I don’t recognize the woman I’ve turned into this summer. I look in the mirror and see a faintly familiar face reflected there, but it can’t be me. Who is this dedicated night owl who gets up at 4:30am to run ridiculous miles in the Texas summer heat? I hardly know myself anymore.
Two mornings in a row I’ve set the alarm for 4:20am. The first time was for a run followed by a core/strength workout, the second for a ten mile run at the lake. The runs and workouts are not surprising, only the time on the clock.
But then again, who gets up at 4:30am for a core workout?
Anyone can change. Even me.
I’m always amazed that other people are out and about at 5:15am when I drive the ten minutes to the lake. Do people really have jobs that early in the morning? I park my car in the dark parking lot and worry about the car getting broken into while I’m gone.
My friends arrive and we spray ourselves with DEET-laced mosquito repellent, a new necessity because of West Nile. Setting our Garmins, we trudge down the hill, legs slow and stiff at first, then fluid and smooth as we run along the edge of the water.
Sometimes the conversation flows, and can veer off into a myriad of diverse topics. Other times we run silently, alone with our own thoughts, sharing a common bond of friendship and movement.
After these early morning runs the traffic is heavy and flows ten miles per hour faster. People tailgate, anxious to get to work. I’m feeling relaxed and satisfied from the run, and take a slower route through the neighborhood.
I pull into my driveway and the porch light is still on. Michael sleeps, and I feel a fleeting sense of regret that I got up so early.
The run has me pumped, and I contemplate doing some yoga before I shower. I need to use up all this energy before the inevitable mid-afternoon wave of sleepiness hits me.
I used to do all my runs alone. I thought I loved it. Sometimes I would listen to music. Mostly I listened to the birds and my thoughts.
Now it’s practically a requirement that I run with someone else. Running alone is not half as much fun when I have only myself to keep me company.
Change is good.