BY: Mark Sutcliffe
At any time of the day, a good run can boost your spirits and make you feel strong and healthy, but I’m especially partial to the early morning. When I exercise as the sun rises, it gives me energy for the entire day and I feel like I’m getting a head start.
Unfortunately, first thing in the morning is sometimes the busiest time in my day. I have two young children and the nature of my work sometimes confines me to my keyboard for the first few hours after I arise, leaving the afternoon or evening as the only window for running. So when I’m able to squeeze in 45 minutes early on a weekday, it feels like a victory.
This morning, with the forecast calling for heat and humidity, I made the spontaneous decision to get outside within minutes of waking. I was ahead on my work, my family was still asleep, so I slipped out the door at 5:25, hoping to get in a quick 8k.
The air was cool and the streets were quiet. I turned down what is normally a busy thoroughfare, choked with cars, trucks and people lining up for public transit. This morning, only a few buses were collecting passengers on their way to work the morning shift. I travelled onto a recreational path that is typically popular with cyclists and runners. Today, I was the only soul for a stretch of almost two miles before I passed a couple of people on their bikes and one person out for an early stroll.
As I turned for home, the sun was rising directly in front of me. It seemed to be perfectly aligned with the road, bathing the path in front of me in bright light. It made me think of the Manhattan Solstice, when the sunrise and sunset line up perfectly with New York’s grid of east-west streets. I picked up the pace for the final 500 metres. My blood was flowing, the city was awakening and my day was off to a perfect start.