It was the birds that woke me up this morning. I thought the anticipation of knowing I'd go on another early-morning run would stir me before the sun came up but, as luck would have it, some bird chirping about something roused me from sleep at 5:21 am.
Oh, there's no way.
The run was fresh on my mind but getting up and running three miles wasn't exactly the most enticing thing at that moment. I stayed in bed a few moments before getting up. I remembered that I had set my clothes out in the office and that my brand-new shoes were waiting for me there as well.
I had set everything up for me to get up and go, and I took care of the first part of the plan. Now, I just had to follow through.
Come on, what else are you going to do?
A few minutes later, I set my iPod on System of a Down and I was out on the street. And off I went.
I wanted to run a bit longer on Friday than the usual 2.25 run-around-the-neighborhood. I thought about the Oak Quarry course, which would require a bit of uphill running. I figured I'd do that so I went down 30th, up Florine, out to 34th and over to Armstrong. But as I went down the street toward Sierra, I thought about going up to Gilliam, which was a new route I'd mapped out over the weekend. I remembered it being about 3.4 miles, the same distance as the Oak Quarry run, so I decided to try that. Something new.
I crossed over Sierra and passed a small side street that I would come out of on my way back. I'd go up to Gilliam, down a back street and out this little street here, Karen Street I believe. I turned my attention up towards Gilliam, only...
I don't see anything up ahead.
There was a sidewalk before me, which was good, a long stretch of sidewalk. The street was at a bit of an incline and there was a bike lane adjacent to the sidewalk. But as far as I could tell, it was all sidewalk. No Gilliam.
Still, I plowed ahead. I wondered how long I'd been running for. I wondered how much I'd ran at that point. I remembered having had a digital watch on recently and playing with it and setting the time and it was pretty vivid.
Yeah, it was a dream, stupid.
Oh yeah. I had that dream. I need to invest in a watch.
I tried not to look too far ahead. I didn't want to get discouraged and I was in a good groove. I wasn't tired. I wasn't mentally exhausted or anything. The only problem was that I wasn't getting the good System of a Down songs that I'd hoped for. Oh well.
Finally, I saw the bike lane break up ahead. Or, did it?
No. It's just the incline and the angle I'm at that makes it look like a street up ahead.
Crap. I just had to keep running. There weren't too many cars out on the street that morning, at least not on Armstrong headed to our coming out of Bloomington. I had on a grey t-shirt with the word ARMY in front of it, and I wondered a few times if passers-by thought I was an Army veteran or something.
Look. Finally. Gilliam.
I rounded the corner off Armstrong, off the comforts of a sidewalk and down into a residential neighborhood I'd seen only in December. I remember driving down the street I was now running on during the Christmas season and that not many of the houses there were in the holiday spirit. It was a tiny bit of a downward slope so I wasn't trudging up as I had been on the other side of the houses.
The jaunt back to Karen and out to Armstrong again passed by soon enough and then I was heading down Sierra. About halfway, I took off. I tried to sprint a good portion of the run and I had enough gas to do it. I was flying... okay, maybe not speeding but I was running at a good pace.
I was beat down, though, when I got to the end of Sierra. Back on 30th Street, I got back into a steady pace and before too long I was home.
After I showered I went to check out the route on my trusty WalkJogRun.net account. I noticed that I hadn't run the right route. I had actually ran a little longer. I mapped the precise route I took, down to the places I crossed different streets at, and it came out to 3.75. It's nice but if I knew I was so close to four miles I would have made it an even four.
Oh well. Guess I'll save that run for the next time some annoying bird chirps me awake before 5:30 am.