Run Early. Run Happy.

At 5:07 AM I told myself that I could drink as much coffee as I wanted if only I would go stand on the sidewalk in my running shoes. Never mind running, I thought, just go stand outside. The lie worked and after much internal grumbling I found myself, incredibly, standing on the sidewalk in my running shoes. Success! The trick, you see, with pre-work running is circumnavigating the part of you that would rather stay in bed. It’s kind of like tricking a small child. You cajole. You bargain. You sweet talk. You say anything to lure yourself outside and down the street.

Once my legs realized they’d been tricked (again!) they figured they might as well cooperate. (Thanks, legs, that was nice!) A small warm-up shuffle turned into a very quick 5 mile run at a 7:50/pace. Not bad for being sleepy! The sun came up over the Portland waterfront. The Made in Oregon sign blinked in the early dawn. Homeless people were friendly and I gave little hand waves and nods to other runners. Of all the things I like about early morning runs I most enjoy feeling like the city is all mine. There’s no traffic except for the garbage trucks. Usually busy businesses lie dormant and even the coffee shop on the corner is just beginning to wake up and ready itself for the morning rush.

During my early morning run, I remembered that it’s not all about the miles and the races. I geek out over statistics. I pour over my running journal. I latch onto new running gear. I get wrapped up in up-coming races and get down on myself for being slow. Sometimes I forget that running is also about the experience. This morning’s run was all about that. It was just a good run to experience. Does that make sense? It wasn’t record-breaking. It wasn’t long. It was simply and deeply satisfying.


About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
This entry was posted in portland, running and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Run Early. Run Happy.

  1. Sarah says:

    Hi Heather,

    I don’t think I’ve commented on your blog before, but I have been reading it for a couple of weeks. I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed this post. The first paragraph made me smile and I can totally relate to your description in the second and third about running early in the morning and experiencing pure enjoyment. I skipped my early morning run this morning because it was raining and I have regretted it all day (mostly when I was at the gym “repenting” after work!). I think if I can remember your post in the wee hours tomorrow morning it will inspire me to get up and get going, regardless of the weather or my early morning grumbles. I mean, when was the last time I actually felt WORSE after or regretted a completed and enjoyable workout, right? 🙂

    Happy Running!

  2. This Devil's Workday says:

    Hey I just fell onto your blog a couple of days ago. I’ve just started running (OK I ran once a week and a half ago but I plan on doing more).

    Do you reckon it’s more satisfying after a run if you were hesitant beforehand than if you had been highly motivated about it?

    And do you prefer running with a partner or alone?

  3. heatherdaniel says:

    Hello Devil’s Workday –
    Thanks for stopping by and I hope you keep up the running habit. You ask a great question.

    I think there are infinite types of satisfaction you can get from running. Sometimes the triumph comes in just getting out there. Other times, when I’m highly motivated or feeling fit, the satisfaction comes in pushing myself to go faster or farther.
    But mostly, I think, as Sarah said in the first comment, there are rarely times when I regret going for a run, or a run is so bad that I wish that it hadn’t happened.

  4. pinkcowgirl says:

    Sounds like a great run. 🙂 Keep it up, girlie!!

  5. This Devil's Workday says:

    But do you prefer running with a partner or alone?

  6. Marvin (#11) says:

    Both! There shouldn’t be a preference. It’s all about your motivation to run – with or without a partner. Plus, I highly doubt you can find someone to run with all the time, so get use to running alone.

  7. heatherdaniel says:

    Yep, I like what Marvin (#11) said. It’s all about your motivation to run. While a running partner can be great, it’s not realistic to think you can run with one all the time. I love my solitary runs. I love my weekly track workouts with other people. They are just different.

  8. smchurchi says:

    You know, you make a great point: running shouldn’t only focus on stats and races and pace charts. There’s so much more to love about running, like the birds chirping, the sunrise, the changing of seasons.

    Great post, Heather!

  9. sorry, Heather, been away fro a while….
    but I totally agree. Motivation is the key.
    And getting out for an early morning run is not about the speed or the distance really, it’s about the feeling that you’re out there watching the day unfold right before your eyes. Good post.

  10. Laura says:

    I love that trick! At home even if I don’t feel like working out, I find it helps tremendously just to put my gym clothes on, because then I don’t want to change without having done something.

  11. flydi007 says:

    you should do the run for congo women! at the very least-it’s 9 miles of trail running fun!

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