Early Sunday Morning – And, No I Wasn’t Just Heading Home

Early Sunday mornings are asynchronous to my night owl nature, but favors to friends are not.  So this Sunday morning I awoke with a start to help a friend attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

It’s been seven years since I ran my last marathon in an unsuccessful attempt at the same qualifying feat.  I am nowhere near marathon shape, but I am still fast enough to be a part of a five man relay group that will pace him for 6:30 miles. I had miles 15 through 20 of the “Peoples Marathon” aka the Marine Corps Marathon.

I had forgotten how the city looks at this hour, how she transforms herself from the teeming energy of optimistic nightlife to the comparative tranquility of Sunday morning realities in a few short hours.

Perhaps because I know that I won’t see this side of the city for a spell, I take particular note of her charms this morning.  I find joy in the parents pushing their young charges in strollers.  I smile at bleary eyed chefs arriving for the brunch shift, eager believers entering churches for a weekly dose of faith, and police officers who are probably on the fourth hour of their watch.

This time of morning the city has so many sights, and sounds with which I am unaccustomed.  Yes, I see them at other times, but they seem so unfamiliar at this unfamiliar hour.

I do chuckle a bit at the party boys and girls so obviously still wearing costumes of the night before.

As I cross one bridge over Rock Creek Park, I am convinced that this is the month when real estate with views proves the worth of their premiums since the tree line is awash in red and gold.

I mouth the words “nice ride” to a man I encounter at stop light. I make a mental wager that he was taking his very shiny, very expensive, very convertible mid-life crisis out for a spin.

I nod at a trio of Marines as they pass me on their morning run.

I stop for a moment and just soak in the stillness in time, the quiet of a normally disquiet city.

The city is the same that I have loved for so long but somehow different at this hour.  It’s not unlike a longtime love who suddenly does something different with her hair.  She is no more or less attractive than before the new Do, just different; and that variety keeps things fresh.

I think I need to rise early more often to see me my city this way.

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11 Responses to Early Sunday Morning – And, No I Wasn’t Just Heading Home

  1. justjp says:

    The early hours are very peaceful in the city.

  2. Early Sunday morning are my favorite time to be out and about in DC.

  3. Liebchen says:

    Sometimes it hurts to get up that early for the races – when it’s still dark and chilly. But you’re right – it’s different than the DC you experience during the day. It’s beautiful.

  4. brookem says:

    you just described perfectly why i opt to run in the morning more often than not.

  5. kitty says:

    you run a six minute, 30 second mile?

  6. Alice says:

    i’m pretty sure i’ve only seen the city at that hour as one of the returning party girls 😉 maybe one day i’ll actually wake UP early instead of go to bed late? we’ll see..

  7. elle dubya says:

    this is why getting up early doesn’t bother me much at all.

  8. f.B says:

    i’m with elle. this is exactly why 530 every morning feels just right. it’s undisturbed.

  9. justjp: they’re peaceful in every city but even more so in city’s with the night’s are so busy.

    Snay: I almost never see the city at this hour (unless I am one of those people headed home from the night before) so it was a special treat for me.

    Liebchen: That was my least favorite part of running road races but it was really special today. Fortunately for me, I was assigned the later miles (my friends know me) and didn’t have to rise in darkness.

    brookem: when I was training all of the time, I ran in the morning because my schedule demanded it; but I much prefer evening runs – my times were faster at night too.

    kitty: for five or six miles, I can definitely run six thirties

    Alice: I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen the city at that hour when I haven’t been out all night. Trust me, it was unusual.

    suicide_blond: back atcha

    elle dubya & f.B: there are so many reasons why I prefer nights to mornings, but this kind of stillness isn’t on that list.

  10. Last Friday, in order to catch an early flight, I had to board a train at five in the morning. FIVE. The double layer of eye cream did nothing to lessen the bags and dark circles. My hair was in a damp, tangled mess, clipped back on one side (as if that might help). And my cardigan was on inside-out, something I didn’t realize until I hit security. Even still, I was alert enough to realize the calmness of the city was breathtaking.

    I wasn’t up THAT early, there better be a damn good reason for me to rise that early… I guess a favor for this friend would have qualified, but I’m glad he didn’t ask.

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