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I'm at the park. It's dark and cold. I'm not alone. A half-dozen cars are already in the parking lot, their owners having already made their way into the woods. I admit disappointment. This place, at this hour, should be mine and mine alone.

I stretch, my eyes adjusting to the lack of light. I get out my iPhone, prepare its Runkeeper and iPod. I walk up the short hill to where the loop begins. Then I start running.

I never come across any of the others here. The loop is mine. At least I'm the only human here. I startle a chipmunk and a couple of deer but see no people.

Jim Croce sings in my ears.

If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I'd save every day like a treasure and, then,
Again, I would spend them with you.

His soothing music keeps me going and keeps me at a steady pace. Something about a love song makes me feel even more alone, but at this moment that is a good thing. I'm on my own.

The loop is two miles long. It is a cord of packed dirt that winds through the woods. Trees and embankments line both sides. It is easy to follow because there's nowhere else to go.

I run. Not fast but not slow. The goal today is distance not speed. I need this loop three times, maybe four.

But the first two miles are the hardest. As I've gotten older, I find my strength and endurance increasing though I'm slower. Fair trade. If I get past the first couple of miles, I feel like I can run forever.

At a mile and a half, the first loop almost done, a stone wall rises along my left. To my right, there is a steep drop-off into a swampy field of weeds. The sky opens over it.

As I take the turn, the first rays break over the horizon. Like I raced through a dark tunnel all night and am coming into daylight. Magnificent autumn oranges and reds flare in the fresh light.

My heart booms. My legs loosen, the knots of my knees give way. Birds chirp, life sings.

A new day dawns and I can run forever.

[Posted for LJ Idol - Season 6 - Week 6 - Sunrise]


( 42 comments — Leave a comment )
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Dec. 1st, 2009 01:55 am (UTC)
Dec. 1st, 2009 06:07 am (UTC)
Dec. 1st, 2009 04:21 am (UTC)
awesome running post - love it!
Dec. 1st, 2009 06:07 am (UTC)
Thank you.
Dec. 1st, 2009 08:31 am (UTC)
This post makes me want to go outside now and run towards the dawn :)
Dec. 1st, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)
Hooray! Thank you so much for that. That's a great compliment.
(no subject) - mstrobel - Dec. 1st, 2009 11:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thndrstd - Dec. 2nd, 2009 04:56 am (UTC) - Expand
Dec. 1st, 2009 10:10 am (UTC)
I love exercise at that time, it feels like you've stolen some time from the world.
Dec. 1st, 2009 04:23 pm (UTC)
Indeed. I love it, too, when I manage it.

Thank you so much for reading & commenting.
Dec. 1st, 2009 12:37 pm (UTC)
Dec. 1st, 2009 04:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
Dec. 1st, 2009 06:22 pm (UTC)
This makes me want to get up early and go out to run, two things I just don't do... good job!
Dec. 1st, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
Hooray! That's awesome.

Thank you for reading.
Dec. 1st, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)
Aww! An awesome morning run FTW!
Dec. 1st, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much.
Dec. 1st, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
I loved seeing this glimpse into your life!
Dec. 1st, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'm glad you liked it.
Dec. 1st, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
I used to run a long time ago in a land far far away. I however was a dusk runner, for lack of a better term.
Dec. 1st, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)
Re: BEautiful
Ah. I understand completely. I've had plenty of runs where it was getting dark rather than getting light. These days, though, if I don't run in the morning, it's unlikely to happen.

Thanks for reading and commenting.
Dec. 1st, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
You have me all revved up to go to the gym now. (I'd go to the park, but unlike you I am not a morning person and pm park runs are just dangerous). :)
Dec. 2nd, 2009 05:01 am (UTC)
Hooray! Happy to help.

My work schedule really only allows for working out in the morning these days, and I appreciate that parks can be dangerous (I wasn't worried when what I talk about here happened but it did cross my mind).

Thanks for reading.
Dec. 1st, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
Nice. Great Jim Croce song, too.
Dec. 2nd, 2009 04:58 am (UTC)
Thanks. I'm a little embarrassed to admit how recently I became a Jim Croce fan, but I'm making up for lost time. :)
Dec. 2nd, 2009 09:08 am (UTC)
I really enjoyed the imagery in this. :)
Dec. 4th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much.
Dec. 2nd, 2009 02:04 pm (UTC)
I love it! :D

I do the same thing. Kinda. Only biking along woodsy trails. ^^
Dec. 2nd, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
That's awesome. I haven't biked in years, but I have been considering getting a bike. Right now, I'm focused on running, but who knows?

Thanks for reading and commenting.
Dec. 3rd, 2009 04:14 am (UTC)
I should get more exercise. I feel motivated now! P.
Dec. 4th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
Hooray! The Nike ads get it right: Just do it. Every little bit counts and I'm glad I could motivate you. :)
Dec. 3rd, 2009 12:07 pm (UTC)
I really liked this. Love that song too. Even though I don't run I could relate to what you were writing here.
Dec. 4th, 2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
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( 42 comments — Leave a comment )


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