Anatomy of a Morning Run

Not my bed, my husband or my clock. But love the idea.

4:45: Up to pee. Dang it that it's less than an hour until 5:30. Should I turn off the alarm? Uh-uh. Should I just go now? Definitely not.

5:30: Slam alarm.

5:35: No, no, no.

5:40: Really no. When else can I run today? After school drop-off? Lunch? Before school pick-up? Should I just skip it? I should just skip it. But I'm awake. Mostly. So if I skip it, I'll just lie here and dwell on the fact that I'm not running.

5:45: Fine. Take your own stupid advice: don't think, just go. Pee again, clothes on, shoes on, banana down the hatch, gloves and hat on.

5:47: O.k. this isn't so bad. Not as cold out as I thought it was.

5:52: Wait, it's only been five minutes?

5:54: See Freakshow Man wearing, among other odd things, snowpants on park path. We're both facing the same direction. Pretend like I don't see him.

5:56: Execute poor farmer's blow. Spot lines of snot all over my black tights and gloves.

5:57: Only ten minutes?

5:59: Is the mud on this path clinging to the soles of my shoes? Because my legs feel really heavy.

6:01: Opt for cement path. It wasn't the mud.

6:02: I will not look at my watch until I reach that turn. I will not look at my watch until I reach that turn.

6:03: Look at watch.

6:04:40: Reach turn.

6:07: Halfway! I'm halfway done! All downhill from here!

6:08: Not really. Holy hill. I will not walk. I will not walk. I'd be faster walking, but I will not walk.

6:08:45: Did you hear me? I will not walk.

6:09: Legs and lungs exhale as we all reach level ground.

6:09:10: Sweet, sweet downhill. Oh, how I love you downhill. Oh, how I love you running.

6:10: Sun starts to peak up over the trees. Sky is a blend of pink and orange and lovely. Oh, how I love you sun and sky.

6:12: Pass Freakshow Man face to face. He smiles kindly and says, "Haven't seen you in a while out here." Oh, how I love you Freakshow Man. And I'm sorry I called you that.

6:15: Must pass eight parked cars on gradual uphill before I can walk.

6:16: Pass seventh parked car.

6:16:01: Close enough. Walk.

6:20: Seven minutes left is nothing. It's just 7/40th's. And no, I can't reduce that fraction any more.

6:19: I will run until I get three mailboxes away from my own.

6:20: I will run until I get two mailboxes away from my own.

6:21: Three mailboxes.

6:23: Two mailboxes.

6:24: Is the pace I'm running now even a speed?

6:25: Five mailboxes.

6:27: Make it to two mailboxes. Victory.

6:28: Stretch calves on front step: one minute on each leg. Take deep breaths as my muscles lengthen and my euphoria grows. Forty minutes in the can for my legs, lungs and spirit. Forty minutes that I'll never regret.

6:30: Walk in the door. Answer "Great!"—and mean it—when Grant asks me how my run was.

Sound familiar? What timeline tidbit of your own comes from a recent run? 

57 responses to “Anatomy of a Morning Run

  1. Love it. I have a nine month old and usually it is more like he wakes up to nurse at 4:45 and then the debate is, do I go back to sleep for anotehr 15 minutes? And if I do will I really get up again?

  2. That is me on so many mornings – the sleep part. And I do always regret not going. Monday was a great example, had not planned to meet anyone and just did not feel it, then wished I had done that speed work I was slated to do. Went today to make it up and from mile .5 to 1.5 kept saying I was going to go back to car because my shins hurt, then mile 2, was feeling good, even tried to change my stride (I so heel stomp it too much) and was slightly optimistic. Mile 3 was like, so easy and breezy I was so glad I did not quit. Mile 5, heading to 5.25, I was planning to walk, spit and had half of it still hanging out my mouth as I batted it away, and spied a non running friend waving from her car which energized me to keep running and say a little prayer that my totally ungraceful spit was not obvious from a distance. Arrived at mile 6, stopped my watch, but decided to keep running the 1/4 mile to my car feeling great that a 6 miler was in the can, I was heading home to shower, and there would be no guilt in downing a glass or two of wine tonight.

  3. Thank you. I’m not alone in these thoughts. I’m normal!! I’m normal!! These thoughts go through me head A LOT!!!!!!

  4. I LOVE this! It absolutely captures the daily battle! I will be so glad when it is light out at 5am and maybe the thought of running when my body wakes up will be more practical. Thanks for sharing that the battle never gets easier to get out the door, but that it is ALWAYS worth it!

  5. 6:00 – at “my” stop sign for a bit of stretching
    6:02 – come up, keep going, this is a short hill
    6:05 – hop over railroad tracks, don’t trip, idjit
    6:07 – come on, this is long slog, you go can do it, no, yes, no, no, yes, no, shut up and run
    6:10 – there’s my fire hydrant, thank goodness, almost done with the long slog
    6:13 – drat, no traffic at the big road
    6:15 – up, down, up down, curb, curb, up down, curb, don’t trip
    6:16 – say hello to lady with dog (why does she think she needs to get so far off the sidewalk?)
    6:17 – intersection ahead! am I adding in the loop or heading straight back? loop? back?
    6:18 – yes, I am doing the loop!
    6:20 – wow, I’ve never gotten this far by 20 minutes!
    6:23 – back to the main road
    6:24 – up, down, up down, curb, curb, up down, curb, don’t trip
    6:26 – lady with the dog is talking to guy at the bus stop, say hi; drat, still no traffic
    6:30 – ah, long downhill
    6:33 – dodge twice onto grass to dodge traffic
    6:34 – hop over railroad track, don’t trip idjit!
    6:35- yikes! 3 cars in a row
    6: 38 – wow, how the heck did I get here? I’m almost done
    6:39 – hrm, end of usual route, and not yet to 40 minutes, head back to my stopsign, still running
    6:40 – holy crap! I actually ran for 40 minutes straight! and a pace under 11 minutes

    (I’m, uh, kind of proud of myself….)

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