Yesterday was one of those mornings where I found myself truly grateful to be able to run. And to be able to run early in the morning before the rest of the world wakes up. It was one of those serene, calming, centering and joyful runs. Runs where you remember just why you get your butt out of bed at ungodly hours of the day to log some miles. Yup, *that* kind of run.
So today — I bring you: the anatomy of an early-morning run:
Alarm blares at 5:00 (an ‘even’ time, I usually set it for 5:02 or 5:05 or something…odd that I didn’t this time)
I take one look at the clock and promptly hit ‘snooze’ (another oddity, I never hit snooze, ever ever ever)
Of course, the one time I hit ‘snooze’ and I drift into a deep sleep for 8 minutes only to be rudely awoken again by the second alarm (this is why I never hit snooze…who wants to wake up *twice* by the sound of that thing??)
I roll out of bed, quite certain I’ll be rolling back into bed in about 3 minutes. I didn’t think I wanted to run yesterday. I was tired. Or so I thought. (I got plenty of sleep the night before so this was totally an instance of my mind tricking me into thinking my body was overtired…nope, just the ‘devil’ on my shoulder trying to lure me back to sleep, damn that creeper!)
I threw on my running shorts, sports bra, tank, knee straps and sneakers. And then look at Scott longingly — “are you suuuuure you don’t want to go back to bed?” To which his response was all I needed to hear: “nope, I’m ready to run, let’s go.”
Off we went. Still dark out. But the second I set foot out the door I knew it was exactly where I needed to be. By Scott’s side, in the quiet, cool, peaceful air. Crickets chirping, the sky slowly brightening around us.
The first few miles are pretty dark and quiet – not much chatter between Scott and I. Instead, I found myself simply soaking in the moment.
We were together, enjoying the miles, enjoying the quiet time before the crazy day ahead, enjoying what I know I’ll be missing in a few months when I’m relegated to the treadmill (wah) or to running in the dark, cold, dreary winter mornings/nights.
Instead, I’m running in my favorite tank and shorts, it’s a gorgeous late-summer morning and we’re running. Strong, able, solid.
And then I see it: the most glorious, fiery red sunrise as we head across our favorite bridge over the ocean. The sky was incredible. So bright, so warm, so welcoming, so amazing. I wish I had a camera…or a photographic memory. It was so beautiful.
Up and over the bridge, over that rolling hill that nearly killed me a few days ago (during that lovely fartlek-crazed 10-miler). But this time, I didn’t mind the hill. It was so so so quiet in that neighborhood — a very different scene just a couple of days back.
On the turnaround we were greeted with another beautiful sight — a faint, but very present, rainbow. Rainbows mean promises. Of good things to come. Even if those ‘good things’ take their time coming…they are coming, around the bend. I’m trusting my path.
It was that rainbow, that moment where the run really took shape for me. We were only about 3 miles from home but I seriously could’ve run forever. I felt so centered, calm, focused, strong, free.
Even when the rain started to fall on the last two turns of our run — I didn’t whine over it, I welcomed it. So cleansing. Refreshing. Cooling.
Our final turn towards home and that goofy, runners high-inducing grin was plastered all over my face.
We just ran the best 9 miles of our lives.
Together. Strong and able. Welcoming the day with a fresh perspective.
The anatomy of an early-morning run.
….and a reminder to never take for granted the ability to run, and the ability to run during such a magical time of day. Noted.