Saturday, February 07, 2015

Marathoning [equals] Morning Person

If there is one life habit that marathon training changed,  is it's made me a morning person.

A grateful morning person.

I remember my Mom trying to make me a morning person in my teens. I would fight her on it. Why would I want to get up that early when I could sleep? She would tell me that I might be pleasantly surprised in becoming a morning person. Those who rise early can get their to-do list done and still have a day ahead of them.

Well Mom, you were right.

However, like most children, I had to learn that lesson for myself.

I couldn't learn it just through graduating college and entering the workforce.  

Or by how I almost always opt to buy the first flight of the morning when I travel.

Oh no, I had to learn this in a 20-week commitment - marathon training.

If I remember correctly, I fought the morning runs for as long as I could. I signed up for the latest (6:30am) Saturday long run group. I ran my midweek runs after work. 

But that summer of 2008 was a hot one. 

If there's something my body liked less than getting up early, it was humidity and heat. 

I slowly eased into early morning runs like one starts training. First, to try out a short three mile run. It's only three miles. A mere 30 minutes of time. 

From there, out of necessity and seeing the benefits of (to avoid being cheesy, but) starting out on the right foot, I continued with morning mid-week training runs for years.

Certain race days or weekend long runs called for an earlier than 5am alarm. I think that's when it really hit home how much running was changing my sleeping habits. I was up and running some mornings before the sun rose. Or, on one occasion, Jeff, Jen, Sara, Kim and I were heading to run Fort2Base (a 12 Nautical Mile run from Fort Sheridan to Great Lakes Naval Station) while people were leaving the bars in Wrigleyville.  

If there's one thing that's been truly strange about this past summer, it's that I didn't wake up before the sun rose to run. It was weird to sleep in past 6am during the week. I felt like I accomplished less last summer. That I missed out on weeks of mornings with a beautiful sunrise.

As I ease back into a running regimen (and while the city's sidewalks melt), I find myself looking forward to those spring and summer mornings.  

No comments: