So, I'll be honest. I have had a rough time getting back into my morning workout groove. The reason I rolled out of bed yesterday was because my running buddy was set to arrive at my house at 6:45am. I felt great after my bike ride yesterday. And, here's the thing, I've done all the calculations regarding alternatives...so I know that this early morning hour is really the only way I, personally, am going to be able to consistently stick to my training. It's just the way it is.
I missed my long run yesterday due to tendinitis ever-so-slightly flaring up and I really can't afford to skip a long run - not with a half marathon in 6 weeks. So, my choice was to get completely off track or get up this morning and do it. As much as I'd love to be overdramatic and say that this morning was the toughest wake-up to workout ever, I'd be lying...it is this tough every single day. I don't think I've ever had my alarm go off and thought, "Yes! Time to run!" Haha.
The sun is coming up later and later these days. And, although I've never attempted a run in the dark on the trail before, I went ahead and started this morning just about 10 minutes before the sun began to come up. I probably ought to get some pepper spray stat if I'm going to make this a habit.
About 4 minutes into my walking warm-up, I wondered if I should have worn a sweatshirt. It was a chilly 50 degrees. I could see this being a LONG, FREEZING 4 miles. But...I was already starting late, so I shrugged it off. As I grumbled to myself about how I should have just stayed in bed, I suddenly looked up.
WOW. The clearest sky with a gorgeous cresent moon and gleaming stars all around it! I literally gasped when I saw it. It was like God said, "Don't forget why you're out here. To be with Me. I made this morning for you. Just wait til you see what I have in store!"
From that point on, everything began to change. My mindset, my attitude and the world around me. The light began to creep into the eastern sky...just a dull glow that was a tiny bit brighter than the dark sky. As it slowly spread out over the sky, I had found a perfect pace that had me feeling light on my feet and not struggling for breath at all. It allowed me to look around and truly take in the artwork around me. I saw a magnificent spider's web. As I ran past a huge pasture, I heard a horse whinney in the distance to welcome the day.
As the light grew, I actually heard a rooster announcing the dawn! A flock of geese flew over my head in V-formation with an adorable baby goose flying along behind them. I ran right by a fawn and was literally about 4 feet away from her and she didn't start or run away. I saw the fog lifting off the fields and I heard the rushing of the creek, full from recent rainfall.
During my last two miles, I asked God to quiet my inner craziness and speak to my heart in the stillness. I expected some instructions...you need to do this better...you need to be more like this...etc. I was utterly surprised by what I actually felt Him say to me.
"Leah, you know how you feel about your kids? That love that oozes out of you when you see them? That is how I feel about you."
"You are my sweet, precious little girl! I love you so much, you adorable little thing. I could kiss you forever! You are so amazing! I can't even explain how much I love you. I wish I could even find words to tell you how you captivate me. You are so perfect and amazing the way you are. I can't believe I made you. So beautiful...so special. Come here...I just want to hold you and never let go."
What a gift. What a wonderful gift! I have never been so glad that I didn't wear my iPod and block out all of that with some raunchy Lady Gaga song. I'm not kidding. I might just become a running purist, you guys. Anyone wanna buy an iPod shuffle?