I run at 5:30 in the morning, every other day. I set the alarm, but that's just silly because one or both of my kids is awake by then. Always.
It's so quiet at 5:30. On week days, the main road has traffic. Semis, people going to work. In our neighborhood, I see no one. Once on a weekend, I passed only one car on my entire route. I run past the local diner that's been there for ages, the one that my great-uncle owned so many years ago. I think about how much I'd rather be sitting down for a cup of coffee and a feta omelet with a side of bacon and greasy home fries, but I keep running.
The ability to not pay attention, to just zone out and get lost in my music and my thoughts is priceless. I don't worry about all the things I have to do, because I can't do them.
I don't really like running, but the time to think without really thinking, to turn things over in my brain and let them go, to get lost in a favorite song... that time is priceless. Today I ran for 28 straight minutes and even though some parts were very hard and I just wanted to stop, sit down, and quit, I didn't. I kept running and thinking and before I knew it, I was done.
In the afternoons, our neighborhood is so full of kids, dogs, and people that running is so hard because I'm constantly dodging or trying to avoid eye contact or wondering if people think, "Eww, what is she doing plodding around and gasping for air!?" In the very early morning, though, it's like the entire world is blanketed with quiet. I never knew that there was so much quiet in this little corner of suburbia, but I am so glad for it.