Sometimes I love running. Other times, not so much.
Early morning runs always fall under the “not so much” category. At the crack of dawn, I’m barely conscious.When I awaken, my mind is cloudy and my body painfully tight. I need some time to get the blood flowing and make sense of the dream I just had about meeting Julia Louis-Dreyfus on the set of the sitcom she’s starring in with Ben Folds. Instead of deconstructing the symbolism, I must muster up enough energy to jog a couple of miles.
It’s not easy. And the runs aren’t always the best, but I get them done. Here’s a rough idea of what one of these early morning, two-mile runs looks like:
6:00am – Alarm clock buzzes. I hit snooze button.
6:09am – Alarm clock buzzes. Again. I hit snooze button. Again.
6:18am – Alarm clock buzzes. This time I open my eyes, groggily sit up and stretch a bit. If I’m going to get a run in, I have to move now, I think to myself.
Side Note: Who the hell decided the snooze button should give you nine extra minutes of sleep. Really? Nine? We couldn’t just round that up to an even ten?
6:22am – After sitting on the side of the bed for four minutes and almost talking myself into going back to sleep, I finally stand up, mostly because I really have to pee.
6:33am – Post urination, I squeeze into my man tights and brightly-colored performance top, work in a few quick stretches, and head out into the cold, unforgiving morning.
6:35am – A few blocks have been walked. I’m as loose as I’m going to get at this hour. It’s go time.
6:36am – The internal debate begins. Why am I doing this again? Is running really that important? I could be sleeping. In a warm bed. That seems better. Or at least easier.
6:39am – The debate comes to a screeching halt when I step in puddle. I curse under my breath. DAMN puddle!
6:41am – Pass another poor bastard running at this ungodly hour. Give him a weak, half-assed wave. He returns the favor.
6:42am – Start thinking about the joy I’m going to feel when I’m done. It’s going to be great, until I remember I have to rush through the rest of the morning in order to catch the bus that begins my very long commute to work.
6:44am – Realize I forgot to apply anti-chafe balm to my nipples. Ouch.
6:45am – Remind myself that I need to come up with other two-mile routes. I’ve been doing this one over and over and it’s getting really stale.
Side Note: This will not happen. I will run this route forever.
6:46am – Daydream about winning the lottery. If I’m independently wealthy, I can run in the afternoons. Or I can hire someone to run for me.
6:47am – Step in another puddle. F@#K YOU, puddles!
6:50am – Pass the town bakery, smell delicious donuts, and wish I had time to stop and get some. Not that I’d even allow myself to eat them. At this point, pastries are a rare treat I only indulge in on holidays or when I’ve accomplished something worthwhile like running a race. A single tear runs down my cheek.
6:51am – Pick up the pace. I’m almost to the end, mercifully.
6:52am – Finished.
Return home. The warmth washes over me when I first enter the apartment. Nice. Stretch for a few minutes, peel off my sweaty garments, and shower. For a brief moment, as I’m enjoying the hot water, I feel good about running. The early wake-up, the cold, damp conditions… somehow it all feels worth it, mostly because I won’t have to run later in the day.