So, I did something crazy (for me) a couple of weeks ago. I left the house 5:15 a.m. to go to the gym. Me, the vehement not-an-early-morning-runner.
I know. I think I am in the minority. Most people – especially runners – work out in the early morning, either to beat the heat or because they want to get the workout out of the way or it’s the only time they can get for themselves, and I get that.
I can’t say that it didn’t feel good to know that I got my 10,000+ steps in before 7 a.m. and that I could head straight home from work instead of changing into my running clothes.
However, the whole ordeal (getting to gym, workout, shower, get dressed, drive to work) took me much longer than I anticipated. I didn’t get to campus (where I work) until after 8 a.m. (I am usually there at 7 a.m.) and finding parking turned out to be a real
challenge nightmare. I had to park at a completely different parking lot far, far away from my building, even though I have a faculty/staff parking pass and on top of that, I was so late that morning that I still had to stay an extra hour to complete my 10 hour-work day. Mmpf. Not what I was going for. Obviously I had to figure out how long it really takes to get to the gym, work out, shower, AND get to work on time.
So I set my alarm for even earlier (4:30 a.m.) the next time and made it to work shortly after 7 a.m. There you go.
I am confident that I’ll optimize my timing even more in the future. And what can I say? I think I actually like the early workout. Who knew?
To be honest, I had been writing this blog post in my head before I even gave the early alarms a solid month of trial and I had already planned out how I was going to complain that my experiment had failed, that there was NO WAY I would become a morning runner and that I was moving on.
I was ready to tell you that I would rather deal with the after work crowds at the gym than have my alarm set for an ungodly hour (which I consider to be anything before 6 a.m.).
I seriously didn’t expect that I would have such a rather positive response to it. I thought I was going to give it a try (to be able to say that I actually did try) and then complain about the sheer impossibility of this. I guess we can all still all surprise ourselves sometimes.
To be fair, I am planning to only do the early, early morning runs twice a week before work. I’ll still be running during daylight hours (preferably outside, if the weather permits) on the weekends.
I very briefly considered attempting a mid-day workout at lunch time to see how that feels, because it’ll be the only time during the winter months when it’s light outside. Soon enough I will leave my house in the dark and return in the dark. I was dreading though that it would extend my usual 30-minute lunch break to a 2 hour lunch break (with showering and everything) and I still wouldn’t be home any earlier than if I worked out after work.
Let’s face it, I usually am an evening runner and probably always will be. I don’t really mind heading out for a run after work (when it’s light out in the summer), but I would like to have a little bit more time with J in the evenings, especially now that they days are getting shorter. Also, during the winter months, I won’t be running outside by myself anyway and would go to the gym after work. So I think for now, I’ll try and stick with the early mornings on weekdays.
When is your favorite time of day to work out? How do you fit it in with your work schedule, especially now that fall is coming and daylight hours are going to be drastically reduced?