I am a morning runner.

January 13, 2017

 

I am a morning runner. 

 

There’s nothing quite like a morning run.  Especially now that the humidity is down and the moisture I feel on my skin is a nice  (little) bit of sweat; I don’t look like I showered in my running clothes as I did when the humidity was at peak.  Living in the tropics, there is no snow on the ground, and running doesn’t involve any ice skating (in running shoes) or extra layers.   ‘Winter’ this year meant one morning of long sleeves; shorts and a tank are my go-to running uniform.

 

I am a morning runner.

 

I go running when it’s still dark outside.  Before, when I ran alone, if I wasn’t on the road by 0530, I knew I was running late.  Now, I run with a group, and we ‘gifted’ ourselves 10 minutes; starting time is 0540.  That 10 minutes is pure bliss, let me tell you.  Being dark doesn’t mean it’s quiet. Even with an earbud in one ear, the other hears the cacophony of birds, the early-bird cars, and the pounding feet of the other runners out as early as me.   And the conversation.  We talk while we run: little things, big things, parental surgeries, kid crises, grades, work, relationships … what’s said on the run stays on the run.  It’s a safe place. 

I am a morning runner.

 

Used to be my solo time to chew through the day, with my brain constantly whirling while my feet do their thing.  Morning runs are the time to listen to my own thoughts, deal with what is coming.  With three boys 12 and under, and a fourth adult-sized boy who embraces all things in life with thunderous enthusiasm,

 ‘peace and quiet’ is not the general state of the house. The boys – big and little – are  L.O.U.D.  Everything they do and say is at top volume and on constant stream.  I often wonder when I will find the time when I can hear my own brain thinking. 

 

I am a morning runner.

 

The running is for me.  The aftereffects, though, that’s for my family.  After a run, I have more to give to my family: more patience, more understanding, and more tolerance for what I know they will dish out during the coming day.  The endorphins that rush in during and last long after the run, those are amongst the primary reasons I keep running.  I can do this anywhere.  Every continent we’ve lived on, every country we’ve visited, I’ve been a runner.  Even 8 months pregnant in Burma, I was running.   (To be honest, I had the running shoes on and was moving forward; I don’t know many who would call the motion I was performing ‘running.’   Certainly not the little local boys who were much faster than me, even barefoot or in flip-flops.) There are few sports, few hobbies as portable and as adaptable as running.   

 

I am a morning runner.

 

From the moment I leave the door with my running shoes on, this is my time.  I don’t owe my kids anything.  I don’t owe my husband anything.  I don’t owe any other person anything.  This is my time. I am away, and I don’t need to think about anything: just me and the route I might be taking (which, try as we might, doesn’t vary very much).  My husband runs, too, and is part of the group that meets up every other morning. When we first got together- a period affectionately known as b.k. (before kids)— we ran together, and then as the kids came, we tried the various running buggies, and used them regularly but that’s a lot of hoopla for a weekday morning run.  So then we took turns for run time; he needs his chance, too.  Now we include the kids when we can and have even run a 5k with the elder two ( 7 y.o. and 5 y.o. were running; the third was in the buggy. We started them early). Now, we’re back to running together,  leaving the kids to sleep until we get home and it’s time to get them up for school.  They know where we are; rarely do they get up that early, and if they do, they know we’ll be back shortly.  They know Mom and Dad need this time.

 

I am a morning runner.

 

Now, more often than not, we run with our group.  The camaraderie, the support, the inside jokes, the teasing, … it’s all good.  The high fives at the end?  Awesome.  Some mornings are painful; others, we feel like we’re flying.  The group has morphed over the almost 4 years we’ve been here, as has the route.  The current rendition includes a handful of women, a handful of men, an early morning hour, and one of a handful of versions of our normal route (gotta keep things spontaneous; can’t let the bad guys figure out our route….).  And some awesome attitudes of fellow runners.  That’s always there, waiting for us before, during and after.

 

I am a morning runner.  I like to think I always will be.

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