With the encouragement of a running partner, I have finally gotten into the routine of running before work. This is a habit I have been trying to develop now for a year and a half, but left to my own devices, it never quite worked out.
When the alarm clock goes off just before 600AM, I can think of every reason in the world why it would be a better idea to go back to sleep. “I could get up now, but I’ll give myself one more snooze, and then I’ll run, I promise.” Whoever invented the snooze button is an evil genius. Eventually – what do you know? – I would snooze one too many times and concede that I’ll have to wait until the afternoon.
When I do get out in the mornings, though, it feels wonderful. The city, the trails – everything is so pretty at that time of day. It sets my spirits high when I find the will power to get myself out of bed early. I’m irrationally proud of myself, like a kindergartner at a Christmas pageant, waving to his parents rather than singing along. “Hello, world! Look how grown up I am!”
The thing is, it’s not just me. Everyone I see running that early is thinking the same thing. Runners in Portland nearly always say hello to each other as they pass, but if it’s the morning, nobody says “hello.” It’s always, “Good morning.” Strong emphasis on the “morning.” We might as well just start saying, “Congratulations!”
So after trying for many months, I have finally gotten into the groove where it doesn’t seem like a complete injustice when I have to wake up in the morning to run. In fact, I’m nearly at the point where I can do it without the alarm clock! In order to avoid becoming one of those obnoxious people who gushes about waking up with the sun, though, I try to keep from gloating. Instead, I pat myself on the back by drinking out of my favorite mug, a gift from my brother.