Monday, January 30, 2012

A perfect run

Truly this morning's run was perfect, in all ways. Let's start with la cocotte who woke me up at 3.49 am because she had lost her nounou a.k.a. nuk a.k.a. pacifier. After dealing with that situation, I realized I actually felt wide awake and rested. I had planned on waking up at 5 am to run but I figured if I went immediately I could actually, for the first time in months, go for a run where the length of the run was dictated entirely by my desire. It was my first opportunity since the birth of la cocotte to go for a run without any time limits. Perfect.

I slid out of bed and into my running clothes (which I leave in a pile by the front door the night before so as not to disturb my sleeping household). I drank a cold shot of espresso (prepared the night before hence cold) and I was on the road by 4.14 am. Although it was cold (-17 C or 1.4 F) it was utterly wind still and in a rare fit of insight, the outfit I had chosen was optimally suited to the conditions, the result being that I was completely comfortable. Not too sweaty from overheating, not too icy from, well, running in Montreal in January before sunrise. Perfect.

The Tim Horton's that I regularly pass 12 minutes into my run just as my bladder always seems to wake up was open and crowded so I was able to slip unnoticed into their toilet (honestly I don't think they really care but I always feel badly peeing without buying despite the fact that I have spent enough at Timmy's in my life to finance a franchise). Although I am not taking walking breaks during my runs this time around, I do seem to be on a 15 minute run, 10 second pee schedule. Every time I got to the point where I was altering my stride to avoid peeing my pants, I seemed to pass another park or dark, secluded corner (granted dark secluded corners are not hard to find at 4 am). Perfect.

I bought new shoes yesterday. Normally I try on at least 4 if not 5 pairs when I buy shoes and do a fair amount of running in each of them to compare. Yesterday I had la cocotte with me and she was having none of it. I tried on my first pair, they fit, felt very neutral, lightweight but at the same time well cushioned and were on sale. I started to say "I like these but what else do you have" but as la cocotte moved one from trying on all  the swim goggles, to un-hangering a display of running bras to trying to climb the mannequin in their window, I found myself saying "I'll take them." Despite the fact that they were new, relatively untested shoes, I didn't even notice them on my feet on their maiden voyage this morning (a higher endorsement of a running shoe, there is not!) and my (still) injured foot did not hurt at all. Perfect.

Best of all I was really able to relax and enjoy. I found a pace that was comfortable, easy but made me work suitably hard (suitably for being 32 weeks pregnant). I got to a place where I was able to enjoy again the visceral sensation of running. I was also empowered by the secret knowledge of early morning in my city that I gather as I run around the darkened streets of a sleeping city. I love observing the early morning hours in cross section of my hometown. The van that drives slowly by in residential neighborhoods as newspapers fly out in tangent from the window always hitting their mark on the correct doorstep. The youngsters on their way home from their night of revelry; we tend to stare at each other in mutual disbelief and awe. The office buildings downtown with the random light still on and a slumped figure in silhouette slumped in exhaustion over a computer presumably after an all-nighter. The drivers brazenly running red lights, driving the wrong way down one-way streets without any consequences. The odoriferous  tail-end offerings of a greasy spoon. The pungent delight of the first pot of coffee of the day being brewed in the neighborhood coffee shop. It`s nothing spectacular. Nothing out of the ordinary but I adore bearing witness to it and revel in the knowledge that, but for me, many of these snippets of life would go unwitnessed.

An hour and thirty-six minutes and 17 kilometers later I was done. Truth be told, I was over-done but it was delicious to be finishing a run because I was simply out of desire not time. Best of all, when I arrived home around 6 am, the household was still asleep so I had missed nothing. Zero guilt factor. Truly, a perfect run.


  1. I do not know why but perfect run and 4:14am, -17C, 17kilometers somehow do not go together for me:)