Weekly mileage: 24 miles (two 4-milers, two 5-milers, and one 6-miler)
I can't get over how awesome running was this week. I don't know if it was the weather, excess energy from studying all day, steroids, or a combination of the three, but I was definitely channeling a Xena Warrior Princess/Amazonian-type superwoman. Yesterday I checked my Garmin after what felt like a pretty easy 6 miles and was shocked to discover that I ran it at 9:50 pace, only slightly slower than my marathon tempos this past spring. I'm back, baby!
The changing leaves also made for nice running company.
Fern Ridge path. It's actually kind of a disgusting place, but it has its moments.
Since classes started a couple of weeks ago, I've been trying to figure out where running fits into it all. I haven't had any trouble getting out there (in fact, I've never appreciated running more!), but there have been a few days where I've honestly had no idea when the miles were going to get done. More than once, I've left my house at 7:30, running clothes in tow, and returned 12 or 13 hours later with them unworn.* Those days, I'm forced to run in semi-darkness because Eugene is crazy and has, like, four streetlights. On a related note, I need to buy a headlamp.
Now, there is a very obvious solution to this. That hasn't escaped me. I am WELL aware that "running in the morning" is something that people do. While I sit around whining about waking up at the god-forsaken hour of 7:00 a.m., millions of other, much more hardcore people than I are busting out 20-milers at 4:00 a.m. I'm not that person, though. In fact, I'm the antithesis of that person. Waking up 3+ hours before I have to be somewhere (to eat, digest, run, shower, and commute) is my idea of hell.
In a perfect world, I'd incorporate my run into my commute to school. When I lived in New York, this is how 90% of my runs got done. It was a great set-up: running the five miles to work was quicker than taking the subway, and infinitely more pleasant. Running also meant that I could shower after entering an air-conditioned sanctuary, which was way better than "I just showered an hour ago but commuting in this disgustingly hot swamp that is New York has soaked my entire body in sweat." The very best thing about this situation was that I didn't have to wake up any earlier in order to get it done. Wins all around!
The thing about that job, though, was that I didn't need anything once I got there. No books, no brain... Nothing. A couple of times I forgot crucial pieces of work attire (one embarrassing day spent in spandex and a sweatshirt comes to mind. That shit doesn't fly in New York), but that problem was easily solved by stashing an extra outfit in my desk.
College, on the other hand, requires you to bring so many things. Computer? Essential. Micro textbook? Necessary. Macro textbook? Yep, need that. Oh, and let's not forget the stats textbook! And food. More food than a single human should be able to eat. Add clothes into the mix and you've got enough to fill a giant backpack and accompanying tote bag. There's no way that much stuff is going into my tiny running backpack. I don't have any place to store stuff on campus, either, so that's not an option. Oh, woe is the hobby jogger!
So what's a whiny, tired girl like myself to do? I'm not sure. For now I'm fitting my runs in where I can and hoping for the best. I'm also waiting for the hormones that allow you to wake up at 4:00 a.m. to kick in. That's what happens when you age, right? Or are you people just, like, better than I am?
*[I feel the need to clarify that my grad school strategy is to treat school like a job, which means work, work, work from at least 9:00-to-5:00. No mid-afternoon runs for me!]
Happy Sunday, friends!