I used to do some of the long runs on my own in the afternoon, just so I could get a bit of a lie in on the token day of rest.
I was thinking of those times this morning, as I eagerly woke at 730 to grab a quick breakfast of salad (great way to start the day: ruffage but doesn't fill you up to the point you can't go and exercise right away) and a hot water and lemon before I set off to meet my friend A to the P and head out on our 30km Sunday morning bike ride.
It's a little tradition the two of us started, mostly because she has to work at 11:30, so the only time she could do it was bright and early.
We head down the Shell Road path towards the water, chatting away and catching up about our weeks. We managed through the woods just before the waterside, exchanges stories and elevating our heart rates. Then, it's all along the water, past the running groups that I used to wonder how I could ever be a part of, the dogs and their owners, other cyclists - some casual like us, some hard core.
And amidst all the chatter and gabbing, we suddenly descend on the little sea side spot of Steveston, where we express how shocked we are at that we got there in what seemed like such a short time.
There are a couple of good coffee shops to choose from - the token Starbucks, the west coast chain Blenz - but last week we settled on Waves - a chain or not I'm not sure, but it's view and direct patio sunlight made it this week's destination.
And there, we grab a tea, a bit of snack - a muffin, a crossiant, or something chocolately sticky and gooey - and just continue to chitty chat about .. well .. we manage to fill enough time to warm our bones, rest our legs and gear up to head back towards where we started: near her work and near my house.
A to the P goes home at the end of December and I suppose it's just dawning on me that I won't have someone to motivate me to get to the top of the trail at 8am.
It's also helped as a solid reminder of how much one changes over the course of one's life, becoming the type of person that does rise early on a Sunday, who does take better care of herself and who, for a fleeting moment, can connect with somone almost a decade in age difference and simply cherish, while brief, the time spent on a Sunday morning.