5AM Runner

One Crazy Trip


photo 1211Wow, what a morning so far!

I will tell you, yesterday I thought about writing today's post to address the topic of sprinting at the end of any cardio stretch, what it does and just how good or bad it may be.  However, having survived a hell of a morning, I definitely have to include some additional topics as well.

It all started at about 5, when I was arguing with myself whether or not to get up and go out, suggesting that the next morning would be equally good, if not better for a run.  The sound of a light drizzle outside certainly supported that argument.  And then something else came to my mind, outweighing all other possible excuses - July 4th is tomorrow, which means that I am looking at a major, 2-day drinking / eating session with two of the most feared drinkers of our generation.  And since that "marathon" would be starting later today, I will most likely be unable to run, or even get up properly tomorrow morning, so I'd better head right out.  And out I went...

As I stepped outside, the rain had slowed down to a light, almost non-existent sprinkle, and I was actually excited (as everyone knows by now, I simply LOVE running in the rain!);  I was immediately very pleased with myself, having made it out in time, looking to get this one in and being ready for holiday-related self-destruction at the table later on.  As usual, my thoughts were interrupted by an SUV that was slowing making its way towards me, driving in a peculiar sort of cautious, stop-and-go manner....

A few moments later, I realized that he was simply a newspaper guy, throwing blue newspaper packs into each of the driveways in our development.  Typically, I don't like those guys, as I have to bob and weave and dodge the newspapers flying past me like bullets - it just complicates my otherwise simple life!  And then, of course, as I ran next to the car, I noticed that he was also screaming something into the window at me.... Oh, great!  As you know, I normally don't talk to strangers (or to anyone at all) during my run, as it would directly violate my 5 AM Running Rule # 8.  But something in his manner actually got me interested and, for a change, I tried to listen to what he was saying.

Believe it or not, I only caught the end of his speech, but I honestly thought that the man said: "You are that 5 AM Runner guy, aren't you?!"  Of course, I could be wrong, and he may have been cursing me out, as most other people do, but I went with my version, and for the first time in my running career actually yelled back my answer: "Thanks for watching!".... No clue why I said that, there is nothing to watch anywhere.... The look on his face made me realize that he did, in fact, say something different to me earlier, but there was no time to resolve this issue, and we each went our separate ways, equally puzzled by the other's response...

Anyway, back to the fun stuff.  As I hit the main road and got about 3 miles into it, the rain had significantly picked up.  In all honesty, that's an understatement; at first it just picked up a little, however, minutes later, it became an all-out torrential downpour, with a wall of water standing vertically in front of me, and huge drops flying into my face from all angles, uncontrollably.  Despite my love of running in the rain, normally this is not what I have in mind; I like a little rain to spice up the experience, but not the violent and abundant waterfall that would have made Noah proud....

What to do?!  I am miles away from home, out in the open with nowhere to hide... I decided to follow yet another 5 AM Running rule, this time #10, and simply kept on going.   What an amazing experience!  Unable to see much, I was trying to remember why I liked running in the rain in the first place, as I wasn't exactly having fun anymore... One rather new thing I discovered today was that in such a heavy rain, your t-shirt becomes so thoroughly soaked in water, that it feels like it weighs about 20 lbs, as if I needed any extra obstacles added to my already eventful morning!  And so I continued on, carrying an extra 20 lbs on my back, blinded by the liquid wall, the only one outside for miles in any direction, pondering why I was out here to begin with.... What a life!

If you recall, my initial goal was to write about sprinting, which I do sometimes to end my runs, that is,photo 13 for about the last 20 seconds of it, I pick up speed and go crazy, giving it my last calorie of energy and my last breath of air!  The reason is - I am done, so may as well push myself just a bit more in a final stretch.  I was doing some research and was thinking to discuss the pros and cons of this tactic.  Well, this morning it was not about the pros and cons, it was about getting away from the heaviest rain in years, and so I ended up sprinting like a complete madman almost the last 2 minutes of the run, becoming completely exhausted and out of breath.  I will just have to discuss the topic of sprinting in my next post.

Before I could burst into my home, I had to take off and wring out my t-shirt, as I just could not wear it anymore, by then it weighed about 50 lbs, and would probably drip all over!  Then as I walked back inside, I decide to forever immortalize the moment and take a couple of pictures of myself, you may check them out here, and please don't get scared .... they certainly don't do me justice, but hey, life ain't always fair.  Until then,

Keep it running!