The alarm clock went off too early this morning. I wanted to run seven miles, so I had to do it early because hubby was leaving for Green Bay at 6:30 AM. I didn't start my run until quarter after five (one snooze too long).
Since it was dark, I wore my headlamp. In town, it was set on it's lowest brightness. I like that it has a blinking light on the back. Once I was out of town, I turned the brightness to high.
A mile into the run, it looked like it was raining, but it didn't feel like rain. On closer inspection, I realized that it was snowing! I debated with myself for a while. Maybe it looked like snow because I wasn't wearing my contacts or because there was a mist in the air. Looking at the road confirmed it, a light dusting of snow.
I don't mind running in the snow. It's very peaceful and prayerful. I was concerned about the darkness, though. At mile two, my headlamp picked up an animal's eyes. They seemed to glow green. I noticed the shadow of the head and it's ears were up, listening ... Was it a wolf, a dog, a coyote, I thought. Bear season is now underway. Maybe I should have stuck with running just in town. Does my husband know that I take this route on my long runs? If it was a dog, I think that it would have barked. "Dear Jesus, please keep me safe on my run." "St. Francis, intercede for me." I prayed over and over those two miles.
At mile three, Gunner (my garmin) said that I was going too fast. Average pace for three miles was a 10:48. My long runs should be around 11:30; though the McMillian running calculator says I should be at least a 12:00 pace. The speed probably came from the darkness, the animals, and the concern that I needed to get home before hubby left. I saw four deer crossing the road. When I turned to look at them, I noticed the shape of their head and the spacing of their eyes. Laughing at myself, that had to have been a deer looking at me at mile two. "Thank you, God, for keeping me safe from harm."
At mile four, I walked a bit and ate four Clif Shot Bloks, Tropical Punch flavor. Washed them done with Nuun that was in my handheld. The snowfall had ended. The dawn was breaking and I was less anxious about the animals. When I started running again, I noticed that my legs felt great. Usually after walking for a bit, they feel sluggish. Hmmm, could it be the CEP compression socks? Hubby gave the go ahead to buy a pair, hoping that they would help with my ankle tendons. Smart purchase. I could definitely use another pair ... running sponsor??
Mile five was relaxing. The sun was starting to peak through the trees. The sky was glowing in all shades of oranges, yellow, and blues.
Mile six felt great. Gunner was yelling at me to slow down. Split time for mile six was 10:17. I ignored him and listened to my body. Plus, I knew that the last mile would be slow with the 200 ft climb back to the house.
Mile seven was slow; 11:51. Almost the entire last mile is uphill; but I ran up the entire hill.
When I arrived home, hubby had left twenty minutes before. I was mad at myself for not getting out earlier. I would have liked to say good-bye and kiss him. Lots of Hair was awake. Luckily, she has an awesome big brother who is willing to take care of her. I found the two of them watching Dora when I returned. I prayed a prayer of thanksgiving for getting me back safely and for keeping the kids safe.
I felt very blessed this morning. Blessed to be able to run. Blessed that my son can take good care of his 17 month old sister. Blessed to be able to see the little bit of snowfall. If I would have gotten up after the sunrise, I would have never known that it did snow a bit.
Mr. T took my picture:
Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. - 1 Cor 9:24-27