Early Morning Runs

This morning I woke up at 4.59 am to go running. I know, ugh, that’s what I thought too. But I had an appointment with a group of  friends that I had to keep. We were all going to run a race the town called  RUN 5.30. I don’t even want to call it a race, it’s more of an event. Because really, who can “race” so early in the morning? It starts at 5.30 am and the distance is…5300 meters.  I literally rolled out of bed, threw on my running clothes and got in the car to drive to the start.

View from the driver's seat.

I am not a morning person. I know someone  very close to me that starts cracking jokes as soon as he gets out of bed. And laughs at himself. I usually just look at him and reach for second cup of coffee. I’m notorious for not talking much in the morning and starting to feel myself somewhere around the second hour after I’ve been moving around. But I LOVE getting up early. I love the light and the stillness and that wonderful feeling of having the whole day in front of me. I love the meditation. Combine that feeling with running first thing in the morning? Shivers down my spine happiness.

Sunrise

Today we start our Up & Running 5km Summer Session and one of the things I will be recommending to this group is running early in the morning. With temperatures soaring into the 90’s during the summer months, you definitely do not want to be running on your lunch hour. You must choose the cooler moments of the day which in most cases is somewhere around 6.00 a.m. If you are able to rearrange your schedule just a few days a week to do this you will start reaping in the benefits immediately.

  • Metabolic Efficiency. Especially helpful for those women (and men) that want to jump start weight loss. Running first thing in the morning on an empty stomach forces your body to get its energy from your fat reserves. Plus, the increased activity first thing in the morning sets you up for the rest of the day. Rather than dragging you’ll feel more energetic. Just get to bed on time!
  • Less Pollution. Less cars, less traffic, less pollution at six o’clock in the morning. Better for you, better for your lungs.
  • No more excuses! Getting your exercises out of the way first thing in the morning leaves you to do whatever you need/want to do with the rest of your day. No more “I couldn’t find the time” or “I have to take the cat to the vet…” excuses for not having gone running.
After the race they're off to school...

There are two things I absolutely adore about the Run 5.30 event. The first is their mission to involve young kids in running. Out of the 1200 runners at the start, 400 were kids from the local high schools who not only got themselves out of bed at 4.30 am (and if you have teenagers in the house you know how difficult this was for them!) but then they went to school. Here in Italy it was the last day of the school year, but still they did it. Hurray!

This photo makes me salivate!

Most events around here serve crappy cookies after the race. Run 5.30 serves fresh seasonal fruit and ’round here that means CHERRIES!!! (I love cherries…)

If you’re feeling inclined their next event will be in Venice, Italy. Venice at sunrise is gorgeous…