She wakes me every morning – that blasted cat. I hear her clawing at the quilt incessantly, knowing that eventually I will give in. The problem is, over however many years of her doing this, especially in summer, I have trained myself to wander into the kitchen, give her a handful of cat kibbles and go back to bed. But now that my time is more constrained and I am determined to run, for the first time in a very long time, Dizzy is more of a blessing than a curse.
I have found that in order to make myself go out in the morning, I have to have laid my running gear out the night before. There is a little pile on the floor – shorts, t-shirt, socks, underpants, bandana for my hair, water bottle filled, bum pack ready to put my iPod in. When I get up, I feel the battle begin – every morning it’s the same…
“Oh, it would be so nice to get back into bed for another half an hour…the quilt is still warm”
“You know you are going to feel lousy if you do”
“Yes, but I could always run this evening?”
“There is no chance that is going to happen, you know it”
“But it looks like it is raining outside”
“Since when have you ever been bothered about running in the rain?”
“But…but…just another half an hour”
“Come on, Nancy – get your gear on, get out there, you know you will enjoy it. Just 5 miles this morning. It’s not that much”
As time has gone on, the voice of running reason has been winning out more and more. I slip into my gear without even bothering to have a coffee and I am out.
I start my run accompanied by Steve Runner at Pheddippidations. I am still working my way through his archive so I reckon I have plenty of mornings to go yet before I run out of recordings of his encouraging voice. After 10 minutes of a slow warm up jog I am beginning to enjoy myself. I generally find myself smiling at one of Steve’s jokes or nodding at an observation. The most wonderful part is getting the enouragement from my cyber running buddy which helps me over Richmond Bridge, or pushes me into the next interval. If I get through an episode of Steve before my run is finished, I listen to Nigel at Running From the Reaper or Matt at The Dump Runners Club. One of those two will usually bring me home – sweating and very, very content. Ready to start my day.
I know this is easy in summer, when it is light well before I get up. But my hope is that I can get the routine so firmly entrenched that when winter comes, and the pile on the floor also includes gloves, woolly hat, rain jacket, lights and reflective bib, I will still win the argument with myself.
Now let’s see if Dizzy can still keep up with the wake-up call when it is cold and dark in the morning. You’d better – oh fat cat – I’m relying on you.