As I've mentioned in some of my posts, last week was my first full back-to-school week! I got a lot accomplished, but in the category of weekday morning exercise, I have to give myself an "F"!
I've been in a slight running rut for a while. I ran a pretty good half marathon (the Portland Holiday Half) in December, but I haven't done any races since then. It's always nice to have an event on the horizon to up my motivation, and I spent the whole spring and most of the summer without that. It's always tough to get out there in the summer, anyway, because it's so freaking hot! For most of our summer, even if you get up before the sun, it's not nice outside. It's just less awful. I've been running; I just haven't been too excited about it and I've been stuck in the 3 to 5 mile range.
About a month ago, I signed up for two races to force myself to get back on track. I have the Groom Creek Classic half marathon coming up on September 26th. I also signed up for the Sedona Marathon on February 6th. The idea was to work my way back to the half marathon distance first. I would then have the perfect amount of time to train for the full marathon. I've been doing OK. Sort of. It's hard to get the medium to long distance runs in early in the morning. I'm not really a morning person. I'd rather go running at 9:30 am, not 5:30 am. Life gets in the way, though. It's too hot at 9:30 for anyone but crazy people. I also teach a class at 9 am this semester, so . . . there it is. My plan was to get up early on Sunday and do my 8 miler this past weekend. I just . . . didn't. The bed felt good and I slept in.
I have pretty much realized that it's do or die now for the half. It's no fun to run a race when you're under-trained. I forced myself to get up this morning before school, get out there at 5:30, and get those 8 miles in. I did it. It happened. One day at a time.
If you're feeling like me, you need this list. Here are seven reasons to get up early and put your running shoes on, from me to you! :)
1. If you pound a cup of coffee before you leave, that will be one more cup of coffee that you wouldn't have had time to drink if you had stayed in bed. (If you're like me, you need all the help you can get!)
2. You'll have time to think. You won't feel rushed when you start your "real" day, because your mind will already have had that extra time to get itself ready.
3. You'll see so many beautiful colors in the sky! Who wants to miss that? Not me!
4. You'll see (and hear) things that hide from the heat and noise of daytime. Bunnies. Cute little lizards. Lots of birds! (Adjust your expectations to fit your location!) There are beautiful creatures everywhere. :)
5. You'll have more energy when you finish your run. You may feel like you need a nap later, but you'll feel like a boss all morning!
6. Yep. Go ahead and drink that (or those) beer(s). You already burned it (them) off! Use common sense and mathematics (number of beers vs. number of miles) for this one. It is possible for it NOT to be true. Ha ha.
7. Because - one of the most important things to make the most out of life (in my humble opinion) is to SHOW UP. No matter how you feel, get up, pull yourself together, and say "yes". Show up for your life. It'll feel so much better!
I hope this helps someone out there who is struggling with the morning run experience! I have definitely been there. Recently. After writing this, I feel like I can do it again. Tomorrow. According to my training plan, it's only 3 miles, not 8. Whew!
Please comment - do you have any to add to this list? What gets you out of bed in the morning for a run? I could always use a few more . . .
Thanks for reading! :)