We all develop various habits when we do things...including running, no?
I discovered a long long time ago I really don't like to stretch until I'm warmed up. And yes, I _do_ believe in certain kinds of active stretching and really need to do it. I've tried both ways..and found that when I don't stretch eventually bad things happen.
So, I tend to head to my favorite stretching place.
It's a bike and pedestrian bridge over a creek. The posts are perfect for putting a leg up on, the white fence pipe is good for quad stretches (at my age there is NO way I can grab my foot and pull it up behind without help). The concrete wall can be stood upon and my heels raise-lowerings done.
So at the start of almost every single run I go here after an easy .3 miles. I do my stretches, take a swig of water and eat a clif block or two if I'm really hungry (I never eat breakfast before I run). I look around at the local birds and see what they are up to and think about what I'd like to do on my run vs what my body says (or what I *think* it is saying) it can do.
When school is in session there is a stream of kids, the young ones with parents, the older ones with friends making their way to school nearby on scooters, skateboards and bikes. Sometimes they are late, and the parents are scolding them along at a trot ;)
In all the runs I've done in the last 5 years from my house, probably all but a handful started this way.
It's was cold all last week when this photo was taken..just about 34F at the time, but at least a crisp bright CA sun! Any temps above freezing and I'm taking off my jacket after a mile or so....too hot and sweating! I do keep my gloves on though.
For a hat it's just my usual cap..I don't seem to need any ear coverage. Keep in mind however that there is NO WIND here on these cold mornings...that makes it a lot easier.