Tuesday, May 4, 2010
In an incoherent daze, I reach across my bedside table to halt the incessant noise blaring from my iPhone. My alarm has sounded and I can’t help but chuckle in the irony as the familiar tune by Wintersleep greets me for my 3:45am wakeup. A cold breeze chases me across the room as I pull the covers close, seeking comfort and shelter. Then I listen… no rain… just the soothing sounds triggered by a gentle wind. This realization prompts my immediate reaction and spurs me forward; no procrastination this morning. I soon find myself going through the usual routine, like clockwork, as I prepare for my morning run: coffee, orange, kamut toast with banana, and some dates, just enough to satiate the system without causing undue digestive effects.
Dawning shorts and a long-sleeve top, I am moderately surprised at the brisk temperature engulfing the morning air as I make my first steps from my apartment outside. The sky is absolutely clear, the moon and surrounding stars in full apparent view. It is intolerably fresh.
With a few high-knees and but-kicks I am off, heading out for my familiar “Lonsdale Loop”.
I am always taken aback by the stillness that surrounds me on these early mornings. As I make my way through the first few miles, the sounds of waking robins and sparrows are there to greet me. Like a New York quartet, the sounds of these birds are perfectly harmonious, replicating and exchanging calls, the resulting sound is melodious.
My legs are feeling fresh this morning no doubt in part due to last evenings easy 4 miles. Much to my delight, I am finding my stride much earlier than anticipated as I shake the sleep out of my legs with relative ease. Consequently, I hit the end of the first segment of my run on a PB pace (3.30 miles/ 25:48). I make no real note of this as it merely signals that I have reached the crux of the run: the 600 foot climb up the 1.80 mile Lonsdale stretch. The hill starts off steep and continues to be for the next four or five blocks. I try to ease into the effort, keeping the heart rate under control. Things feel more difficult than they should but eventually I find my stride. I do my best to keep the cadence up and the steps measured. Relief hits part way up as the hill flattens out considerably. Here I pick up the stride and cant help but notice the amount of people on the streets. It seems the brightening mornings has encouraged much action. Mirroring the first part, the final segment of the climb once again becomes steep. I watch as my breath exits my mouth and reflects in the cold air as I pump the last few blocks. Hitting my split at the top I have PB’d once again, completing the climb in (15:39).
Pleased, and relishing the moment in the glimmers of morning light, I make my way along the final segment of the loop. I am offered a magnificent view to the east this morning: unthreatening clouds topping the mountain peaks and a subtle morning dew stretching and hovering up Indian Arm. I simply cruise the last miles of the run, enjoying rolling through the cherry blossom lined streets. Eventually I stride home, passing the same Asian man doing Tai Chi as I do most mornings (I most often pass him doing the same movement as well each morning I am out… we are most certainly a species of routine and habit). I stop the watch and slouch over for a brief second before seeing that I have PB’d the entire effort by a full 2 minutes (1:02:50/ 8 miles). Not tired but definitely not fresh, I am back in my apartment by 6:00am preparing for the day ahead. Inside, thinking to myself that there is no better way for me to start the day.