12 Miles Before 8 a.m.

This morning was one of those days where I was thisclose to ignoring my alarm, texting my running buddy that I wasn’t feeling it, and going back to bed. It was dark. And rainy. And for some reason (sarcasm font) running 12 miles at 6 a.m. didn’t sound like such an awesome idea anymore now that it was actually time to do it, especially since I hadn’t gotten to bed until 11:30 or so (late for me!) because we were at Markoff’s Haunted Forest (sooo awesome) last night.

I got out of bed and went out onto our porch into the humid (is it seriously November?) morning air to debate with myself. What to do? I really didn’t want to run. “It’s not fair,” I whined to myself in my head. “Everyone else is in bed. Why shouldn’t I go back to bed, too? This sucks.” I turned on my phone to text my friend… and then thought about how happy I’d feel when it was done. And how disappointed I’d be in myself later if I bailed. So after a few minutes of struggling, I sighed, gave myself a virtual kick in the butt, and decided to stick to my plans and stop being such a baby.

And so, 20 minutes later and I was out and running with my buddy Heather in the dark and wet morning.

I wasn’t originally planning to do my long run for the week this morning. As you guys know, I’m in the beginning stages of tapering for the Richmond Marathon, which is now 2 weeks away. I did 22 miles last Saturday, and I was thinking I would do my 12 miler for this weekend in Central Park in NYC tomorrow (Matt and I are heading up to cheer on friends in the marathon). But the more I thought about it, the more I didn’t really want to deal with running 12 miles in New York by myself. My running buddies up there are all going to be resting up for the marathon Sunday, and Matt said he would do some of the run with me, but not all of it. Plus, I heard there is a small race going on in the park tomorrow and wasn’t sure what would be blocked off for that. I was talking to Heather on gchat earlier this week, debating what to do, when she said: “If you want to do the 12 miles on Friday morning, I’ll do it with you.” Deal.

I have to say – I’m so proud of myself for getting this run done, because I felt like crap the entire time. You guys know I really love running, and I have had a lot of “sunshine and puppies” type runs lately where I feel awesome, the weather is nice, and all is right with the world. Well, this wasn’t one of those runs. From the first mile, I wanted to stop. I was tired. It was super windy. And humid. And then rainy. But you know what? I didn’t stop. I’m not sure I would have pushed through without Heather by my side – I’m so glad she was out there with me.

We ran down to the National Mall and had the place practically to ourselves. The World War II Memorial was so stunning in the dark.

The Capitol was looking lovely as well.

By the time we looped around the Capitol and back down along the mall, it had started raining, but it actually felt nice given how humid and warm it was out. I was in shorts and a tank top and I was hot! On November 1st. Wtf, weather?

We ended the run up in Dupont. I was SO happy to see my watch hit 12. 🙂 Isn’t it strange how hit or miss running is? Running 22 miles on Saturday felt way easier than running 12 did today. So weird.

We kept up a great pace, considering how sluggish I felt! I was really pleased to see that average of 8:55 minutes/mile when we were done. Faster than I’d thought we were going!


  • Mile 1: 8:51
  • Mile 2: 8:41
  • Mile 3: 8:42
  • Mile 4: 9:00
  • Mile 5: 8:40
  • Mile 6: 8:58
  • Mile 7: 8:49
  • Mile 8: 9:09
  • Mile 9: 9:10
  • Mile 10: 8:55
  • Mile 11: 9:12
  • Mile 12: 8:56

Whew! Our overall time was 1 hour and 47 minutes. Did we seriously just do that on a Friday morning?! Heather – thanks for getting me out there today, and for keeping me going! You rock.

In other running news, I got in another early morning run on Wednesday morning with my friend Sokphal. It was a great run – my legs felt fresh and speedy and I hadn’t seen Sokphal in awhile so it was nice to catch up. She just crushed the Marine Corps Marathon Sunday with a new PR! Proud of her. 🙂

It was super dark for this run, too, so I was glad to have the company.

We chatted away and the miles went by quickly. We also had a fun guest runner join us for a little while – a French woman who was here in D.C. for a conference and was out running alone; she started chatting with us, saying how cool it was that Americans went out for early morning runs together as a social thing. We had a lot of fun talking to her – she hung with us for about 3 miles! She said her goal is to run the NYC Marathon someday. 🙂

It was still dark out when we finished. I’m really excited for daylight savings this weekend to give us some more light in the mornings again!

It started to pour JUST as I got back to my apartment. Good timing! 6 miles in 51:38 with an average pace of 8:35 minute/miles. Sweet! Especially since we had a big hill near the end.

And now, time to get down to work! I have a lot to get done before Matt and I hop on the bus in the late afternoon for NYC.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

  • Have any of you spectated the NYC Marathon before? Any tips?
  • Share a time recently when you really didn’t want to run or were having a hard run and pushed through. Feel free to brag – you earned it! 🙂

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