Saturday, January 29, 2011

Morning Person

My husband Dan is not a morning person. If we didn't have two kids who function as alarm clocks every morning between 6:30 and 7, he'd stay up until 1 a.m. or even later. He'd also sleep until 10 a.m. whenever possible. His energy surges starting at around 3 p.m.

Which is right about when mine is starting to flag, unless I've managed to snag a nap. Although I wish the kids would hold off in the morning sometimes, I'm generally ready to go when they come in, and I also don't really mind the 5 a.m. weekday wake-up that my runs and cross-training workouts require.

Maybe that's why today's run, a 13-miler, the longest yet in this training program, felt harder than the last few long ones have. I didn't leave the house until 9 a.m. because I wanted to give my body a chance to, um, rid itself of my eating indiscretions from yesterday while I still had access to modern plumbing. This worked out well--nary a twinge from the tummy during the run--but I felt so draggy through the first half that I couldn't even appreciate the scenery or the perfect weather. It was quite a contrast to the wonderful 12-miler out there two weeks ago.

You might argue that I felt draggier because 13 is longer than 12, but the feeling was there from the very beginning. Starting too late may not have been the whole story--yesterday's fish and chips, a tough bootcamp class Thursday, and fairly poor sleep the last couple of days also might have contributed--but I do think my morning person make-up prefers a 7 a.m. start to later alternatives.

My pace wasn't horrible. At 8:57/mile, it was still under 9 minutes, and only four seconds per mile off the pace of the 12 miler. And since the program calls for 9:13 for these long ones, I'm still doing well. But I don't like to see myself slowing down. In two weeks, I have a 14-miler and in four weeks I have a 15-miler before the weekend miles gradually begin to decline ahead of my race. Hopefully I can feel better on those runs.

Maybe I just need to get up earlier. :^)

Side note: GOOD LUCK to those of you running the Houston Marathon this weekend. That was my first big one, and I thought of all of you today while I pounded it out on the backroads. Thanks for helping me go a little bit faster.

Here are the details from my run today. If you also want to see the stats from Thursday's tempo run, click "Previous" once you're in my Garmin record.


  1. I definetely feel draggier if I run at a non-normal time. Which is at 8 at night for me, except on weekends, when it is early afternoon, post coffee.

  2. I admire your perseverance to get up so early to train. I'm certainly not a morning person! My runs are usually after work between dinner and the kids homework. Of course, it's way to easy to skip out due to all the demands. I think I need to hone in on my inner 7 year old on get up before the sun!

  3. Yeah, Kathy, that's why I don't run in the evening--too many things can go wrong. An ideal way to do it would be over lunch at work, but I'm only given a 30 minute break--that's just not long enough to get in a good run AND shower. Penny, wow, 8 at night! I'm about to pack it in both physically and mentally at that hour. :^)

  4. I started running in early summer, discovering that I really only had a consistently open schedule after I put the kids to bed (Alex was/is still little enough that he wakes up randomly and early).

    It was hard, just like adjusting to running in the morning is hard, but just like any other time, you get into a groove and then you kind of look forward to it. It was only when I consistently started running at night that I learned to use running as a way to relax and clear my mind. I'd never been able to use exercise for that before.

    When Alex gets a little older I think I may end up reverting back to AM runs, if nothing else then to get it out of the way for the day, and not worry about what I'm eating for the rest of the day (I have to carefully time coffee and dinner with the night runs).

  5. ...I mean, "I started running in the evening in early summer..." -I've been runnign for a while before that :)