Today's run/walk: Garmin sez 5 miles in 1:04:45
The coffee maker goes off at 4:46am.
The string of little Japanese paper lantern lights, on a timer, turn on at 4:50am.
The alarm goes off at 4:55am. I hit the snooze once. Nine minutes later, at 5:04am, it goes off again. I turn off the alarm, and get up. Time to go do something.
I set my clothes and shoes out the night before. That way I just start getting ready without thinking about it. I grab my water bottle, my iPod, my Garmin watch, my keys, and head out the door into the dark.
I used to do this all the time, when I was training. For what? Marathons, ultras, the occasional 5K or 10K. But after three foot surgeries (for something unrelated to two decades of distance running) caused me to end up with constant pain in my right foot, I stopped. And for a couple years, I did yoga, I kayaked, I did other things... but it wasn't the same.
So, I started walking in May. It was part of a 10,000-steps-per-day challenge at work. Sure, the foot hurt, but I was damned if I was going to have to buy pants in a larger size again. And there was that high blood pressure thing. I started throwing some running in again for grins. I got to where I was walking more than running, and started getting some endurance back.
The program ended, but I kept going.
Is it hard? Sure. I hate getting up in the dark. But, eventually, even getting for work an hour later - it would still be dark. So that excuse holds no water.
Am I more tired? Sure. But I feel like I'm earning it now. I'm not just exhausted from dealing with work issues or life issues - I'm tired because I pushed my body to do something. I used to do it easily. Now, not so much. But I'm working on it.
Does my foot still hurt? Sure. But I'm better able to compartmentalize or channel that to somewhere else in my brain. Besides, it would hurt anyway - may as well give it a purpose.
The coffee maker is set. The lights are set. The alarm is set. The clothes are out.
And tomorrow morning, I'll see what phase the moon is in, and try to figure out what stars are visible, and breathe in the cool air, and wonder why I waited so long.