The alarm sounds at 5:11 a.m.
It is pitch black outside.
It is pouring rain.
It is doubtful the sun will make an appearance at all; it’s that foreboding.
My eyes open to look at the clock. I quickly scoot out of bed as to not wake husband and sleeping child next to me.
I dress in the dark.
I let the dog out but he doesn’t want to go. It’s too wet.
I put some food in my mouth. Lace up my running shoes. Wonder if I’m dressed for the weather: a long sleeve white shirt and black running tights.
I wait by the door.
The headlights come around the corner like I know they will. She doesn’t ever skip. Sarah always comes, rain or shine.
It’s been a year a half since I started this 5 a.m. running. Just Wednesdays and Fridays.
It used to be painful. I’d wake up hourly, look at the clock, and be so thankful for a few more hours, a few more minutes. Oh, it was so hard to get up.
The other day it struck me. It’s just something I do now. I don’t dread it anymore. My mind and my body has been trained.
I need someone outside waiting for me, but still, I can do it.
Before, there were times I wished I could get out of it. Some days I wished she’d accidentally sleep in so I could crawl back to bed even though I wouldn’t sleep very well. Some days I had to pray for help; I wasn’t strong enough.
I stepped outside this morning. It was like taking a shower it was so wet. Sarah had to wear the head lamp the entire run it was so dark.
We went 6.2. Up that dreaded hill. But running hills in the dark is better than during the day; you can’t see what’s ahead of you.
I screamed twice when Sarah’s arm went through her headlamp and I thought the shadow was a monster.
My shoes sloshed.
We got on the rail trail to head home. It was still black as night. Our feet hit hundreds of fallen leaves.
It was an unusually warm rain.
And I felt so good.
I was running in the rain and nothing hurt. Everything felt right.
I stood on my porch afterward wondering if the sun was going to make an appearance. I stretched my hands high and I smiled.
I remembered a quote I have always loved.
“That which we persist in doing becomes easier – not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do has increased.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson