Early rise after an unsettled night’s sleep. Years ago, I used to run first and then walk Cotton upon my return as my cool down. But often that meant a cold start to the run, even after a 10 minute warm-up stretch. The mind sometimes resisted the effort to put one foot in front of the other, when it’s too dark, too cool, not fully awake, etc. Only a developed discipline of habit and routine could drive me at such times, and that can be difficult if you’re trying to form the habit in the first place.

Baka 9 week 2006-07
Baka 9 weeks

When Baka came into my life, part of the house training ritual when he was a puppy, was to take him out immediately after waking up to get him into the idea of urinating outside and avoid an accident. Puppies have a small bladder, are impatient, and want to pee immediately after waking, so you had to be dressed, lead on, and out the door like it were a fire drill.

That routine stuck even when I started morning runs after Baka’s walk, partly to keep the morning routine and also not to shock him with the idea that I was going to leave him alone for an hour with a full bladder. Was also part of getting Baka used to the idea of me being absent for periods of time and that I also found that the short walk before the run gets the blood flowing, stretch the legs, gets you used to the temperature, and lets the mind get into gear.

So today I was out for a short 6 Km run, trying to build my routine back to 10 and 15 Km runs. Trouble sleeping, stress, and some late nights have hampered my efforts to keep a regular running schedule. Today’s objective was a time better than 25m24s, but that wasn’t a firm goal, just getting out, running, work on alternating my stride and step, and not feeling too bad. As it turned out, I felt pretty good, and alternating stride and step kept me from falling into a monotone rhythm that can make a run a hard slog.

My pace and form were good coming to the last kilometre with a light down hill grade to help kick the final stretch. All until one of those tiny little flies that runners typically find stuck to the sweat of their arms, legs, and shirts managed to skirt the rim of my sun glasses and into my eye. It has to be one of the worst things that can happen to runners, after needing to go potty on a long run at the half way mark and twisting your ankle from a misstep.

Well. They don’t call it endurance running for nothing. I finished 24m57s.

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