california life

Some Fridays

4 September 2009

[Breakfast, September 2009.]

I get up a little earlier — more like 6:20 a.m. instead of 6:40 (I know 20 minutes doesn’t seem like much but when you read past bedtime the night before every little bit helps) — and go for a run. I usually have to force myself from bed, grumbling to myself about why-ever do I do this ? but I do it. I swill water as I sleepily tie my shoelaces, double-check to make sure I have my keys, and head out.

Once out-of-doors, even if it’s a little chilly as it was this morning and I grumble a bit more audibly about the why, I start to wake up. Today was darker than other mornings this summer, reminding me the time change is imminent even if it’s a few months away yet and no I surely will not be ready when it comes no matter what, but that may have been due to the fog. Still: I was awake, the streets were deserted except for a few early dog-walkers, and I thought about how delicious breakfast would taste when I got home.

I take a particular route each time I run, with a standard four miles round-trip that if I’m lucky — and have the time — I can extend to six, eight, or even 10 miles. Usually I go after work unless I have plans or am just too worn out; the atmosphere is completely different then, full of cars and other runners and bicyclists and dogs trotting happily all around the dog park. There’s a certain energy to the early-evening crowd and the light is different; the other night as I made my way through Golden Gate Park I could see the sun filtering through the trees a quarter-mile ahead of me and I wished so I’d had a camera for it was golden and perfect and inexplicably lovely.

Anyway, this morning obviously there was no golden, perfect, lovely light because the fog was socked in and it was 6:45 a.m. but I liked it anyhow. It’s refreshing to be out mostly alone, and if you do see other runners you make eye contact and offer a sort of half smile in commiseration: Crap it’s early and I’d like to be still tucked up in bed snoozing away in dreamland and would it be ridiculous to actually drink coffee while running? I mean, would it? The air, too, is fresher, not yet smogged up from all the car and bus exhaust. If the sprinklers are on I make no effort to avoid them because a little water is a nice pick-me-up during the last two miles.

While I can’t in all honestly say I enjoy the pre-7 a.m. run necessarily I’m learning to like it alright. At least, I try to convince myself of this (the best time for me I’ve found is either around 2-3 p.m. or 11 a.m. when I’m well-hydrated but you do what you can do.) and slog through it as often as I can manage.

(It does feel so good to be out there.)

Of course I think about the food I’ll eat after I’m done during the entire four (or six! OK, that happened only once.) Mornings like this morning I didn’t eat my typical half-banana for sustenance and thus was even more starving than usual. All through the dreamy, fog-scape of the park I contemplated the desserts I’ll make in a few days, what kind of fruit I’d like to cut up and put into ice cream, the delicious portabello mushroom, sauteed spinach, and heirloom tomato salad I’d had for dinner, and what I’d have for breakfast. Can you blame me? A girl’s gotta eat, after all.

So I did. I had a bit of cream cheese on bread with more tomato and a bit of butter on bread with radishes and salt. When I got to work I fried up the egg I’d brought in (yes, there is a kitchen at work) and toasted a slice of bread and ate that, too. There was, clearly, lots of coffee and water. It was all delicious and satisfying.

Other Friday mornings I’m lucky enough to work from home and am able eek out an extra hour of sleep. I make coffee in the French press, pull out the feta from the fridge — but that’s a meal for another time.

This weekend I’m baking a cake and making ice-cream. I cannot wait. Plus, I’ll finally give you a recipe again. I know! I can hardly believe it either.

  • L*Joy 7 September 2009 at 6:50 am

    this week stephen and i got up for a sunrise walk in the cool fall air, and as we were about to head out the door he asked, “Is this a tea drinking walk or a tennis shoe walk?” I smiled and replied, “Tennis shoe.” Maybe you and I could both try to add a few coffee and tea drinking early morning escapes.

  • Nancy 5 September 2009 at 9:06 am

    I would love to spend all my life in San Fran and have the option and choices to shop in organic markets.

  • justrun 4 September 2009 at 5:26 pm

    I love the peace of the early morning run.
    I do not think it’s crazy at all to consider drinking coffee during a morning run. After all, I have considered it myself. Also during morning yoga, though I do see the larger issues with that.

  • Laura [What I Like] 4 September 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Your beautiful breakfast reminds me of one of my favorite vacation breakfasts of all time, which happened to be in Istanbul. Beautiful tomatoes, lots of wonderful dairy options…I envy your very healthy morning!