As my family and friends will tell you, I am definitely not a morning person. In fact, in my perfect world I'd stay up late every night and roll into work sometime between10:00 and 11:00 after a leisurely coffee (or three) to get me started. Which is what made my decision to set my alarm for 6:30 both Saturday and Sunday mornings this past weekend a bit puzzling to say the least - particularly since I wasn't registered to run a race either day.
The thing that motivated me to crawl out of bed so early (despite a little too much wine the night before) was the opportunity to do three of my favourite things all at the same time:
- Spend time with a good friend
- Visit one of my favourite places on a warm summer's day
In the afternoon, Husband and I headed for Risser's Beach for one last day of rest and relaxation before we launch ourselves into five busy weeks of family gatherings, work, deck construction, European travel and a trip to Moncton to attend a Bruce Springsteen concert. I'm sure we'll have a wonderful time, but just thinking about all the activity made me tired so I appreciated having a few hours to just walk, swim, read and listen to the waves.
It was while I was sitting on the beach that I hatched the plan for Sunday. I wanted to run 16-18k but I also wanted to visit with my friend, David. He and his wife are expecting their first child soon so I knew this past weekend would likely be our last chance to run together for awhile. His usual long run route takes him from Prince's Inlet to Bachman's Beach - a distance of 8.6k - so I came up with the idea of running from the beach to his house and back and sent an email inviting him to join me for the return trip and a swim. The weather was forecast to be hot and David prefers to run early in the day, so I offered to pick him up about 8:30, which (gulp!) meant getting up at 6:30. I confess I thought long and hard before finally hitting "send". Did I really want to get up so early on a Sunday morning just to go running?!?!
In fact, I did - and I'm so very glad I made the effort. Upon arriving at the beach around 7:30, I was treated to the lovely scene at the top of this post, and my route to David's took me along a road hugging the shore of a peaceful bay. In addition to savouring the wonderful scenery, warm sunlight and gentle ocean breezes, I was able to listen to lovely loon song, gaze at osprey soaring high overhead, laugh at cheerful yellow finches darting in and out of the wild rose bushes and take a few pictures. Bliss!
The run from David's back to the beach was just as nice in a different way as David and I caught up on each other's news, talked about work, his impending fatherhood and our current running goals and encouraged one another to power over three nasty hills. By the time we arrived at the beach, we were both feeling warm enough to appreciate a swim in 14 degree water. Did I say "bliss"??
So it seems there are some things worth getting up early for - and running with a friend on a beautiful South Shore summer morning is one of them. I'm looking forward to my next chance to crawl out of bed early to run with friends in this idyllic little corner of the world. I wonder what else might be worth getting up early for.