I ran after work today. Normally I run first thing in the morning. Sure, running in the morning can have some drawbacks, particularly at this time of year when it is still cold and dark, and it is hard to see the surface conditions.
The most common response I hear from anytime-but-morning runners is “I couldn’t possibly get up that early.” I used to think that too. Getting up is much nicer when it is a spontaneous response to having gotten enough sleep. It sucks when the alarm goes off. Period. I have now learned that what time it goes off doesn’t seem to make a difference in my overall response to it. If it is going to suck to wake up to the alarm at 6:30, it may as well suck at 5:00 and at least I have something to look forward to when I’m out of bed!
I would say getting into a routine of getting up to run in the morning took about a month or so. Having all of my gear out and ready to go is a must – no excuses like “I don’t know where my shorts are and I don’t want to accidentally wake my spouse while I am looking for them.” I also found it helped to have a mantra before falling asleep. Something like: I am running. Feet on floor, out of bed.
So now I have learned that I love running in the morning! There are a lot of reasons for this. It is so much easier to keep a date with myself in the morning. If I wait until after work anything could pop up. Missed runs due to late meetings or dinner gatherings with friends. Being tired and grumpy. Having to stop at the store and getting tied up. First thing in the morning, I just get up and go. Often times I am out the door before my brain even realizes I am out of bed.
There’s nothing like a good shot of endorphins first thing in the morning. I come back feeling so awake and alive while the rest of my household is still groggy. I find I am more optimistic about the day ahead, and know I have something crossed off my to-do list for the day. And that’s another great thing: even if I don’t accomplish another single darned thing that day, at least I know that I ran!