I was thinking about this yesterday and trying to determine why this certain time makes such an impact on me. First, I have found that it allows me to be better prepared and more eager for Sunday worship. It's almost counter intuitive, but waking up several hours earlier than normal, running 10 - 20+ miles and returning to get ready for church, really does create a heightened alertness and appreciation for the service time to follow. In addition, the playlist is more focused on praise music and the stillness of these mornings promotes an incredible time of meditation. Lastly, from a practical standpoint, Sunday mornings are far less crowded along roadways and parks. It's amazing how nice and quiet it can be along city streets when cars are idle.
The other thought that I had was in regards to the dynamic of changing seasons. In the Fall, runs start with a pre-dawn chill that gives way to sunrise. Winter mornings seem to require the headlamp for the entire run, with the greatest challenge being to keep the water bottles from freezing up. The Spring is a welcomed thaw with the return of chirping birds and various other 'critters'. Finally, saving the best for last, the Summer Sunday morning, where even the two and a half hour runs are post-sunrise. The pace is quicker and the sweat begins to pour within the first mile (definitely a reference to yesterday's run). I love it!
So, whether you are a runner in training, a runner out of training or a walker, I would highly encourage you to get out early on Sunday morning and plan a day of honoring the creation and the Creator.
Make it a great day.