What Running Looks Like
What does it look like to get up early and run?
I set my alarm for 6 a.m. and then hit snooze at least three times.
Finally, I crawl out of bed and start the coffee.
I used to go without coffee, but after forty, I can't do that as easily.
If George is awake, we chat and think about the day. If not, I stretch and catch up on the news, and social media and check the weather. Ask any runner - we check the weather like we are paid employees of the weather channel.
Once I've finished my coffee, I get dressed.
I've started laying out my running clothes the night before.
Digging through drawers in the dark is just not acceptable at this time of day.
I've learned that good socks are crucial.
I wear Balega socks most days. But if those are dirty, some old Feetures work just fine. I never blister and my feet feel supported.
I never get tired of putting on my shoes. It is the sweetest feeling to slip
into a pair of Brooks Ghosts and tie them snug. How many Brooks Ghosts have I had in the last four years? Oh, I can say with confidence that it is at least fifteen. It is crucial to change out my shoes every three months. If I don't, I'll get hurt. This might be old age too! But, it is really important to run in good shoes.
I'm usually hunting a hair tie at this point. Once again, digging for one in the dark is maybe one of the more annoying things in this life, so I try and remember to put a hair tie out the night before.
So as you can see, there is some ritual here. It's been years in the making. It takes more time to get out the door than it used to, but it is always always worth it.
Speed: I've learned that a morning run is very different than a speed workout. I have to separate the two or I would dread running. I don't gain speed by trying to push it on morning runs. The speed comes from specific drills, weight training and cross training on the elliptical and the bike. I still use a Garmin Forerunner 35 watch though. I am aiming more for consistency. If I am consistent then that is what matters.
I'm slow. Sometimes really slow. I'm soaking in the day. By mile three, I'm usually in a bit of a trance. I think about anything and everything and my mind explodes with ideas and decisions and stories and prayers and direction. I don't listen to music. I don't listen to podcasts. I listen to my surroundings and to whispers from God. He constantly whispers to me while I'm out there running. I see the sun rise and thank God for another day to walk this earth and hope to make the most out of it. Sometimes I dread the end of a run, because, when I'm running, I'm not failing. But the biggest gift from each run is the strength I receive for the day. This is what running looks like.