There’s something very motivating to me about running gear. Walking through the running sections at City Sports, Paragon and even Target sparks a desire to buy something and then immediately go running. Those who know me understand how much I usually dislike clothes shopping. Every weekend my wife suggests that I go get some “clothes that fit me.” I almost never do because I find it tedious. But if she suggested that I go spend the day looking for running gear I’d be out the door in an instant.
Last night I placed my morning running gear on the bed in the guestroom. Just seeing it this morning generated excitement and anticipation of a run. There’s something about putting it all together: the running shorts, HRM, Garmin watch, jersey, socks, shoes, vest, hat, headlamp and tail light makes it seem purposeful. I recall having the same feeling getting ready before a hockey game or karate class.
The whole process of preparing for my 4:00 AM run is becoming more efficient. I still get a thrill watching my garage door rise up slowly to show the early morning scene of mist highlighted by house lights, everything quiet save for the sound of a few sprinkler systems and an occasional bird chirping. I usually do some quick warm-up exercises to minimize the initial pain and stiffness I’m still feeling from my right leg. Then, with a push of a button on the Garmin, I get a jolt of excitement and start to run.
I’ll admit that these early morning runs feel easier that those I do later in the day. It may be the cool air or the fact that I’m not fully awake but it feels almost like I’m riding rather than running. That may be a reason why my pace times have been a bit slow since I started this routine. Today I tried to keep my pace brisk and I felt as though I was moving fast through the run and especially near the end when I poured it on. I was surprised to see the Garmin report that I’d run 9:12 for 2.4 miles. I was convinced that I was running at least 8:50 and even faster on the last half mile. Well 9:12 is certainly better than yesterday’s 9:40 pace so I’m heading in the right direction. The only thing better than putting on the gear is taking it off after a good run and celebrating with a cup of coffee while the world is still asleep.