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! :)


  1. 1

    SHORTS would have been a great idea – I’ll know to check the weather more carefully next time ;)

    Given our late night + morning forecast, it’s no small victory that we got these miles DONE. But we did! And whew, it felt good. Lucky for us DC provides some pleasant scenery and chatting the miles away provides a good distraction! ‘Til the next run…

  2. 3

    omG! I can relate to this many times. The reason behind it? I always workout alone! I’ve tried to convince people into walking/running/exercising whatever they want, but most of them aren’t committed. So they do it with me once and quit, hiding it all over their conditions. So sad :( But I always cheer up myself and say: Jess you got to do it, if you don’t nobody will do it for you!! Get up (virtual kick) and move! So I just look for ways to stay motivated. I always have inspirational quotes on backgrounds of devices. I also make a list of “energy music”. I realize that it all depends on my goals and my decision to stay healthy! Congratulations because you beat the “I want to sleep” version of yourself that was running around your mind trying to convince you to stay at home! Enjoy NYC :D

    • 4

      Aw man, that’s a bummer about not being able to keep workout buddies, but good for you for keeping it up regardless! Very inspiring. :)

  3. 5

    I’m definitely excited for lighter mornings, too!

    Cool blue tights!

  4. 6

    Working out with someone always makes it easier! I’m drooling over your night pics of the WWII memorial and capitol… so beautiful! I’m hoping to make it back up to DC for the Nike Women’s half in the spring!

  5. 8

    Virtual high-five for getting this morning’s run done! Our new French friend would have been proud of you! Have fun in NYC! :)

  6. 9

    6am runs are rough so congrats on getting out there. Cute pants too!

  7. 10

    Kudos to you for getting yourself out the door! Thank goodness for running buddies to keep us accountable! :)

  8. 11

    I can definitely relate to this post! I had a really rough 3 mile run yesterday, but pushed through and completed it in time to see the trick-or-treaters :) How do you find your running buddies? I’m a morning exerciser too and would love company – esp. when it’s dark outside!

  9. 12

    That’s awesome you went for a 12 mile run this morning! Id say that calls for an extra beer at happy hour :). I am really looking forward to see how you do during this marathon! I think you are going to kill it! I am in a rut with trying to get my runs in. So I started running last February/March with the treadmill and gradually moved outside as it got warmer/light out… so I haven’t really ever experienced this transition before (to dark and cold). Is it weird that I am nervous about running in the dark? I don’t really have a running buddy that has the same pace as me that lives near me… so I would be going alone. Blah.

  10. 14

    Anne I love your running outfit! Super cute :-)

  11. 15

    I’d love running in the mornings during the summer, but the dark cooler mornings are tough for me. I guess I need to find some running buddies! Also, I just wanted to say thank you for being real in the post (and others) about not wanting to run. It’s nice to see it happens to even seasoned runners and it’s motivating to see how you overcome not wanting to get out there.

  12. 17

    During marathon training this past summer, I was going to do a long run and decided to cut it short by turning around early. I was just feeling sluggish and NOT feeling it. On my way back, though, I felt a lot better and decided to go a bit longer. Well, the 10 miler that I planned on turned into a PDR of 15 miles! I was so glad that I stuck with it.

  13. 19
    Roadrunner says

    Well done, Anne. Impressive discipline! Enjoy the Big Apple —

  14. 20

    Good for you on getting up and out this morning! The weather is really odd here today too, almost creepy how warm it is! Have fun in NYC!

  15. 21

    Well done on getting out there! Running buddies are the way forward, so much harder without them! I just need to find one in Ireland! :)

  16. 22

    Love the blue tights in your last pic! Where are they from? I’ve been looking for running pants that aren’t black haha

  17. 24

    Love your running outfit. I think it’s time for you to do a fashion post- your recent outfits for working out and work

  18. 26

    That early morning argument with yourself sounds awfully familiar to me! It did seem especially dark this morning in the Northeast, but it looks like it was totally worth it! Having a running buddy really does help. I mostly go solo, but I absolutely love when I get the opportunity to run with my sister.

  19. 27

    Totally know what you mean about wanting to bail but knowing how good you’d feel once finished and,how disappointed you’d be if you ended up not doing your scheduled run….felt it many times. Have also felt crap throughout a long walk/run, despite a longer one mere days ago feeling great. Very up and down! What separates people like you and I Anne from those who don’t achieve their goals (becoming an RD, completing a marathon etc) is that, even when we don’t feel like doing it, or not up to it, we do it anyway. No excuses. It’s called commitment. Great work and best wishes for your marathon in a couple of weeks if I don’t write before then. Happy tapering!

  20. 29

    I love that you are a morning runner, even when you don’t enjoy the “morning” part. I wish I could get my runs in before work, but I have to be there by 7 and a 4 a.m. run is just not in my future. =)
    I think the WWII memorial is by far the prettiest nighttime memorial.

  21. 31

    Oh, it is an everyday event that I don’t want to run haha! I have yet to start loving long distances and prefer HIIT running exercises. One day, and after reading enough of your inspirational posts, I will love long distance running! ;)

  22. 32

    Wow well done on giving yourself a kick in the butt and just getting it done! And in such a great time too that is just awesome!

    I’ve never watched the NYC Marathon but I would love to as it sounds like such a great event to watch.

  23. 33

    I had a run recently where I wasn’t in the mood to lace up my shoes – it happened to be raining as well. The rain was more of a drizzle, and thankfully it didn’t become a downpour. This rain run actually felt cleansing and restoring. I wrote an article about it on my blog called ‘Rain Runs’ (and included some music by The Doors, BJ Thomas, and The Carpenters – good inspiration for easy runs on a mellow day). As to spectating, from what I’ve seen as a participant, I always appreciate the very creative signs with funny messages like “You’re Almost There” at mile marker 9 of a full marathon. You grin and keep running.


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