It is Thursday, the one day of the week where I wake long before dawn, trading in a few hours of sleep in exchange for the company of some new-found friends. We meet at 5 a.m. to run a few miles through the streets of the town where I work. Usually I run on lunch breaks and I treasure my sleep, so the fact that I have maintained this routine for several months is a testament to their company. There is an easy camaraderie that comes with falling into step with someone whose rhythm and pace, for whatever reason, happens to mirror yours that day, and sharing with them the random thoughts that float up from the dreamlike mental space that accompanies a run at that time of day.
This will be my last run before my 8K race on Saturday. Last weekend I made the mistake of going out for a quick run the day before a 5K race and I was not able to give my peak performance on race day. That is one of the things I love about running: the fact that it is resting as much as running that builds your strength and ability, that your body weaves its silent magic around the ache of your efforts while you dream and while you rest. It's always the nothingness between your efforts that shapes you.