Category: running

Training Season


It’s 4:30 am, and my alarm buzzes me somewhat awake after about 4 hours or so of sleep.  My eyes slowly begin to focus, and I lay there in the dark, not quite ready to move just yet.  For a moment, my mind begins to wander,tempting me with thoughts of  “Remember the days before we started doing this?  There’s no earthly need to get up this early, we don’t even have class til 9:30 this morning, that’s another 4 hours we could be sleeping.”

Yet, that is not the life I lead anymore, of sleeping in.  Not during the week at least.  I had to be up that insanely early during my past in the Navy, but that was when I was on their time, so that was forced “motivation”.  No this is something completely different.   This is all about me.

Sure, I could work out at any other time during the day, or evening even.  I used to do that, sporadic workouts a few times a week here or there, maybe I’d even get a week or two in where I hit up my apartment complex’s gym 3 times a week (Chest, back/shoulders, and arm day)  and then I’d eat whatever I want and I was content in that, complacent with that even.

It wasn’t until recently, when I had that wild hair to truly improve myself, to really be the best version of me possible, and not just saying that, that I changed things.  I have a mental montage of some of this (Previously, on Mike’s Life) before I force myself out of the comfort zone that is my bed at this ungodly hour.

I strip down, then hop on the scale in my bathroom, 212, a nice improvement from the 219 I was at the previous day.  My metabolism is weird like that now, the Monday after my cheat day Saturday I always seem to go up like 6 pounds, but then after getting back into the routine of my diet I fall back down to the more comfortable weight level I’m at.   I admit I’d probably have better results if I stuck to my diet on a 7 day basis, but being that I’m doing this for no one but myself, I can afford to go up a few for a day, and work on it even harder the next week.


Finishing up, I get my workout clothes out of the laundry basket, fresh and clean for the only brief time that statement will be 100% accurate this week.  Old Navy gym shorts, and the Spider-Man shirt I wore yesterday, red and blue is my look for today’s session too, I can dig it.

I stretch my legs, calves getting ready for today’s run, pumping myself up by remembering how far I’ve gotten already in this journey, from barely pacing a mile, to the now 2 mile standard I set for myself, this time adding in some ankle rotations to the warm up, so as to further prepare myself, it’s not the same quick and easy jog it was before.

Now that I’m ready, I leave my room, and get my running shoes on.  These grey and red Reeboks have been with me a few years now, since my last great adventure in the Navy.  They’ve walked the ancient steps of the Coliseum in Rome, been all up and down the bars in American Alley in Souda Bay, Crete, and seen their fair share of laps around the ship during my free time whilst still at sea.   And now they’ve seen the most action they ever have, in these past few months.

I feed the cats, crank up the music, and leave the house.  I like running this time of morning, as I can start my run as soon as I cross the street, no need to wait for traffic to let me pass, as there’s no traffic at 5:00 am.

I start running, more of a slow jogging pace to warm myself up that first mile.  I’m not trying to beat any time today, it’s all about the distance.   Three songs in, or 8 minutes later I’m a mile into the run, at the corner of the sidewalk where Rosemont turns into Holland, the parking lot of the Wal-Mart Supermarket.   Calves are killing me so I take a bit of  a break, stretching them out, and catching my breath for a minute, before getting past the Taco Bell, and kicking it up again another notch.   21 Pilots, Heavydirtysoul is the soundtrack for this next round.


I’m on autopilot by round 2, speeding up just a bit now that I’m warmed up, I have to walk again another two songs later.  I think I’m going to take a break for a bit, but then another song comes on ‘Metalingus’ by Alter Bridge, and my body’s like, “You’ve got this”, and my mind says “Fuck it”, and hit the ground running again.

By this point I’m around the corner of Lynnhaven, ready to hit that home stretch coming up sooner than I’d like.  I take a quick walking break for a few minutes, until I see that despite all this I’ve only run 1.6 miles.  I need to get another .4 miles in to keep my streak going.  I’m not exhausted but not running at 100%  but I push myself to get as much of this running as possible.

I’m at the home stretch now, now getting a little tired, this breakfast only after the workout thing works for me but still kills me by this point in my session.  I put on the training theme from the movie ‘Creed’ for that last bit of motivation.  I hit the ground running as fast as I can as hard as I can for that home stretch, it’s like 4 minutes of hell for my body, but as I hit the corner of Rosemont/Buckner as that song hits it’s climax I’m finished for now.  I check my stats on the Google Fit App, 2.2 miles.  I did it.  Like I said I would.    This part of the workout is done, and now I’m ready for round 2, at the gym.