Thursday, September 09, 2010

Running at the Ass Crack of Dawn

Despite the fact that the windows were open and a cool breeze rustled through, it was a restless sleep.  I tossed and turned.  And then found myself wide awake and sighing heavily at 4am.  Normally, I knew I could easily have another 2 hours of rest.  But not this morning.  Somehow, I managed to doze off again.

BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP

My alarm.  4:50 am. 
Crap. 

I rolled out of bed.  Fumbled for my glasses and then shuffled to the bathroom.  Leaving the bathroom light on, I put in my contacts, brushed my hair into a ponytail and then snatched the pile of clothes at my bedside.  Black pants.  Sport bra.  Socks.  Stopwatch. 

Still yawning and stretching, I quietly peeked into the boyz' rooms before gently shutting their doors.  I made my way downstairs, carrying my sneakers.  4:56 am. 

I turned on the kitchen light and waited a second for my eyes to adjust to the brightness.  I unlocked the back door, turned on the garage light and hit the button to open the garage door.

Her van was already out there.

Turning back into the house, I quickly put on my sneakers.

The back door opened and my friend Kristy popped in.  Usually it's me who is raring to go (because she's usually late), but this morning, it was the opposite.  She showed up early, and I was the one moaning and groaning while she giddily chatted.

5:02 am.

We stepped outside into the PITCH DARK.

The stars were still shining brightly in the clear black sky.  It could have been midnight.  It could have been 2 in the morning.

I felt like I had a black cloud over my head.  All I really wanted to do was to throw off my sneakers and curl up in the fetal position and GO BACK TO SLEEP.

I adjusted the reflector belt around my waist (safety first!) and we started out.

The temperature was a cool 58 degrees.  Perfect running weather.

We contemplated just staying within my neighborhood because it was sososo dark out, but then decided to do our normal route, which takes us along a quiet country road as far out as we want to go, and then we turn around and head back. 

I felt my mood lifting with each step.  My head clearing.  My pace steadying.  Automatic.

My friends and I joke that it's not just running, that it's also therapy.  The back-and-forth, give-and-take of conversation.  The friendship.  The knowledge that we are there for each other.  Encouraging each other.  Pushing each other.  Not just with running, but in our daily lives as well.

We turned the corner in my neighborhood.  The final stretch.

Both of us increased our pace.  Kicked it up a notch.  And raced to the finish.  Together.

5.1 miles.

Black cloud?  What black cloud?

This is why I run.

*****
"If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run." --John Bingham

10 comments:

Life As I Know It said...

Good for you...endorphins are a great thing :)

can you run on an empty stomach that early?

I tried running again a few years ago and my shins hurt so badly after a few weeks that I stopped. I had the same problem when I used to run in high school, too.

Classy Fab Sarah said...

It's so awesome you have a partner to encourage you and push you when you need a push! Amazing!

You go girl! Such an inspiration!

thenameisbeth said...

I'm impressed by your ability to run outside in the dark. It scares me.

Maybe if I had a running partner I could do it.

But for now, I hit the treadmill during the week in the mornings & save longer runs for the weekends. When I don't have blasted colds anyway!

Keep up the good work!

thenameisbeth said...

I'm impressed by your ability to run outside in the dark. It scares me.

Maybe if I had a running partner I could do it.

But for now, I hit the treadmill during the week in the mornings & save longer runs for the weekends. When I don't have blasted colds anyway!

Keep up the good work!

Mary Catherine said...

Wow! I am impressed. I need to start running again. I moved to a new city and still have not figured out where it is safe to go early :) I should convince my husband to be my running partner.

Stopping over from sits! Have a fabulous day!

Serenityville said...

Did she stop half way through and when you started encouraging her to continue, did she give you the evil eye and whine like a baby? (I'm impressed!)

HaB said...

Good for you!!! My biggest issue is actually getting out of bed. Especially this time of year, where there is a chill in the house and the bed is all warm and cozy. So hard!

But, I admit, this post just might be enough to motivate me. I had been logging between 15-20 miles a week, but, in the last few weeks life happened, and threw me off track. I have been thinking about starting to get back up at 5:30 to get my miles in. It would probably be better than going at 9pm. Right?

Kim Dettmer said...

I know that feeling...almost every time I finish, my mood has improved, I feel energized and know that I can accomplish ANYTHING I WANT... I know it. And you think that would help me get out to the door to go and feel that again... But the battle, for me, is simply getting out the door.

YEAH YOU...5am...you are my hero!

Joy said...

You totally make me want to start running again. I started after my first daughter was born and then stopped after I got pregnant with my second (who is now a year). I miss that exhilaration I would feel when I was done. That is great that you have someone to run with!

DIAPERS in the DESERT said...

5.1 miles AND sooo sooo early in the morning. I am impressed!!! Keep up the good work. I wish I had your motivation.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails