Saturday, August 27, 2016

My Imaginary Friends

It’s not just about a workout or a calorie burn - it’s a time, for you. Let's go!

So many people I know say they don’t have time, can’t find the time, before they had kids they ran, when they were younger. You've gotta find your groove!

Each morning the patter of my feet, my shoes on the road help to find my beat. Hearing the sounds that only happen super early in the morning - most people don’t hear these sounds.

4:00 am is when my alarm goes off, it’s the time of day I’ve always loved the most. Family is still asleep, kids aren’t running around the house yet - first some coffee and then run.

There is that pivotal moment, of staying in bed or getting up to run. Don’t for a minute think it’s an easy decision each morning, it can be hard, there’s a daily struggle and sometimes I fail. The trick for me has always been to flash forward, picturing and hearing the coffee pot coming to life is the first step of motivation.

Then, once the morning coffee ritual is done, it’s out the door. 4:45am is my optimal time to leave the house, knowing my kids will probably be up by 6:00am, I love to be home when they roll into the kitchen for that morning hug.

"Dad, you're all sweaty."

"How was your run?" says my three year old.

"Great run, great run!"

"Where'd you go?"

They love knowing my route, what did I see, how did I feel - these are the conversations we have in our house.

Those first strides down the road, checking your body for any issues, planning your route, weather check, shoes tied, dog leash isn’t tangled, Garmin on - let’s go!

The road each morning is so peaceful, the sounds, smells, darkness, silence, the solitude.  Now comes that moment of truth, there’s something I must admit.......

I have a secret, my imaginary friends are always with me - to help along!

I’m serious. They’re always there as I run with my headlamp on around the streets of my hometown. If it’s a quick six miles or something a little longer, the motivation to push and exert comes from my friends.

A friend is ahead of us, gotta push the pace to the stop light - let's go.

Check your six, two friends are behind and closing the gap.

Deer Hill Rd in Lafayette is a thoroughfare during the day, but really quiet at dark thirty in the morning.

Sure my dog Bear is with me, but that’s never enough. I need those friends in front and those trying to chase me down. My friends are my coach, in my ear. They're my pusher, my motivator - faster, harder, slow down, catch up. Some people use Nike+, Strava or even an actual coach - I have my imaginary friends.

Lots of 'friends' on Mt. Diablo Blvd, great stretch to run each morning!

Bragging rights have always been another motivator for the early morning sessions. When you're done by 6:15am with a workout. Looking down on Highway 24, people in their cars headed to work - and we've already had the pain, had the sweat, earned our breakfast and feel freakin amazing from the workout. That. Is. What. I. Love.

Lace up those shoes, get out the door, run with your 'friends' and kick off each day with a sweat.

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