An Early-Morning Wake-up Call


My view during the morning run. Not another soul around.

Due to some stomach issues and rainy weather over the last couple of days, I hadn’t run since Sunday morning. So last night, while I was cozy and wide-awake on my couch, I thought it would be a great idea to give that whole morning run thing a try. (Everything is a great idea from the comfort of your couch, mind you.)

I think I said just a week or two ago on this blog that I’m not really a get-up-early-and-run kind of person. But as I said, if I want to continue to run outside when D.C. becomes a sauna, I might have to try running in the morning because there’s no way it’s happening when it’s 95 degrees and insanely humid after work.

So I set my alarm for 5 a.m. and got into bed a little after 9. I didn’t go to sleep right away but knew that if I didn’t fall asleep by 10, there probably wasn’t much chance of me leaving my bed early the next morning. I like my seven to eight of hours of sleep.

I actually woke up a few minutes before my alarm went off and basically thought to myself “Screw it.” I changed my alarm to 6 and rolled back over. But I couldn’t get back to sleep. I had an internal debate for a few minutes. I came up with every possible excuse but I realized that I was already awake anyway so I might as well just get up. STFU and run, as one of my favorite bloggers likes to say. Besides, it would feel great to come home after work and not have to go right back out and run.

I think Joe (who is often awake at that hour because he’s a freak) was somewhat surprised when I actually got up and said “Let’s go!” I’ve said on more than one occasion that I was going to get up early to workout but it rarely actually happens.

We were out the door by 5:15. Aside from the construction workers, there weren’t many folks out and about. Joe claims he saw a hooker (fun side note: apparently hookers used to hang out in front of our apartment building quite frequently but it’s not so much a problem anymore).

We started to head toward the Mall where I was sure we would see more runners. I think we only saw two. We had basically the whole Mall to ourselves and it was pretty cool. The sky was turning a sort of purplish-pink and the air, while humid, was pretty refreshing at that hour.

When we were just under two miles, Joe started to limp a little. His calf was hurting so we just finished out the rest of the mile and walked home. It was too bad because we both felt good cardio-wise but I could tell it was bothering him. He’s not one to stop unless he really has to. He was still limping when he got to the office today.

By the time we got home, we’d gone 3.4 miles. I still had a lot of time left to take a shower, do my hair, get ready and eat breakfast. By the time I left home at 7:40, it felt more like it should be 10. Throw in the extra walking from my apartment to the Metro and from the Metro to my building and I had more than four miles on my feet logged before work. That’s a pretty awesome feeling.

The question now is: will I maintain this? In the summer I might not have much choice. Getting up early is not my thing but I love the feeling of getting the run out of the way. I don’t have much time to think of an excuse not to do it, whereas at work, I could think of a million excuses before it’s time to run when I get home.

I also was hoping to bank some endorphins this morning. I’ve been in sort of a weird place emotionally/mentally the last few days and I was hoping this would serve as a pick-me-up. It did. For a while.

At the least, I can say that I actually felt more awake than I normally do during the day. Sure, this morning could be an outlier but I’m hoping it’s the rule, not the exception. I guess the only way to find out is to try it again and again. My goal is to give it a go two or three mornings a week. I hope that sticks.

Do you prefer to exercise in the morning or at night?