Monthly Archives: June 2012

Running in the Morning: Making it Happen

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I was really hoping to open this post praising myself for running in the morning twice this week.

But it didn’t happen.

However, I did get up on Tuesday at 5:30 am to get my three miles in before work. I found the whole ordeal quite challenging and am now soliciting advice.

You see, I’m not a morning person. Ask anyone who knows me and they will nod their head emphatically in agreement. I’m an absolute bear if I don’t get my sleep or even if I don’t get time to slowly wake up. When my husband and I first moved in together, I had to learn how not to use the snooze button because he found it quite annoying. I also like to snuggle under the covers until the last minute possible before getting ready for work. {Besides, how can I say no when this thing demands belly rubs?}

Will you scratch my belly, please?

But I do want to start running in the morning. I’m telling myself that it’s only twice per week. I run three times per week and once can be on the weekend. But why, you ask, do I want to run on weekday mornings this summer?

  • It’s light out. There’s enough light this time of year early in the morning that I can feel safe on the road. I sometimes find myself slowly waking up for my “first” time earlier than usual because the light is pouring through the window anyway.
  • It’s cooler. Running in humid, 90-degree weather after work is *not* fun at all.
  • It’s done. Then I have my whole evening after work to do whatever I want.

In order to run three to four miles, I need about an hour to include warm up and cool down. I can shower and get ready quickly in another half hour. Then, I need to tack on that extra 15 minutes just to account for getting out of bed, strapping my iPhone and HRM on and getting dressed. This means that in order to get out the door in time for work, I need to set the alarm for 5:30 am. Just looking at those numbers makes me cringe and think of my pillow…

On Monday night, here was my plan of attack:

  • Get everything ready the night before:
    • iPhone plugged in to charge
    • Arm band, earbuds, HRM, socks and shoes by the door
    • Workout clothes picked out and ready to go {extra points for wearing as much as is comfortable to bed!}
    • Alarm set for 5:30 am
    • Water glass sitting out on the counter next to the fridge dispenser to hydrate pre-run, alongside a protein bar
    • Work lunch packed
  • Get to bed early

And I truly did make an effort to get a full night’s rest. In fact, I went into bedroom about a half hour early to let myself wind down and read. When the alarm went off at 5:30 am on Tuesday, I reluctantly got out of bed and let the dogs out. I filled my glass with water and ate half of the protein bar. I got dressed, strapped on my iPhone and HRM and went out for my run. Simple, right?

But it was rough. My limbs didn’t seem to work. I felt so lethargic and heavy. It wasn’t a “good run” feeling.

But the weather was perfect. And upon return, it felt great to be done! I had to rush to get ready for work and ran out the door with my half-eaten protein bar and work lunch in tow.

I fully intended to repeat the whole thing on Thursday morning. However, I didn’t make it to bed as early on Wednesday night and woke up several times. The alarm sounded at 5:30 and I dragged myself out of bed to let the dogs out. I opened the sliding door and it hit me. Ugh. It was muggy outside already. At 5:30 in the freakin’ morning! That alone made me ready to skip the whole thing altogether. In fact, I talked myself back in bed. I needed the sleep, right? I reset the alarm for 6:30. Of course, I could have run my three miles on the treadmill in the basement, but my thoughts process much more slowly at 5:30 in the morning.

Excuses, excuses.

So if you run or workout in the morning, here are my questions for you. I need to make this happen for me.

  • How do you fuel yourself? I need to get out there right away, so I don’t have time for something to sit and settle. That’s why a half of a protein bar was going to have to do the trick. In the past, when I’ve done 20 minutes on the elliptical in the morning right out of bed, I didn’t eat anything. Does it really matter as long as I refuel afterward?
  • Is this lethargy normal? Or is it because I’m not fueling myself properly before a run? Maybe it’s just like when I started running. At first, it seemed so hard. Eventually, I got used to it. So maybe it’s just difficult now, but I’ll get used to morning runs. Thoughts?
  • Any other tips that motivate you to just get up and do it?

Maybe you want to scream at your screen right now and say, “Oh get over it and just do it!”

Yes, I know. I’m a whiny baby. So indulge me and give me some positive thoughts that I can play in my head when I wake up or when I’m out on those morning runs. Pretty, pretty please?