Thursday, August 14, 2014

Morning workouts - not so awful!

I have never been much of a morning person. Scratch that. I have never been a morning person - EVER.

The bane of my existence were those 400 level biology courses that were ONLY offered at 8 am. Molecular Biology was the one I specifically remember. Sitting in a classroom, barely awake, learning about things that are happening WITHIN YOUR CELLS is not my ideal way to start the day. Also, I was late on the first day and ended up in the front row for the entire semester. Which is fine until your classmate Greg is making funny comments and you both start giggling uncontrollably.. yeah that never happened.

Extend that to almost 10 years later and I still don't function well in the morning. After my college years I did a "full time graduate student" year (late nights, no early mornings), then 2 years working the evening shift (3-11 pm) and then 3 years working rotating shifts (sleep? what's that?), and now I am working a normal day shift for the first time in my adult life. I roll into work anywhere between 7 and 8 am. Having a (relatively) flexible workday is a godsend.

One thing that has changed with my part time graduate school endeavor is less time available to me after work. I trained for all 3 of my Ironmans without having to do morning workouts (unless I was working the evening shift, but even then, it was never before 8 am). Ironman was my main priority (besides work) so I structured my entire life around training, all of my friends were other Ironman, and I basically ate, slept, and breathed Ironman. I also swore up, down, and sideways that I would NEVER do morning workouts (which is basically the bread and butter of every other functioning Ironman - but not me!). Yet, here I am, 2-3 days a week, up and running by 5:30 am. It was hard at first but I think I have gotten used to it. I even sort of like it. I have done short easy runs, longer runs (8 miles), even a tempo workout in the early morning hours before work. Of course, if I have nothing scheduled for after work, I still default to running after work. But it's good to know that if have class, a quiz, am meeting a classmate, or just want to do something fun in the evening and now have to schedule it around my run, I can plan to get out of bed in the morning and run before work and ACTUALLY DO IT. It's also better for my motivation. I work in a lab where I stand all day. Sometimes, I don't want to follow an 8 hour day of standing with another 1+ hours of running. I want to go home and curl up (or.. do homework on the couch).. which I can do if I get up and do my run before work! Then I just slip into my compression socks and welcome the 8 hours of leg hugs!

As the summer semester as ended, I have a glorious 2 weeks of no school obligations where I can do all of my running after work if I want (unless I have something else going on) and then it will be back to the morning for me (most likely, with a headlamp) several times per week.

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