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An early run on a Sunday morning

I have a lot of to-dos on the docket today—a room that needs to be painted, a yard that needs to be mowed, a week’s worth of dinners and school lunches that need to be shipped for, and another bike that needs to go in for a tune-up ahead of a fundraising ride next weekend. I also wanted to get out for a run today, and the having been woken up by the cats, I figured the best time to do that was early, while everyone else was still asleep and the house was quiet.

As I have written before, I have mixed feelings about running early in the morning. It used to be my regular window for running. I would get up at five and head out for my run in order to be back by the time the kids were up and needed to be shepherded along through their morning routines and out the door to school.

What I found over time, though, is that running everyone morning at or before dawn was making me kind of hate running, especially in the winter months when it was still dark and the temperature was often ten to twenty degrees below freezing. So I switched to running in the evening, usually setting off around eight. I have been doing that for a few years now, and I generally like it a lot more than running early in the morning. The first mile is not nearly as painful, and while it still gets dark and cold at 8p in the fall and winter in Western Massachusetts, it somehow does not feel as bad at night as it does in the morning.

Nonetheless, these occasional mornings lately when I have gone for an early run have been pretty nice.

It makes a big difference not having to drag myself out of bed and then get directly to running. The kids are older, so they more reliably sleep longer than they did a few years ago, and they are both at the point now where I can leave a note that I’m out for run and they’ll be fine.

One of my favorite things about running as a practice is that it gets me out and around my town, up and down the side streets at a pace that allows me to pay attention and notice details that I miss when I’m in my car. I have been trying to be better about remembering to take pictures, at least one or two every run.

Sun rising over a cemetery

We are definitely hitting a turning of the season. It was 47F when I went out this morning, the coolest morning we’ve had since probably sometime in late April or early May. There were a few dog walkers out and I saw one cat prowling about beneath a hedge. Among the many benefits of living in a small town is that there is not much traffic, and there is practically none at all at 6:30 on a Sunday morning.

And now I am off to the rest of my day.

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