Diary of an Early Morning Run

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?

These simple digits taunt me on a weekly basis.
These simple digits taunt me on a weekly basis.

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.

The road is long, winding, and spooky in the early morning hours,
The road is long, winding, and spooky in the early morning hours,

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.

Post-Run:
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.

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