6am the bed is a warm cocoon, its dark and I know it is going to be cold outside, the house is quiet and I don’t want the alarm to go off.
So I force myself out from under the covers, stand up and cancel the alarm set on my phone. I had prepared well the night before, the phone is high up on a shelf so I had to get out of bed if it had gone off, too easy to cancel the alarm or snooze if it is within arms reach of the bed. My running clothes are in a well organised pile on the floor, a sharp inhalation as the cold air hits when I start to put them on (must remember to set the heating to come on earlier).
The full set goes on layer after layer, finally the Buff and hat, I look ridiculous, I feel fat and useless and I’m glad its dark so no one sees me. I grab my head torch and head for the door. My inov-8’s have gone, I’d carefully put them in front of the door last night and I was the last to bed, confusion sets in along with frustration as I start to search through all the stuff in the hall, a flash of red catches my eye and one shoe is found quickly followed by the other.
I’ve just finished tightening the laces down when Emma comes shuffling out of the lounge, kisses me goodbye and heads upstairs, mystery solved, her MS has been bad overnight. I head out into the frigid air and frost covered pavement.
Out onto the road for better grip and start the run, into the lane and the street lights fade, fumble with cold fingers for the head torch switch. All I see is a perfect cone of light, I play with it for a second or two like a light sabre, till I nearly trip over, Damn it I’ll have to hand hold it lower. I’m thinking too much and I’m not enjoying the morning, I make a conscious decision to let go and listen to my breathing and my feet padding the ground, it starts to flow.
Through the gates to the woods, bird song is starting and gruff animal calls echo around, it is spooky as hell, Mike Oldfield starts to play in my head (Tubular Bells – The Exorcist), my pace quickens, legs tight from the 5k run, over the bridge into the park, listen to the breathing, turn off the headtorch and run by the light of the moon now I’m out of the trees. Legs have loosened off and I’m flying, towards the sodium glow of the street lights that light my way home. Back into the silent house, the heating is on and I have way too many layers on.
Coffee, and the first pad of children’s feet on the stairs, the morning routine commences.