section of the Bellevue community where we live.
After a very, very chill first mile, we settled into a nice rhythm with a pace in the mid to low 8:00s the remainder of the run. Even with the lack of sleep I felt very good throughout, and we just kept clicking off mile after mile.
A few highlights from the run…
About 3/4 of the way through the 5th mile I noticed a small object on the side of the road. I couldn’t really tell what it was, but assumed it was a piece of trash. As I stepped beside it I heard a sudden noise and then looked up to see a dove a few inches in front of my face flapping wildly. I jumped and screamed like a little girl, even causing Nathan to jump. This scared me enough that my heart went racing, and it took a couple of minutes to settle down.
A few minutes later we saw a woman standing in her front yard with a man laying down in the grass beside her feet. Even before we said anything, we assumed that one or both of them was very inebriated. Nathan made a comment that their reason for being outside at 3:45am was about 180 degrees different than ours. They were outside laying in the grass because they were plastered, and we were outside because we were in the middle of a 15+ mile run. Then he pointed out that we might be similar in level of craziness.
Near the end of the run, Nathan pointed out that we had set another “PR” this morning. He said the before today the earliest we had ever run together was 4am. He also said that our temperature “PR” for training was 9 degrees, which was two winters ago. Our previous 4am run was the day before the 2010 Marine Corp Marathon. Neither of us were participating, but our friend Paxton was going with some other members of our running group and needed a ride to the airport. In order to get our run in before I needed to pick him up we got up to run the Percy Warner 11.2-mile loop in the dark at 4am. That was a pretty interesting experience. The trees on that route are so dense that very little light can get through from the night sky, and taking on those massive hills in the dark was a much different perspective than running in the daylight.
As we finished up the run this morning in Edwin Warner Park, the sun was just beginning to come up over the trees. Nathan later posted this on Facebook…
There’s just something about watching the sun rise across the tree tops of Edwin Warner Park that makes you appreciate life and know undeniably that there is a creator. Praise God!
Couldn’t have said it any better myself. Even though it was early, it turned out to be a very enjoyable run with a really good friend. In total we completed 15.25 miles with an average pace of 8:29 per mile.