Monday, April 2, 2012

7 mornings, 7 runs

Waking up early every morning without the ability to fall asleep again can be both a blessing and a curse. Perhaps there's something amiss in my sleep schedule, but looking on the positive side, I've decided to grab the opportunity of early mornings to run rather than to try futilely get back to sleep.

Last 7 mornings, I've gotten up and run. I don't know how long this streak will last, but now that I've begun it, I'm tentatively hoping and aiming for 40 days in a row. (Incidentally, I've never tried something like this before.)

I believe the key to a streak is to run a little bit each day but not overdo it to the extent I'll be fatigued for next morning's run.

To this end, I either run on a treadmill for 15-30 minutes at a baseline speed of 7.0 mph, or run along a rather gorgeous, out-and-back, car-free path along a (usually) dry river bed shown in red below: This is the Cañada del Oro Linear Park. The Oro Valley town's section cost of $2.5 million ($2 million bond, $0.5 million federal funds). Each direction is 2.73 miles (4.39 km). Does not cross any roads (utilizes underpasses). Does not run alongside any road. Runs alongside the Cañada del Oro wash. I run the outbound leg in one go. And then run and walk the return path.

If your browser supports it, i.e. you have the Google Earth plug-in installed (, here is the 1 minute 3D flyover video (rendered by Google Earth via
(It sometimes doesn't work on my Safari browser, but when it works it is beautifully smooth and looks like a real flyover. Note: Firefox seems to work fine.) Direct link to MapMyRun (renders in a full window): here
Youtube video (via Quicktime Movie Screen record, jerky video due to lack of CPU power on my Macbook Pro, both cores were pegged during screen record): here

Here are the runs graphing time and pace. Treadmill runs are in blue, the riverside path runs in green, and pace in orange (shorter is faster). Note my first two runs were only 15 minute in length. In reality, that's an hour each at the gym. Basically, 15 mins run + 5 mins warm-up at 3.0 mph + 5 mins cool-down at 3.0 mph + 10 min stretching afterwards + change and shower. Also note that my outdoor runs tended to be at a faster pace than on the treadmill.

Total distance in this week has been 40.54 km in 3:23:36 (hr:mm:ss) for an average workout pace of 5:01 min/km. A somewhat humble beginning for a streak but let's see how it develops. On the bright side, I've manage to lose a kilogram.

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