On Easter morning we ran by moonlight around Easton. I was out the door and running to rendezvous with our pre-dawn running crew at 4:40 a.m. Photo courtesy of Sky & Telescope magazine.
I have always enjoyed the borderline sanity that can accompany distance running. I like doing things that most people shake their heads at or do a double-take. Of late, that includes running at uncommonly early hours.
This past week (of 3/16) saw runs of roughly 6.5 miles, 7.5 miles, and 15 miles. The 15-miler began at 4:30 a.m., and was marked at the beginning by a ruthless wind and a brief period of -in-the-face rain. I don't think there is a neighborhood in south Easton that we didn't loop through to get the miles in. Total time for a hair over 15 miles was 2:20:56, which puts us reasonably close to 9-minute miles, for the long, slow run of the week.
It felt good to work the distance back up and I felt good throughout the run. Our previous run saw us running the last two miles of the run at a quick pace, under 7:00-minute miles for a stretch and clocking one of the last miles in 7:30.
Then there was Easter morning. I ran 2 miles to meet Landy Cook and Joel Shilliday at Idlewild Park, connecting at 5:00 a.m. We ran by moonlight at an easy pace, catching up on Easter egg hunts, upcoming races, common experiences, and plans for the coming week. After a good group run, I ran home, with a total running time of 1:24, probably about 8.5 or 9 miles, and walked up the front steps at about 6:00 a.m., able to talk to our older daughter, Anna, who was awake and curious if the Easter Bunny had been to our house, and I was even get back in bed before the holiday with the family started.
This makes three weeks of 3-per-week morning runs in the log book, and the start of a fourth, pre-dawn. Since the training race in question is a trail marathon, we've got to get some trail miles in out at Tuckahoe, hopefully this weekend for the next round.
The early morning runs, and the posse (at 5:00 a.m. on Easter morning, three fathers of young children out to run constitutes a posse), has talk of a running group going. Of the names proposed, Rise Up Runners is the only one with any sponsorship potential ;) The natural connection between getting up to run in the dark and coffee is poignant. If our friends at Rise Up Coffee--with two convenient locations in St. Michaels and Salisbury--would consider some coffee rations and use of the name and logo, maybe we can spread the word!