All my life, I have never been a morning person. Even when I was little, I don’t think I went to bed early. (Sorry Mom and Dad!) I remember doing the flashlight-under-the-covers thing for a long time, and then I remember sneaking downstairs in the middle of the 10pm news to watch TV (mostly Jay Leno…) with my dad. Needless to say, I am the opposite of a morning person.
How I ever survived high school summer running at 6am every morning is beyond me, but I do remember how nice it is to run on a summer morning. A cool summer feeling before the sun really brings the heat. Getting out there before much of the world is yet awake (and night shifters are wrapping up their shifts…) and just getting it done.
Sounds great, right? But I wouldn’t really know anymore. My 12+ hour work days where lunch often doesn’t happen until 3pm don’t exactly make me want to get up earlier than my already early alarm to run. I’ve cut back from my night shift coffee habit, and I don’t need to go back. (Some people might call of this talk “excuses.” I call this “I work with sick/challenging people all day.”)
Of course, a difficulty of not running on days that I work means that I basically have to run on every day that I don’t work. Which is awesome until you’re fun friend Abbe says, “Hey! Come to Fire Island on your day off!” and that maximizing your day at the beach means leaving your apartment at 7am. And you have a five mile run to do. (Instead of nine miles because you smartly moved that to Thursday.) So you set your alarm for 5:30am, fully thinking that you’re probably going to snooze that alarm long enough that you don’t have time for the run.
For the record, I am acutely aware that this is a total first world problem. Moving on.
The alarm goes off at 5:30am. Nope. NOOOOOOOPE. 5:38am is next. Be that runner, Susan. That runner who gets their training in without excuses. (Despite the ones listed above.) You’ll only sleep another twenty minutes anyway, and that’s hardly worth missing a run. Right? But this pillow is comfortable………………..okay, okay, OKAY, I’ll get up.
I ponder brushing my teeth while doing my lunges/squats warm-up, then I head out the door. Contrary to how it’s been going lately, my Garmin immediately gets signal. For the sake of time, I cut down on my usual walking warm up to about two minutes, bargaining with myself that I’ll take the first mile slow.
I suppose one reason why I like taking my time to wake up and run (a luxury I generally have on my days off) is because I haaaaaaate morning legs. That sluggish feeling where your legs aren’t quite awake yet and moving them feels like moving mountains. I suffered from a bad case of morning legs on Sunday morning, clocking in that first mile at 8:52. I told myself to ignore my watch and just be proud of the fact that I actually got out of bed.
It was a pretty crisp morning (before turning into a perfect beach day), and I enjoyed the early hours with a few other runners. My legs woke up before I did, and soon enough I was actually hitting miles in the low-8’s! Numbers I haven’t seen much of lately while still feeling comfortable…on morning legs, no less! This may have also been propelled by the fact that I checked the time and distance – realizing that I miscalculated the route by about half a mile, I needed to boogie a bit to get home on time. I rolled through the hills on the west side of Central Park feeling quite on the top of the world.
Ah, that’s why people run in the morning.
Sunday, July 12 – 5.06 miles in 42:07, avg pace of 8:19
Then I PR’d in showering/getting ready and we were off to the train! We had some Dunkin Donuts to fuel us through the train/ferry ride before we were greeted by Abbe (and the crew) on Fire Island. We headed right the beach, applied some sunscreen, and soaked up the sun. Other highlights included fish tacos (for lunch and dinner), some refreshing summer beverages, and a much needed afternoon nap on the beach.
Oh yes, I napped. I napped HARD. That early morning wake up call got to me, and I passed out to the crashing waves, oblivious to the chatting and music going on around me. I may have drooled, I’m not so sure. But it was glorious. Because is the there anything better than a nap on the beach? I think not.
Eric and I on the ferry. We were much tanner upon our return.
The only beach picture I took. Oops?
We ended the trip with a ferry ride into the sunset. You think I’m kidding, but I am not.
A poor, late picture of the sunset.
In case you were wondering, Fire Island is worth every second of an early wake up. Thank you to Abbe for the invite! I can’t wait to do it again.
Alright morning runners, let’s hear your secrets. To my nurse readers – do you run before work? I used to run before night shift, but I couldn’t sleep anyway…