It’s 5:30am as I shuffle down the stairs, barely awake, socks in hand. Grabbing my heart rate monitor and earbuds I pass the coffee maker, hitting start. It’ll be nice and hot awaiting my arrival 6 miles from now. I pick up my shoes and head to the front of the house. The cool air hits me as the door swings open. A summertime morning awaits beyond my porch. I smile.
I pet our old orange tabby as I put on my shoes. He’ll be there basking in the sun when I return in an hour. Adjusting my gear one more time I head to the road and take off. The air feels cold against my skin. I get goosebumps as I settle into my stride. Exiting the neighborhood there are only wheat fields as far as the eye can see. The sun climbs the mountains to the northwest of me and I swing my sunglasses down from my head to rest on the top of my nose. My stride never missing a beat.
The air smells like freshly cut hay. I look south, and big round bails dot a large field. Nice and neatly rolled up, they wait, ready to be stored in a red barn for hungry winter cattle. For now though, the birds descend on them, searching for seed scattered during the bailing process.
An old farmhouse and a few outbuildings sit lonely deep in between huge rolling fields. Tall juniper trees hedge the yard making only the roof of the small house visible from the road. A border collie sits at the top of the driveway, there to stand guard or perhaps because he watched his owner drive away and he’s looking for-longingly, hoping for his master’s quick return.
As I follow the road through the wheat fields today, I feel good, like my legs could carry on forever. It’s been awhile since I’ve felt this free on a run. I savor every second as my shoes skip across the pavement. There’s just something magical about an early morning run, especially in summer.
Six miles later I round the bend to my house. As predicted, our tabby is asleep as I approach, but his ear tilts and tail twitches as I walk up. Passing him I head inside. Time for coffee, and the last bit of quiet before the day begins.