Thursday, December 11, 2008

More alone than usual

I ran four miles this morning. Bundled up against the cold I flipped through the shuffle to find music that was fast and turned the volume up to LOUD. At about the mile mark I noticed that something seemed different. It was definitely colder but that was not it. Then I realized what it was.

Most mornings I probably pass 20 to 50 cars. People inside are sleepily making their way to work. This morning on my whole run I only saw five cars or so. I ran on Willow Drive and Yaupon – normally busy streets – today no cars. I crossed Oyster Creek Drive twice. Usually the intersections there have multiple cars at them, even at a little after 5 am. But not this morning.

Last week Dow Chemical announced that they were going to idle some production plants and shutdown others completely. They told both contractors and direct employees to go home until January 5th. Some have vacation and will get paid while they are off. Some have no vacation and are out of luck. Some will come back on January 5th to resume work. Some will go home and get a phone call later that they are no longer needed.

I know that Dow is a business in the business of making money. I know that times are hard. But it seems heartless to send people home during the holidays.

I was a Dow contractor until May of this year. I am glad I am not there anymore. I didn’t see it coming. I am not that smart. I left because of restlessness and a desire for the adventure of living overseas. I got the benefit of returning to the best company I have ever worked for.

Although I often run alone, I ran this morning more alone than usual. I ran hard and mad and sad.


This morning I planned to run a hard five miles listening to loud fast music while bundled up to lessen the bite of the cold. I was really looking forward to this morning’s run but I am disappointed to say it never happened.

Before I go to bed I have to make sure everything is ready for me to run in the morning. My schedule is tight and if I don’t get stuff together I will end up leaving late for work. My pre-bedtime routine includes making coffee. The first destination after my feet hit the floor in the morning is the coffee pot. It is not the restroom my body requires first, it is a sip of heaven. To get that sip first thing the coffee machine has to have water, freshly ground beans and a timer set to 3:52am. Never set the time for a number with a multiple of 5 – that is so overdone.

Second I go upstairs and find what shorts, shirts and socks I am going to run in and throw them in a pile in front of the closet. Not a neat pile, but a messy pile of tech material that is convenient to find grab and put on.

Next I find my iPod if I am going to run to music. Some mornings I intentionally leave it at home.

Last I set my alarm for 4:10am and go to sleep.

If I plan a run and don’t the reason is usually because of a lack of motivation, being too tired, or being too sore or injured. But I always at least get up and make an attempt to get out of the door.

This morning I didn’t run because I apparently forgot the last step of my pre-bedtime routine. My alarm didn’t go off. I woke up at 5:10am without the help of the alarm clock. It is quite possible that I needed the rest, but I am disappointed that I didn’t get to run.

Who says that being in a rut is a bad thing? Being in a rut keeps me out of the ditch.