Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Running on empty

This morning when 5:30 rolled around and my alarm clock so rudely interrupted my sleep, I had three words for it: No, thank you. I snoozed, rolled over, and attempted to fall back asleep. After work I like to decompress, so after yesterday's 11-hour day I ended up staying up way too late. (FYI, "way too late" in my book is any time after 11 p.m. Yes, I'm like a grandma. And now that it's almost midnight it is definitely past my bedtime!)

So after a day like yesterday, 5:30 this morning was just way too early. It's too early most mornings, but ever since I saw this small article in the March Runner's World, I find it a little easier to get out of bed:
While I've almost always been a morning gym goer (since I started going to the gym anyway), I never knew this:
Are you usually a morning person but winter's dark mornings have you hibernating? Instead of getting dressed half-asleep by the dim glow of a nightlight, put on your running clothes in a brightly lit room. When light hits your eyes, it signals your pineal gland to stop producing melotonin, a hormone that makes you feel sleepy. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) work best because they closely mimic natural light.
Who knew?!

I think of this article every morning, and though there are days where the last thing I want to do is reach over and turn on the light, I always do it because I know it will wake me up. Setting out my gym clothes the night before and having a pre-workout snack handy also speed up the process, and before I know it I'm at the gym! Next time you're struggling to get out of bed, turn on your light and see if that doesn't get you going.

This morning I had six miles planned and I knew that I would have to be at the gym by 6 a.m. to be ready to go to work on time. I ended up having a good, tough run. I'm trying to improve my speed and have to remind myself daily (before, during, and after the run) that I want to get faster, so I have to challenge myself. I think it's working, but there are days where I'm lazy. This morning's run required quite a bit of internal repetition that I want to challenge myself, I want to improve, I want to get better. I think it worked -- I had a great run and didn't drop down the speed, even though I really wanted to at one point.

Three easy miles and total body conditioning tomorrow!

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