I was thinking last week about why I endure absurdly early alarm clocks and pre-dawn miles to get my training in. Despite how hard it is to pull myself out of a warm bed sometimes, my answer to the question “Why do I do this?” actually came pretty easily. So (in no particular order), I thought I would share with you why I (because these obviously do not apply to everyone) am a morning runner.
12. I love the way I feel after I run. I feel more alive and energized after a run than when I go straight from bed to shower to work. There is no better feeling for me than to start the day with a runner’s high.
11. It’s easier to coordinate with my running partner. My favorite running buddy is a physical therapist. She has patients and reports and people who rely on her and can’t always leave work right at xx o’clock to meet me for a run. But she is damn reliable to roll out of bed and meet me at o’dark thirty to get our miles in.
10. Races are (usually) in the morning. Running before work prepares me to run in the morning on race day. I never question what I will eat or how much time I need to wake up prior to the start because it is sort of all part of my regular routine.
9. When the sun comes up, it feels like a new day. There is something about doing half of the run in the dark and half when the sun rises that makes me feel like I only ran half the distance. This probably also has something to do with the fact that I am usually in a half asleep, zombie-like state for the first several miles and just don’t remember them.
8. When I run in the dark, I can’t see the hills. Sure I wear a headlamp, but that mostly only illuminates the bit of road right in front of my face. And while I generally know exactly where the hills are on my runs, when I don’t see them coming, I just keep the effort the same and don’t get all mental about ‘em.
7. I don’t stalk my Garmin as much in the dark. When I have to shine my headlamp right on it to see the pace and would rather use that light to not trip on a crack in the sidewalk, I am less likely to be obsessively check my pace.
6. Less traffic. No explanation needed.
5. I don’t like to eat before I run. When I run later in the day, I am paranoid about what I eat all day and many times have GI issues on the run. I rarely eat before a morning run, unless it is 10+ miles and then I will just have a Picky Bar or a banana. Added bonus: refueling after a morning run is the best.
4. I simply do not have the motivation to do it after work. I am usually tired, hungry (see #5) and want to do nothing but chill in my Wander Unders on the couch after working all day.
3. I love experiencing the sunrise.
2. Sometimes unexpected “obligations” (ahem…Happy Hour) come up during the day. No but really…it’s not always about my love for wine, sometimes a work dinner, an important errand or some other obligation unexpectedly arises during the day and makes a post-work run impossible. This especially applies when I am traveling for work. Sometimes there is absolutely no other time than at 5 a.m. to squeeze in the run.
1. It’s done! I feel like when I have a run waiting for me at the end of the day, it is hanging over my head like something I “have” to do. And since I love running, I don’t ever want it to feel that way. Plus, there is something so very satisfying about sitting in a meeting at work, secretly knowing I have 6, 7, 8 or 16 miles under my belt already.
Can you think of any other reasons why being a morning runner works for you? Or how about the counter argument…why are you an evening/afternoon/late morning runner?