As a female runner, I have not spent much time running in the dark. However, I have recently connected with some women that enjoy running before the sun comes up.
Running early in the morning is definitely a test of will power, and it really does take the support of at least one friend to make it seem like something I can do.
The night before, it is extremely hard to convince myself to set the alarm early enough to meet with the other ladies. I can always come up with several reasons I would benefit from the extra sleep. It takes a bit of self talk to swipe the alarm button from off to on.
Eventually, the desire for health and my knowledge that I am in it with others wins out. The alarm is set.
Then, there is the challenge of the wake up signal. The great temptation is to ignore it. All I have to do is tap a button. The pillow is so soft, the blankets are so warm, and my husband would be so lonely without me there. Is that a tickle in the back of my throat? Maybe I’m sick and need to sleep more. I can text to let the others know to go on without me.
The pull to stick together and achieve health drags me out of bed.
Once I am up and moving, the dread disappears and the day is set on a course for success. Upon gearing up and meeting the ladies, I am instantly energized by adult, female conversations. There is nothing like starting your day with the emotional and physical health benefits of group exercise.
Every runner knows that running with a partner is often like going to counseling. You work out the crazy- physically and verbally.
This morning, I was planning to run with one of the women from the group, but she texted early to let me know she couldn’t make it. I considered going alone since I was ready to run. Then, I remembered it was dark outside. There is something scary about being alone in the dark.
There is safety and support in numbers. Our relationships help us to get up when it is easier to stay in one place, move us forward because there is someone striding along beside us, and bring us peace as we share our stories.
Life, not just the morning run, is meant to be done together. You don’t have to run alone. When things get dark, for your health and theirs, call someone, make a plan, and share the journey.