Beep. Beep. Beep. The noise disturbs my slumber and I groggily wonder if it’s a delivery truck reversing. But it’s pitch black out – surely there must be regulations about noise in the middle of the night. Oh no wait. It’s not a delivery truck at all, but my alarm going off! Where is that snooze button?
Not quite coherent yet, my body moves on autopilot to locate the running gear cleverly laid out the night before. Otherwise, who knows what combinations might come out in the dark? The light will eventually appear, exposing a random mismatched outfit.
A hint of daylight appears while driving to meet my training partners, Ms T and Mr J, at the designated beachside location. No hint of chill in the air, a comfortable 19C/66F. A few stretches warm us up and we chat about nothing in particular as we put one foot in front of the other on the pavement. In semi-darknes, we casually acknowledge the handful of other early runners/walkers a they pass, with a nod or a muttered ‘Morning.
Increasing lightness hints at the impending dawn behind a bank of clouds. Keeping a steady pace and reasonable effort, we calculate it’s a good halfway point and stop to admire the sun coming up through the clouds beyond the beach. Sunrise. Over the beach. Worth getting out of bed for every time.
Replacing fluids and another brief stretch and we turn and retrace our steps back to the start. That hill we came down on the way now taunts us as we chug back up it like the little engine that could. Ascending isn’t twice as hard, it feels 10 times as hard on tired legs.
The easy chatter in the first few kilometers dissipates and quiet sets in the further we go. Mr J observes that as the day fully sets in and more feet occupy the path, the neighborly greetings seem to disappear, each person maintaining in impersonal distance. Contemplating why that happens, we churn up more path underfoot.
Familiar stretches of path appear and soon we’ve reached our destination, back where we started. We congratulate one another on a successful first session and commit to repeating the routine next week. Ms T has been charged with researching an actual training regime.
There’s vague mutterings about seeking out coffee, but other commitments beckon and we head off separately out into the sunny morning.