Friday, February 27, 2009

Life is better at 4am

We are all smiles, perkiness and giggles even at 4am.

This morning my sister and I decided to get up at 4am to hit the Headlands up for a nice 11 mile-ish trail run before work and before I fly off to Atlanta for work. Life is so much better at 4am. You'd think it would be hard to get up, but if you time it right, like we did, you can be much more perky than you might be at 5 or 6am. Just have to hit it right at the best point in the sleep cycle. This morning was beyond ideal. After a few days of overnight rain, we woke this morning to crystal clear starry skies and perfect upper 40s temps.

Everything is alive at that hour and it is just thrilling to tool around on the trails illuminated only by the narrow beam of your headlamp. The trails were good and muddy because of the rain we've been having down here in SF, but nothing Bridle Trails or Hagg Lake- esqe. I don't know what it is about that hour that just makes you feel like you own the world. Your senses are heightened, your mind focused and getting your blood flowing sets you up for a great day, even if you may lose a bit of steam mid-afternoon. It is worth it to me.

When I was in Atlanta, I was in the habit of getting up at 5am and running. My days are so much better when I get up and out the door for a run before work. It may be hard to extricate myself from underneath the covers, especially on a cold day, but once I am up and out, I never regret it. Before most people are awake, I have gotten my blood flowing and worked up quite an appetite. My mind is focused, even if I am tired, my body feels ready to take on the world. I got out of the habit of getting up at 5am since my routine is different in Seattle and I haven't felt quite the same. The something that is missing is that morning run. Yes, I still run morning or mid-morning, but the longer I wait the less day I have to be productive. If I get myself out at 5, by 7 am I already have a huge sense of accomplishment. I can't explain it, I just feel better.

There are many who say that getting up at that hour is craziness, ridiculous or unnecessary, but I reminded myself today that I don't believe that. While I won't be routinely getting up at 4am any time soon, I am going to try to get back in my 5am habit. I just love owning the city, the trail, the road. When you wake up that early, you tend to be a bit loopy and have a propensity for running in the middle of the street or breaking into bouts of whooping and hollering. I personally just can't help it. Days like today just make me giddy.


I heart mud and EMRs (early morning runs) and my sister :)

3 comments:

  1. i have to agree. i'm in el salvador for 6 months and the only way to run is to be on the streets by 4 or 5 a.m. to avoid traffic. great way to get to know the city, great views of the city and volcanoes with the sun rising, and a great feeling of accomplishment to have gotten in 10-12 miles before most people are out of bed.

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  2. I second that. I've spent the last 12 years rising at 4:30 a.m. to get my run in. Although I I don't run as fast that early in the morning, I always felt somewhat "superior" to others, in that, what I have already accomplished this morning, and it's not even 8 a.m.! And as I thought last week as I went running past a herd of wild horses in the hills above my house, "How fortunate I am to experience this all before most people get up and arrive at work!"

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  3. What a fine post. Sometimes it is so very difficult to get out of bed at that crazy-early hour, but the payoff! Thanks for capturing it so well.

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