Mile Markers: Sunrise Chasing

Mile Markers: Chasing Sunrises

I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing Memorial Day weekend! May we be grateful for those who sacrificed their lives for our nation. 

Summer temperatures have arrived in Seattle, which means that some mornings it’s already warm by 8 AM. I realize that some of my coaching clients and readers probably dream about running in 60 degree temperatures, but I prefer those crisp, cool mornings in the 40s. The combination of crisp weather and sunrise by 5:15 AM, and I can’t resist chasing after that lingering sunrise on my morning runs. 

I haven’t done formal speedwork since the Snohomish Women’s Run 10K since I find that a break from hard running for a few weeks helps me continue to improve without burnout. This week my legs and mind felt the urge to pick up the pace again. I didn’t do any tempo runs or fartlek workouts, but I did sneak some faster miles in there. It felt good to pick up the pace again! 

Mile Markers: Chasing Sunrises

Monday: 7 mile progression run & 35 minutes strength training

This was the one morning this week that I ran after 7 AM. Due to the warmer temperatures, I opted for an effort-based out-and-back progression run. The 3.5 miles out were done at an easy pace and the 3.5 miles back were increasing harder until I finished near half marathon effort with 7:39 and 7:40 for the last 2 miles. The route lent well to this as it featured rolling hills with a net elevation gain of 200 feet over the first half – which meant that, minus a couple small climbs, the second half was net downhill. 

My goal is to get more comfortable on this rolling hill route so that I can use it for marathon pace runs during training for CIM this fall. If I can hold marathon pace over Seattle’s hills, Sacramento’s hills feel almost imperceptible in comparison. 

Mile Markers: Chasing Sunrises

For strength training, I used the kettlebell and stability ball routine. Those two pieces of equipment never cease to kick my butt in a workout.

2 x 10 single leg deadlift with kettlebell row (per leg)
2 x 2 Turkish get up
3 x 10 kettlebell swing
3 x 10 kettlebell goblet squat
2 x 8 stability ball pike
2 x 12 hamstring ball curl
2 x 10 stability ball deadbug

Tuesday: 4 mile run & 15 minutes Pilates

Ryan and I took both dogs out on our easy morning run, so our run involved multiple puppy potty breaks. Meanwhile, Charlie decided that he was the alpha dog of the trail, marked everything he could, attempted to out-race Ollie, and barked at other dogs four times his size. Thankfully, it wasn’t as warm as it was on Monday’s run! 

Mile Markers: Chasing Sunrises

Later, I did a quick Pilates workout with a focus on core, hips, and legs, followed by 20 pushups and standing banded leg raises (30 side and 30 back per leg). 

Wednesday: 7 mile run 

I’ve been enjoying running early in the mornings with Ryan so much that I decided to try to tack on extra miles before our run, rather than run by myself or just with Ollie. Hour-long runs also tire out Ollie, who has turned into a block of muscle. I ran 3 miles with Ollie and then met up with Ryan. 

Mile Markers: Chasing Sunrises

Getting out 25 minutes early meant catching a stellar sunrise, with the fluffy whites breaking away to brilliantly blue skies over the course of the hour. 

Thursday: 4 mile run

Both dogs joined us again on this run, so we kept the pace comfortable and relaxed. Thursdays always need to be relaxed runs for me, unless I need to squeeze in a long run early. Maybe it’s the fatigue of the week catching up, but Thursday never feel like a day to push the pace or distance. 

Friday: 4 mile run

Ryan and I treated this run as an out-and-back progression run, just like Monday’s workout. The first 2 miles were comfortable – 8:45 and 8:38 – and the second 2 miles were at a steady moderate clip – 8:11 and 7:45. That 7:45/mile felt so much easier than it did on Monday – it’s amazing the difference that 10 degrees cooler can make! 

Mile Markers: Chasing Sunrises

We had every intention to strength train after work but instead skipped the workout. Strength training will always be my weak point, especially in summer when I’d rather just spend all of my time outside. 

Saturday: 8 mile run & core work

Ollie, Ryan, and I initially headed out for a 7 mile run, but we decided instead to add an extra mile because we were enjoying the run so much. The temperatures were warm again, as we started our run at about 7:30 AM, so we brought water for Ollie to drink and to dump over his head. His thick black coat means that he needs extra time to adapt to the warm weather (I don’t know what my excuse is!). 

We saw a snake along the boardwalk on during the last mile, poking its head out through a crack. I do not like snakes one bit, but thank goodness the only snake this side of the Cascades are garter snakes. I rationed this is a justification to run earlier in the morning on Saturdays! 

Sunday: 8 mile hike, 2000 feet elevation gain

Finally, our first longer hike of the season! We hiked to Lake Serene in Stevens Pass, which is a favorite early-season hike with us. There’s a shorter, more popular hike that starts from the same trailhead and shares the first 2 miles of trail. Apparently, everyone in Seattle decided to hike there, so we had to park away from the trailhead even though we arrived just shortly after 9 AM. 

Mile Markers: Chasing Sunrises

The hike was so fun – and surprisingly, didn’t feel as hard as I anticipated. Being in running shape can be so different than being in hiking shape. Don’t get me wrong – the 1300 feet elevation gain over the last 1.5 miles definitely raised my heart rate up, but overall this hike felt really good. And it’s always well worth the effort for the views! 

Mile Markers: Chasing Sunrises

[Tweet “Chasing sunrises, this week’s workouts, and hiking Lake Serene via @thisrunrecipes #running “]

How was your week in running?
Do you chase sunrises or sunsets on your runs? 

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11 Responses

  1. I also like chasing sunrises. I’ve never really been an evening runner and I’d rather watch the sunset with a drink in my hand:) Our weather has been so crazy. It’s just barely 60 degrees in the morning which is pretty cool for this time of year.

    1. I like the idea of having a drink in hand while watching the sunset 🙂 60 degrees is warm for mornings here – crazy how different our summers are!

  2. I don’t chase sunrises or sunsets, although I do have to cut out lunch running soon unless it’s on the treadmill. It’s getting toasty down here. If I do a morning run I prefer to go around 8ish since most races start about that time. Looks like you had a great week of running with the dogs!

    1. Lunch runs in your heat do sound toasty! I like 7-8-ish during rainy season when the sun isn’t up until then, but in summer the longer daylight is so great! And thank you – The dogs loved the running also!

  3. I am totally a sunrise chaser. In my opinion, nothing beats a good early-morning run with a spectacular sunrise. This past week I laid back on running and spent more time in the gym doing cross training since I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon last weekend. I’m actually looking forward to a few weeks of non-structured workouts and no training plan while I figure out what I want to do next!

  4. I love sunrises, but my body has never really been able to move very well in the mornings! It feels all stiff and creaky. I wish I could do it more often though because it would feel good to run when it’s cooler and also to get it done for the day! I was going to ask you something… shoot… what was it… oh ya! Do you have allergies right now? Mine are killing me and I can’t take anything for them. 🙁 The weather is totally worth it though–don’t get me wrong.

    1. I have to do some dynamic stretches and have some coffee – I’m usually up about 30 minutes before I head out the door to run just to move around a bit. My allergies aren’t bad right now – granted, I used to live in St. Louis, MO, and Dayton, OH, both of which have some of the worse allergens in the US, so my perspective may be skewed. I take generic Claritin, eat local honey, and always run with a hat to keep tree bits off of my face. I hope you find some respite from your allergies!

  5. I used to be an evening runner, but I have started to run in the mornings and must say that I enjoy it more than I thought I would. 🙂

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