on a typical weekday morning, my alarm goes off at 7am. i’m okay with that, but seeing a 6 or a 5 on my clock when i open my eyes generally sends me into an instant panic. unless i’m getting on an airplane, anything before 7 is just too early. i’d love to change that and become a regular morning runner, but that would mean doing what i did last night —
going to bed at 8:30pm. like, sound asleep at that time. when my brother called me at 10pm to tell me i’m now an aunt to this lil cutie pie, i almost had a heart attack thinking i was being woken up in the wee hours of the morning:

asdfhighialfdhksghsdjk how cute is she?! who cares if she’ll grow up to be this ridiculous beast who weighs nearly as much as i do. right now, she’s the cutest thing ever and i want to cuddle her right up to my face and squish our noses together. i’m going to convince him to send me pix of my new little niece on the regular, so hopefully you’ll get used to seeing her on here.

thank goodness one of us decided to add on to the family. (Ry, i owe you big time…)

moving on…

so when you go to bed as early as a pre-schooler, getting up at 5am to go for the earliest run of your life seems like the most natural thing in the world.

i don’t even know who i am this morning, but i’m really digging this new mutant self. next time i’m considering bringing my amazeballs ninja skills to the park with me…because as i discovered this morning, it’s a scary place in the dark. the sun apparently doesn’t rise in time to illuminate your morning run simply because you decided to get up earlier. who knew.

i was out of the apartment and running (literally) at 5:35am. it was just me and some random rastafarian (fumbling through garbage cans) gracing my street. let me tell you, the city sure is an entirely different world before 7am. i don’t think i saw a single taxi, camera-toting tourist, pack of girls in impossibly high heels and tight skirts, or illegal immigrant trying to convince me to buy a tour bus package. weird.

i ran to Central Park and found it basically entirely empty. i maybe saw 10 other runners on the Bridle Path and a handful of bikers, and i was quite surprised. i figured at least a few thousand of the city’s runners would be enticed to zoom around the Park in the pitch dark at an ungodly hour. it reminded me of one of my favorite stories my best friend tells, about the time she couldn’t find the tracks in Penn Station (being so used to Grand Central) and ran up to some random guy, completely flustered, and desperately asked him, “where are all the trains?”

like, where were all the people? i suddenly saw the advantages to having a running buddy.

here was my view from the Jackie O Reservoir around 6 am:

see those lights? (duh. that’s the only thing you can see.) those would be the street lamps weakly designed to help me not die (which is my primary running goal, in case you haven’t caught on.) somewhere between fighting my first little tastes of vertigo and dashing from illuminated patch to illuminated patch, the thought struck me that this would be a perfect place for some bad guy to kill a runner girl and dump her sweaty little body right into the reservoir. this added a whole new meaning to the goal of not dying while running.

i ran those 7 miles pretty well this morning, and i’d only been planning on doing 5. nothing like a good little dose of Central Park in the Dark nerves to add some pep into your step. remember that prayer i talked about? definitely put that into full effect this morning.

not only did i not die, but i actually had a really nice run. i finished an unexpected 7 miles in an hour, so i’m happy with that pace, especially for the earliest run of my life. here’s my course:

i love google maps. especially when they prove to me that i ran further than i thought. we’re tight these days.

as if my morning wasn’t off to such an adrenalin-laden high already, i happened to walk smack into this smile-inducing sign getting off the subway this morning:

best.advertising.ever.

and it was nice of Him to remind me that He took care of me on my run this morning, too.

i give this day a standing O already. i can’t wait to change my new bedtime to 8pm…and maybe to ask my brother to let me borrow his guard dog when she grows up. i mean, i’m sure Jesus alone is enough to help me not die…but i’d rather cover all my bases.

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