“For me, running is a lifestyle and an art. I’m far more interested in the magic of it than the mechanics.” – Lorraine Moller, marathon Olympic bronze medalist
Running during the early morning hours offers some benefits.
This amazing autumn provides ideal training weather for a marathon. Perfectly clear skies open up a galaxy of stars, and if you’re careful, enough light to run without using a headlamp. And encounters with wildlife otherwise hidden from sight.
One day last week, as I returned from an 8-mile circuit south of Grand Forks, I spotted a fawn in the distance. It stood on the street, underneath the dull hue of the street light, as a doe stepped onto the concrete. And then another fawn. And another. In all, there were 6 deer making their way to the river near the Greenway.
A few weeks ago, as I worked my way up a hilly gravel road, I found myself questioning an object standing alongside the road, outside the thick wooded cover. So few people have a reason to be there. At first startled, chills raced down my back. Then excitement and adrenaline at the sight of a huge buck, who stared at me for about 20 seconds before bolting into the trees. He probably was startled to see me, too.
In the pre-dawn darkness, I find myself squinting to make out shadows and outlines – never knowing what I might find as I approach. Perhaps that’s one reason I almost always prefer to run outside.
There are exceptions, though. Weather, specific training effects related to speed work and sometimes, in the winter, just to see other people putting it on the line, too, to improve.
As my journey through training for the New York City Marathon winds down – I officially begin my taper tomorrow – I found myself at the gym this morning. The treadmill workout had a dual purpose – dial in the pace of intervals and escape the wind.
From here until Sunday, Nov. 2, it’s time to dial into a very specific routine to make race day a success.