"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Me, A Morning Person? Go Figure!

For as far back as I can recall, I have been the very definition of a night owl. Living for those late evening guitar sessions and midnight doughnut runs, while sleeping as long into the morning as I possibly could.  This approach has worked pretty well for me over life's first half. I scheduled college classes to start after 10:00 a.m.  I worked second shift for a period of time.  I discovered the secret to five hours of sleep, especially when the trade off was staying young with our college, career and small group friends.  I even found late workouts to fit the schedule. Hoot - Hoot.

But to the surprise of many, especially my parents, my former roommate and my wife, I have spent a majority of the past two years hitting the sack early and hitting the pavement (or trail, or treadmill) well before dawn.  That’s right, five days a week for the past two years, I have taught this ol’ dog a new trick.  A trick that involves finishing most of my runs before the family even wakes. No, really.  Stop laughing, it’s true.

I was thinking about this today as I started out shortly after 5 a.m.  My thoughts actually moved from disbelief in how easy this has become, even on weekends, to considering what I really enjoy about this time of day.  My list includes:

  • The Quiet. It’s a different quiet than midnight.  The dark is not filled with the sounds of cicadas and the random dog bark, but of the birds starting the day, and if you’re lucky, the occasional rooster crowing. Other than that, it is quiet. Especially in winter when pre-dawn is extremely quiet. 
  • The first “Good Mornings.” Mostly, there are the regulars.  The ones that you see along the route every Sunday morning. You pass and you say good morning. Realizing that to the casual onlooker it might seem more obligatory than sincere, I can tell you that within the regulars it is definitely a sincere tip of the hat. And you know, a lot of people go deep into their day without a “good morning.” On some days, I collect several dozen before the sun rises.  That’s a pretty nice feeling. 
  • "Rabbits and Deer and Skunks .... Oh, MY!” My early morning wildlife encounters are well documented in this blog.  I still enjoy every single one of them, and I still encounter them on every single run.  Stay at this long enough and you’ll see a lot of critters up close and personal.  Don’t tell anyone, but I might have even started telling some of them good morning. 
  • The Moment. It only lasts for about 10 seconds, but it occurs every single time.  There is a moment at sunrise when the light hits a certain level and your body says, “Ok, the day is here.” I suddenly feel even more awake and my pace naturally quickens.  I love it.  And I have found that the longer I have been running in the dark that morning, the more drastic that moment seems to be. 

So, if you haven’t yet made that conversion to early bird, I would encourage you to give it a try. Attempt it for three weeks and you’ll be hooked.  Anyway, wow, look at the time, it’s almost 9:00 and I need to get to bed! Goodnight, see you early in the morning.  


  1. Same here! And I sometimes talk to the critters, too. :)

  2. Ha. Great to know it’s not just me. It’s funny over the past month or two, I’ve had a regular 5:30 run on T, W and Th. Almost like clockwork, the same rabbits are found at the very same patches of grass each morning. I pass about a dozen of them throughout the trail. I’ve started saying “good morning rabbit #1 - good to see you today” and to #2, and #3 ........