Saturday, September 20, 2008

Peaceful Sabbath Run

Today is the Jewish Sabbath (or Shabbat as we call it).  Throughout my marathon training I did my long runs on Shabbat - waking up early so I could finish up my long run, get home eat and shower and get ready to walk to our synagogue (1/4 mile down the street) by 9:45am.

Many people call Shabbat "the day of rest".  However, after spending months waking up before the sun rose and going for a run - some starting around 5:15am - my Shabbat was no longer a "day of rest".  However, long runs at this hour are definitely peaceful.  And today was another peaceful Shabbat run.

Again, however, it was not a day of rest :-(

The day started in our household around 5:10am when my youngest ran into our room - bright-eyed, bushy tailed and ready to start the day.  Grrrrrr.  We tried to get him to go back to sleep, but by 5:45, I realized it was not going to happen.  I put him in front of the TV by 6am, got in my running clothes and out the door I went.

The weather was BEAUTIFUL!  Low 50s.  No humidity.  Clear skies.  A crisp morning for running.  Delicious.

My plan was to do my 6-mile route or 7-mile route - depending on how I felt (turn onto Kentlands Blvd or continue on to Darnestown Road and finish back on Main Street).  Also in the plans was to take it easy.  I wanted to go slowly - see if I could still do a slow easy run after all those weeks of speedwork in preparation for the Kentlands 5K.

My first mile was 10:45 pace and HR in the low 140s.  I kept my pace and HR down nicely through the first 3 miles - even with the hills.  After that I started to speed up a bit - I had my iPod with me and as I normally end up doing, I run to the cadence of the music at times.  Not that I had thumpin' tunes with me - it was mainly Jack Johnson with a few miscellaneous tracks of Plain White Ts, Fastball and Smashmouth.

A strange thing that happened towards the end of my run - about 50 yards in front of me, I saw a fox quickly darting across Quince Orchard Road.  At 7:30am in the daylight (I thought foxes mainly ran around at night).  I slowed down and waited to ensure the fox was deep in the woods on my side of the road before I went further.  Last thing I want to do on a run is be chased by a fox (unless it is a relative of mine!)

As I approached Kentlands Blvd, I felt good, so I pushed it to the seven mile run.  All in all it was a glorious run - 7.33 miles in 1:16:36, a 10:28/mile pace and an average HR of 150.  And the start to a peaceful Shabbat (although definitely NOT a day of rest!)