I have been running early in the morning lately. I truly, truly hate it. More than just about anything. Have I mentioned how comfy my bed is? I have the comfiest bed. And it is very difficult to leave in the morning. But I have been. I’ve been getting up when it is still dark. I try to get out before six. About ten to fifteen minutes into the run, the sky starts to lighten. It’s nice. It’s cool and that is a significant plus for me. I have had some issues with migraines this summer and I feel like I need to blame them on the heat. The humidity. Not being hydrated enough. All of those things do not come into play at six in the morning. It is cool and there is less traffic. And there are the regulars that I see when I am out there.
There is an older haole man who walks up on Nehoa Street and always says good morning. There is another man who is at the other end of my run who I see on Wilder Ave. He does not say good morning and seems to be wearing the same outfit whenever I see him. Although I could be mistaken. And he might think the same thing about me. There are many dog walkers and a few other runners. Some that I pass on my way down into Manoa Valley.
It had been raining in the night so the overgrown grass in Manoa this morning was wet. That is one thing that I don’t like about earliness, the ground has yet to dry so I end up with wet feet. I am not a fan. But it is a small drawback in my mind. I never feel not safe. I know that my significant other does not love my new running schedule but it is good for me. After my post run panic attack in August, I like knowing that when I come home my family will still be there. That is good for me.
Today when I got to Punahou St. on Wilder, there was a woman running ahead of me. I knew that I would catch her up and I did. The sidewalks do not make for good passing so I jumped in the street. We greeted each other as I ran up next to her. And then she asked if she could run with me. One of the reasons I like running is the aloneness of it. I find that I come up with some really good ideas while I am running. I do not listen to music. I am just in my head. Sometimes my brain provides a sound track. This past Sunday it was “More Human Than Human.” I have no idea where that came from. But it was there. And I had a great run.
So this girl, on Wilder, asking if she could run with me. What can you say to that? Our pace was close. It wasn’t like I was going to take off and lose her. So I said yes. And then, we chatted. And, I kind of liked it. She introduced herself, her name was Nikki (spelling assumed). She lives over by Ward. She was running three miles. She has a seven month old. But the baby is actually her fourth child. She does her long runs on Saturday down into Manoa. This was the conversation that took place between Punahou and Pensacola (my turnoff) along Wilder. This morning before seven.
And, as much as I want to run alone, there was something about this that just really made me happy. Just the small act of reaching out to a stranger. And it was so small. And it is not something that I would generally be inclined even to do. But it really made a difference in my day. And I felt like I should return the favor. To someone, somewhere, in a small way, a small connection. Not easy for me. But I think that I will try.
But now I have an early morning run comrade. And I will be hoping to run into darling Nikki again one of these mornings. And maybe, if I run up on you, I will make you run with me. And I will make some small talk. And it will make your day. Maybe.