My early morning run

It is with hands clasped together in gratitude which I greet this morning. I woke for my run and hearing rain continue to pelt the roof decide to return to bed. The thought of an early morning run escaping as I fade back to sleep. Before I return to sleep, I have this thought, these thoughts about the importance of running early in the morning which I need to capture. as with other ideas, I remind myself if they remain when I wake, they are worth putting pen to paper.

It used to be I ran when I could make the time. Usually, this was after work. I still run when I have time only now it is early in the morning.

I rise not at the “crack of dawn” for that would be at least two hours later. I rise at 4:00 AM, a time when most people haven’t even thought about rising to do anything, let alone go for a run.
For the most part, I have always been an early riser, a morning person. I have never been a lover of people. The changes in society have solidified my rank as King of the early risers. I have no desire, not even a little to face the onslaught of cars as they roll through stop signs and barely slow at a stop light. I enjoy my life and running too much to much to place myself in harms way.
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I run early in the morning for a number of reasons…the air is cleaner and carries little noise other than my own breathing and footsteps. I enjoy the solitude and anonymity which is part of the ubiquitousness of the dark. I also enjoy the gratitude which allows me to start each morning being thankful with each breath. This may sound cliche but having a father who’s legs were taken from him by Polio and who for the last decade has been unable to walk let alone bear his own weight, I am very thankful for the ability to rise early, draw a breath and leave the comfort of a warm, comfortable bed and go for a run.

Rising early is not always easy for me. Most days it is a chore. Others hear of my early morning jaunts around the city and say, “Well, you’re a morning person. That’s easy for you.” On the contrary. Despite being a “morning person” leaving the comfort of my bed especially during a cold winter’s night which remains ongoing at this sometimes ungodly hour of the morning. I argue with myself for a few minutes convincing myself that when I complete my run I will feel better and have more energy to help me through the day. Often I’ll have a private conversation with a photograph of Rob Krar on my wall asking if Rob despite his fight with depression would remain in bed. Sometimes it is a quote by Marsha Doble which enters my thoughts. Marsha said, “I have to exercise in the morning before my brain figures out what I’m doing.”

Even more important is knowing I have accomplished more in 90-minutes of running than most will accomplish in their day. Sometimes I lose the argument although this is rare. This morning, despite temperatures in the Buffalo area which have remained unseasonably high, I rose with my alarm and decided, without argument to retreat to the comfort provided by my bed. Other than being greeted by my alarm, I was also greeted by rain  which appeared to have not ceased since I went to bed the night before. I enjoy running in the rain, but there is a difference between a cold rain in December and the warm rains of spring and summer.

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Sunday morning runs have a special feeling all their own. I used to complete a long run on Saturday and didn’t enjoy the feeling of running and competing with cars and their drivers. You would think people would sleep in on Saturday…not so much as Sunday. My Sunday morning runs straddle the competing worlds of dark and light. Part way through a 15-mile run there is enough light that my headlamp is no longer a necessity. I am now exposed for all the world to see. As darkness gives way to light it becomes easy to see I am still relatively alone in the world. The solitude which I have discovered and made my own remains my own save for the occasional passing car or the even less frequent runner. If the weather permits, I am greeted by an amazing sunrise. I say amazing because this is the Northeast and amazing sunrises are not as numerous and I am afraid taken from granted as they may be in Florida. They are scarce and thus much more important to me. They also remind me of my grandmother and time spent with her in life and in death as I was with her when she passed at this magical time of day. There is something special about catching those first rays of sunshine and basking in their glory while others remain fast asleep.

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This straddling of the dark and lighted worlds gives me the same amount of joy as does running in the darkness. It allows me to return home with the thought of a hot cup of coffee on my back porch while I enjoy the solitude which remains and which I know will escape and be lost as the hands of the clock inform me the time continues to progress despite me desire that it remains still if even for a few minutes.

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Namaste
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