I used to run at night. I fell into that habit in high school and didn't shake it through college and beyond. I don't really remember when I began running in the morning, but I can't imagine going back to that old schedule.

Part of it's out of necessity. With two little ones and a scattershot schedule, evening running isn't going to happen. Not with any consistency. But with the morning run, it gives me a chance to start every morning on a positive note. Take today.

The alarm goes off at 6 a.m. and I slam down the snooze. Up a few minutes later, I stumble downstairs to stretch before heading out into a light rain. My body feels fresh, my legs have some spring to them, and I'm able to go through my plan for the day.

The quiet streets help me out; the kids I pass heading toward their bus stops aren't the chattiest bunch. And traffic hasn't yet picked up, so stretches along Route 30 and Jimmie Leeds Road don't require as much attention as they do when I've got to keep my eye out for cars and trucks that may/may not be watching for others.

Add it all up, and you get a strong, if a little soggy, start to the day.