Running Before Dawn

When the alarm clock went off at 5 am on Friday, I seriously doubted everything was OK with me. I mean, 5 am? I put on my running gear, which I had prepared the evening before to save time and hassle. And with my mind still tucked in, I went out of the house.

Wind on My Side

The moment I stepped outside a wind so cold and vicious blasted into my face that I immediately regretted not having taken a hat. But I didn’t want to waste any more time. I also hoped that upcoming hard running would warm me up enough to make a hat unnecessary.

I started warming up, and from the beginning, my legs felt heavy and unresponsive. I was rusty, creaking like an old scarecrow. Halfway through the warmup, Garmin confirmed how I was feeling: my performance condition score was -1. But somehow it didn’t bother me much.

The beauty of pre-dawn darkness kept all the negative thoughts away. I was riveted. Well, it wasn’t the visible beauty I was admiring because I could see close to nothing beyond street lights. It was the atmosphere of the upcoming dawn, the soft promise of a new day.

I finished my usual warmup routine, focused for a moment on the work ahead, and started the proper workout. Even though I was running on no more than five hours of sleep, there was something so energizing about this 5 am affair that I felt as if someone had hooked invisible ropes to my body and was dragging me forward.

Turns out it was the wind! It was blowing like the devil’s farts, and I happened to be running with it. Ordinarily, it would bother me. I mean, it’s cheating! But because I had slept so poorly, I thought I deserved some slack.

And so I was flying on the wind like a witch on a broomstick, happy to be trying out a new route and even happier to be running fast. The first mile went by fast and pleasant. I was eager for more. And then I realized I was nearing a stretch of road enveloped in complete darkness. A long stretch. I passed the last street light and suddenly there was black nothing all around me. Pure and evil.

Rolling with the Darkness

Recovery time was up and I was speeding again. The darkness was thick and palpable. Appetizing. I couldn’t see the road under my feet, but I could feel it was smooth, the asphalt newly laid. With that certainty aboard, I relaxed. The sensation of flying intensified. It was otherworldly. I was suspended in time and space, and at that moment, everything ceased to matter. It was only my body dashing through the fabric of the universe. Free.

It was addicting. Stepping back into the light, I knew I would want more of that early morning running. But how does one consistently get up at 5 am? I’m yet to find out 😉

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