I never wake up early.
Once it was youthful lethargy, the late nights and late mornings of a child, given permission to grow in 4 years of college, and consciously cultivated in a 9-5 office job. I proudly told people that I was, no doubt, up later than they were. I slept until I woke to an alarm that for most of my colleagues would have been a last resort.
When I became a runner, most people had varying degrees of one reaction, that I remember most distinctly from my mother; “I didn’t ever think you’d ever be a runner; don’t you have to get up early?” Even still, I was right there with them, shunning the cliche of the dawn time runner. “It’s perfectly possible to just run during the day or at night after work. Races are early but that’s hardly most of being a runner!”
But near the end of my last training plan I had two things collide that eventually do for every runner. Life vs Training. Do I want to get in my weekly tempo run? Or do I want to have dinner on Friday night with my friends?
There was a third option, of course. And at the time, setting that alarm for the bleary hour of 4:30 seemed like something I could do once, just to get me through that Friday.
But a strange, perhaps predictable thing happened; I actually liked it.
I ran mile repeats out in a neighborhood across the road that by design or happy accident has an almost exactly 1 mile circular loop and is a almost exactly a mile away. Setting out in the predawn darkness, I felt silly wearing my sunglasses, but as the neighborhood and sun awoke at parallel rates I appreciated them. Suburban developments in the fall are lonely places, but in the morning hours as people bustle off for work and school they are a fraction more alive.
While I wasn’t entirely without reservations, I found myself scheduling the next few Friday runs for before work.
Here in the new year, the first run of my training plan for the Glass City half was a 4 mile run on Tuesday. And rather than give up on standing Tuesday plans. I woke up before the sun and set out to that other neighborhood, to watch them wake up, and wake up a little myself.
2 months, 15 days and 9 hours until the Glass City half.