Mornings are glorious to me. Early ones, with crisp air and the dewy breath of the land’s wake. I am lucky enough to live near a beautiful running pathway — the Mt. Vernon trail. A few miles into my route, I reach a gorgeous stretch of the Potomac, carved out by jagged rocks where the water laps calmly against them. This particular stretch of the River is bordered by white sailboats corralled together, their triangles pointing toward the sky, a vision of aesthetic pleasure. The water lays in lazy ribbons, dim morning light glinting off each one’s slow roll. It looks like a field of water, protecting the land beyond it’s shores.

On the other side, I see the curve of the Capitol Dome, the magnificent jut of the Washington Monument piercing the sky. And the sun bares her body slowly to the world. She starts with deep purple, shadowy highlights overpowering the petering out of a yellow moon, which is fading quickly. I have to wait until it’s slightly light before beginning my run — to stay safe. By the time I arrive at my favorite spot, the sky is a canvas of bright pink with traces of plum-colored luminosity lingering near water’s edge, saying goodbye before their rays dissipate into the morning.

A lone kayacker rakes his paddle through the breeze-blown waves, and I wished I could have stopped to sit on the rocks and just think. But it’s a work morning and I must keep going. My run started with a grudge but I couldn’t help but stare and smile as the scenery slid by at my 10 minute mile pace. Every month in “Runners World,” they feature a photo of a runner on some amazingly beautiful trail. I’m lucky to have a spot like that to run every single day. Fall days are the best for running and as I round off training for the Chicago Marathon in just 10 days, I appreciate what I’ve got.

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