The alarm goes off. It’s 4:45 AM. I reach for the Off button. My spouse quietly lets out a gentle snore. It’s warm under my fluffy duvet. The room is beautifully dark, and the sheets are damp with a light sweat. I want to stay here.
But I don’t.
Last night’s Facebook post asked who was running in the morning. And I clicked LIKE. Worse yet, a thoughtless comment. “Me!” So now I have to go.
I drag myself out of bed, across the room, into the carefully laid-out running clothes.
It’s a double-layer kind of day.
I hear the light patter of rain – or maybe sleet? – on the windowpane. Is it too late to turn back? Yes. I’m going.
Down the stairs, into the kitchen, I pour a glass of water and grab a ripe banana. On to the warm up stretches: don’t forget to roll out that nagging hamstring, stretch the calves, and massage the arches of my feet.
Jeremy posts a weather update. I cringe. Maybe he’s wrong.
Into the car and through the darkness, there isn’t a soul on the road. Until I get to the never-ending traffic light. I see a few headlamps coming my way. It must be those Battle Buddies. They always get it done early!
I roll into the parking lot without a minute to spare. The cold air slaps me in the face. On with the winter cap and mouth scarf, and, of course, the dreaded headlamp. Will it last all 6 miles?
We head out the greenway in quiet chatter with sudden bursts of laughter. The herd becomes smaller groups with several feet in between.
I feel the road under my feet. It seems to be moving without me, like a treadmill. A little achy at first, the adrenaline starts to rush through my veins and I am alive.
That bed can’t hold a candle to this feeling!
I think about how I can bottle this up, maybe sell it, become a millionaire! If we could only take this feeling and put it in a bottle. Set it by our bedsides and take a chug during those wee hours of the morning when self doubt battles with text commitments and training plans. But since we can’t, we just have to cling onto it for dear life and hope that it lasts eternally.
We are the Speed Demons. We don’t need a special drink or magic pill. We have each other.