For the past two weeks, my alarm has been going off at 5:00 every morning for me to get up and run. And it's been nothing short of impossible for me to actually lace up and go. I've been excited, ready, awake enough, motivated and prepared to make a four- to five-mile loop every morning. But there's been something stopping me... FEAR.
Two years ago, during my summer of run, I was out the door every morning by 6:15. But now with a kiddo on a schedule, daycare drop off and starting my work day, I have to get out the door an hour earlier to get the run in. The problem with that: The sun isn't on the same page. By 6 am, there's enough daylight to make it happen. But not enough time left before the routine begins. At 5:15 there's just not enough daylight to be crossing 5-lane roads with speed limits of 45 where drivers regularly exceed 50-55 MPH. And then there's the ongoing "investigative reporting" of mysterious white vans trying to mug women running alone, and the reports of aggressive coyotes approaching runners, walkers and pets across the Denver metro area. One runner in Boulder County was bitten by an aggressive coyote. The damn things are taking over our city!
And now that I am a mom, I take this stuff a lot more seriously. I can deal with the coyotes, but the muggings and traffic are the real deal. On Saturday morning, a cyclist was riding in the bike lane along the road I want to cross when a car hit and killed him less than a block from where I'd cross. I really don't think I need to be crossing that street on foot the dark.
So, I am faced with with two choices: running on a treadmill; or in the heat of the day. And to be honest, a pack of aggressive coyotes sounds like more fun than either of those two options.
But alas, I have two race registrations paid for and a knee that won't tolerate me not training properly. So, with a little extra cross training, a few treadmill runs and (temperatures permitting) outdoor jaunts, I will keep my shoulders back, breathe deep and lace up. Fear may change my method and time of day, but I won't let it change my goals.