Let it be known – I am not a morning person. I never have been, and after 26 non-morning person years, it’s pretty doubtful that I ever will be. I hold waking up earlier than necessary in the same high esteem that one might reserve for tooth extraction or waiting in a long, slow moving line at the DMV.
My serene mother, on the other hand, is typically up – bright eyed and bushy tailed, no less – far before the sun and somehow manages to systematically live her life on roughly 4 hours of sleep per night. In this retrospect, I am not my mother’s daughter. I guess that trait skips generations…
Many a high school morning was spent squeezing in every last moment of blissful sleep before I would slowly roll out of bed, hastily hop in the shower, throw some clothes on, and make it to class – hair dripping – before the bell rang.
Over time, and due to my brother and I’s mutual and incessant hatred of getting out of bed in a timely manner, my family’s coffee cup collection began to include mugs touting such witty musings as “Perky Morning People should be fed to Hungry Sharks” and “Crabby until I get my coffee” (complete with a picture of a crab). Har Har people, I get it. Mornings aren’t my thing.
Then came college and the dreaded requirement classes that you HAD to take that always seemed to start at 8 AM. Apparently, when you don’t have a chipper mother hounding you every 5 minutes, your desire to actually get up and out of bed in a timely manner quickly diminishes. Even I’m ashamed at the amount of those classes that I
skipped , er,’ accidentally’ slept through.
I do often wonder if this is a trait of our generation or just a lack of discipline on my part. I know those crazy people that easily hop right out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off, ready to begin their day with gusto – this is not me. These people can also get up far before they need to in an effort to accomplish assorted tasks before their various daily responsibilities begin – this is also not me.
Point is, I don’t do mornings very well and therefore, am constantly at odds with myself regarding when I should or am going to fit my training in. Working two jobs sometimes results in 15 hour days, which in turn, leaves me with about 5 minutes to do any sort of exercise, eat a decent meal, or spend time with J and the dogs before I collapse in my bed. This is not the most ideal routine when one is trying to stick to a 6 day a week training regiment. So the most obvious and simple solution would be to get my ass up before work and go do my running thing, right? If only it were that easy.
Every night, as I set my alarm for the following morning, the thought crosses my mind to set it an hour earlier and go run – be one with dawn, enjoy the cool, crisp morning air, watch the sun come up… In theory this sounds like the best idea ever – so I, in turn, set my alarm for extra early, and every morning I inevitably curse myself for doing so, smack the snooze button, and slide back into dreamland before the runner’s guilt sets in, leaving my sneakers safely tucked away in their respective box in the closet.
Following months of this routine with a 1% success rate, I have come to the conclusion that I simply don’t have the willpower to get up an hour and a half before I absolutely have to in order to go run or workout. This has lead me to fall into a pattern of lunch-time runs (if working both jobs) or after work runs (if only working one) which seem to fit my schedule just fine. God forbid I ever live more than 5 minutes away from my office and I might actually have to come up with a legit solution to my time constraints.
Until then, early morning runs will be reserved only for races (as those are always early) and the very rare occasions when I accidentally wake up well before my alarm (stranger things have happened) and have nothing better to do…
So, sorry I’m not sorry all you over-achieving AM runners. You can have your fresh morning dew, and your exhilarating feelings of accomplishment so early in the day. I’ll take my extra sleep and lunch-time/post-work run any day.