When there’s nothing else to do at 5:30 a.m.

Take your dog for a walk.

I have a really hard time going back to sleep after I’ve been awakened. Like when our dog thinks he has to bark at the milk delivery guy every Monday morning at 4:30 a.m. My husband has no problem mumbling “shush–it’s just the milk man” and resuming his slumber.

Me? I usually lie in bed and spend the next two hours glancing between the alarm clock and the ceiling until it’s time to get up.

Today, my husband had to be at the airport extra early this morning. Despite his considerate efforts to make sure he didn’t wake me up, I still did. Like today, any small noise usually brings me to a wide-awake state and I instantly feel as though I just drank a venti latte’.

Instead of simply enjoying “coasting” in bed in a half-awake state under the warmth of blankets, I felt compelled to get out of bed, and venture out with my dog even before the sun rose. By the way, “coasting” is a word my mom always uses and it describes lazing in bed quite accurately, don’t you think?

What cracks me up is that my dog was more than willing to perk up at the sight of the leash and bound out the front door with me–despite the fact that it was normally a time we would still be sound asleep. Try THAT with the teenagers.

I followed doctor’s orders and walked–not ran–the 4.5 mile loop to a nearby park and back. As we neared the house on our return, the sun rose, and birds began singing and cars were just starting to be on the roads. It was peaceful.

After we returned back to the house, I felt that wonderful sense of relaxation wash over me that I only get after working out. That’s the “runner’s high” that people sometimes try to describe. The slightly euphoric feeling is impossible to fully put into words but it makes me cheerful even first thing in the morning and it makes me feel less inclined to strangle my disagreeable teenagers. I feel accomplished, relaxed, warm, and content.

What a great way to start the day. And it’s no wonder I’ve missed running. It also explains why my dog is always willing to go for a walk or a run at all hours of the day. He knows that some outside exercise is always a good idea.

Will I continue my early morning jaunts? Only if I can’t otherwise go back to sleep.¬†Luckily, my dog is up for a walk or a run at any hour of the day and he’ll join me whatever the reason.

I love that damn dog.

_____________________

Update: I especially love my dog now that he sleeps through the early morning milk delivery. No more barking! Yay. Now, if I could only keep him from eating food off the kitchen counter…

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by angie on February 17, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Hey, I’d join you in your walk but I’m a coasting pro! Speaking of walks, want to a walk a FULL marathon with me? I think I need to tackle that bucket item afterall.

    Reply

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