A missed Skype session turned out to be exactly what I needed this week to improve my running consistency.

To beat the heat of summer, I had also shifted most of my runs to early morning hours - an experiment that worked better than expected. Lately, though, I started finding excuses to not go out the door.

Also, since cross country started, my schedule went a little out-of-kilter. Pretty normal as I adjust to the different time for the runs and the odd nature of running with youngsters, some of whom can kick my butt in a mile, who can't hang for three. I do believe I've mentioned previously I'm slow. I end up running shorter but faster than normal with them. Laughing a lot, too - yesterday we did a hill grinding session, wore them out. Until we told them they could, as a one-time-offer-good-for-today-only,  run up the thirty-foot high dirt mounds. Amazing how fast junior high kids recover as they laughed and shouted and climbed the loose rock and sand.

Anyhow, I was supposed to Skype on Monday with Jack Welch. Not the GE CEO guy. Jackdog. Awesome dude who's become a friend over the last couple of years. (Has a great book, too!) Got up a couple minutes before the main alarm - we use three alarms in the house. The first is the snuggle alarm, plays positive music. The second is the main alarm a raucous get-your-buns-out-of-bed alarm. That's the one my sweetie gets up to. The last is my alarm and the voice of Enya tries to coax me into the day.

Rose on the first alarm, set up the computer in the near-dark because the season is shifting and what was bright sunlight a month ago is pre-dawn now. Made coffee. Logged into Skype - and discovered their network was down. No chat that day for Paul and Jackdog. Sadness.

Standing there as the edge of the sky brightened, the change of season finally struck. Motivation for the morning run was getting hard, not because I was getting lazier, though that's a frequent possibility.

Nope, I was out of rhythm.

My best (and most creative) sleep comes in the hour before dawn. When I used to drive truck for a living, I'd have to pull over to nap or risk putting the trailer in a ditch. As soon as the sun was fully up, I'd shift gears and get back on the road.

I spent about an hour yesterday rearranging my schedule, tweaking the writing time, the work time, and deciding where running would find its place. Turns out, back in the evening after work. A consistent time every day and the variability of my courses will improve because I don't have to worry about getting back to the house on time for work.

I woke up today, and lollygagged. Made the coffee, and started writing. Right in rhythm.

Tonight, I have a six-miler planned and, instead of a gotta-run attitude, I'm looking forward to it with a get-to-run smile.

Now I just need to reschedule with the Jackdog.

Run gently, friends. Find your rhythm and go.