Beeping alarms and rising suns are not enough to rouse a roommate, but pre-sunrise 7 am is the perfect time to join droopy-eyed friends still rubbing sleep from their eyes. They have already begun stretching and putting on their headphones, adjusting sports-bra straps and retying their shoe laces. Charlotte complains that it is much too early, but once we begin running she won't stop smiling.
The sun rises slowly over the buildings as we make our rounds around the trail, legs pounding the pavement into submission. Sarah's hair whips back and forth in the wind as she sprints past me, knowing full well that I must chase her until I win.
Turning the corner and finishing mile one, I gain speed and zoom my way past her. Flashing her a smile, I notice the grin spreading across her face as she tried to run past me.
Joyous in my victory, I remind myself that a month ago I couldn't have run this fast or this long. The knowledge of my progress excites me and I get my second wind - it's time to run past Sarah and the rest of the group. MyLeah and Charlotte have gotten ahead of us, but not fot long as we all strive to sprint to the end of mile two. Sometimes we make it through mile three, but..
Can I do it?
Am I in good enough shape yet?
Chests heaving and sweat dripping, we stop to refill our water bottles and catch out breath. Charlotte and Sarah are done for the morning; exhausted, they have dropped to the ground in mock-defeat. MyLeah and I, standing victorious, are already making our way towards breakfast. It's time for a breakfast fit for champions.