In general I consider myself to be a morning person. I’d much rather start work and get it finished and have the rest of the day to enjoy than feel like I have to rush my morning activities before getting ready for work. This was always a struggle when I worked retail (juniors’ clothing store and later a grocery store) as I loved the 6a-2p shifts and loathed the 2p-10p ones. For some reason morning seems to just pass by more quickly for me while working.
That being said, I do not consider myself a morning runner. I’ve often chalked it up to all the years of running after school for practices. When we had optional Sat. morning track practices I would attend, but I never felt very well physically. I never felt hydrated enough or loosened up enough to perform decently.
When I trained for my first half marathon in 2013 I completed all my long runs on Fri. evenings after work. Last year I typically ran my long runs on Sat. or Sun. mornings around 9a or 10a. I had no desire to get out of bed on the weekends. Some of this was fueled by Jason working second shift and not being much of a morning person.
Times have changed since last year. Now on the weekends I’m normally out the door to run no later than 8:30a. I chalk this up to the fact that Jason started working first shift in the spring and has found enjoyment in being up early. This has moved our bedtime up earlier thus my body is well rested to be up earlier as well, even on weekends.
On vacation in Ocean City I wanted to complete at least one run. Jason and I were awake before 6a and running on the boardwalk not long after that. There were very few others awake at that time, and it was nice to not be bothered to watch out for bicyclists. It also meant we were back to the motel, showered and out on the beach to claim our spot before most others were even out of bed.
There has been a heat advisory in our area everyday since Monday. Todd texted our running group last night to cancel our usual Wed. evening run and suggested we should try to run in the morning. I knew I had to get a run completed, so I notified my manager I would be taking lunch at 8a to run. It crossed my mind to simply set my alarm early enough to run before I started work, but that was a fleeting thought.
Much to my surprise Jason was out of bed before 5a today, and my body/mind wouldn’t let me fall back to sleep. This was partially due to feeling well rested and partially due to hunger. I got out of bed and he said he was interested in running, so I quickly ate a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese and got dressed. We were out the door by 5:30a – the earliest I have ever ran in my life. Unfortunately neither of us had reflective clothing so he wore a bright orange shirt and I wore a neon yellow one and he used the flashlight on his phone to light our way. We stuck to the alleys and side streets in town and ran some of the 3 miles on the high school campus. The only real traffic was on Main Street but luckily no cars were passing when we crossed it to return home.
Running that early was a very different experience for me, and I can certainly understand the appeal of it to many people. The quietness, lack of traffic and lower temperatures compared to the afternoon heat were all enjoyable. I felt comfortable because I was running on very familiar routes, so I didn’t have much worry about tripping.
3 miles seemed like a good distance to test both my stomach and the darkness. I can’t say that I would want to run much farther than 5 miles as I would need to eat more (I had “second breakfast” after I showered) and thus have to wait longer to run. The other option would be to get up even earlier which would likely never happen. I don’t think I could force myself to get up at that hour to run, but if I’m ever awake and have a short run to complete I’ll consider it in the future.
Are you a morning person and/or morning runner? If so, how early do you run? Do you eat before you run?