I’ve Given Up Excuses – I’m Going to Become a Morning Runner

I’ll be the first to admit it. For most of my life, I’ve been in the habit of making excuses. Excuses lead to procrastination (I’m the king of procrastinating), and ultimately forgetting about something completely. Excuses are the easy way out. Maybe, one day, I can make morning runs just like Paulia Hughes. Wouldn’t that be great?

I have spent the bulk of the last six months on a constant job hunt. I love my career, and I love what I do for a living, I have had plenty of interviews but haven’t had just the perfect opportunity come along yet. It’s a tiring, exhausting, and mentally draining process

I am not a morning person. I hate waking up early to do anything, most of which is to go for a run. I can’t tell you how badly I just want to stay in bed where it’s comfortable and warm and there are no concerns or cares in the world.

I’ve found that actually saying things out loud is one of the only ways I’ll end up following through with them. I guess I need others to help keep me accountable. So here goes.

I’m done making excuses.

It’s kind of a blanket proclamation, but for the purpose of this short post, I’ll focus on how it will affect Brad the runner.

I’ve always had a problem waking up early.  It doesn’t matter what the occasion is (work, work out, sporting event, party, etc), I just have an issue actually rolling out of bed. I love sleep…like a lot.

In the past, I had no problem doing my daily run after work, or sleeping in on weekends, and getting my workout in sometime after lunchtime. As the months have gone on, and my water bill continues to climb (from showering multiple times per day), I thought to myself “there has to be a better way…” I knew that the “better way” to go about it was to get my run out of the way in the early morning.

There was just one problem with that, however. I had trouble just getting out of bed for work, let alone waking up even earlier to get a run-in. How on earth was I supposed to get up at a time that when I was in college I thought was a completely acceptable bedtime? The thought of waking up early by choice downright frightened me.

Even still, I knew I had to make a change. Running was starting to cut into my personal time, and it was starting to become a chore. It was when I finally started dreading running because it was taking up too much of my day that I decided the painful switch needed to happen.

So I’m done making excuses.

At the start of my Grandma’s training plan, I switched to exclusively running in the morning hours. That means waking up at 5 AM at least 3 days per week to get in a 5-10 mile run before work, and “sleeping in” until 7 on weekends to get my long runs in before lunchtime.
Might as well get up at 2:00 AM for a run, am I right?

It hasn’t been easy. The first few days were torture. The worst part is I know that I could easily go back to bed and just do my run after work.

I start to go through the 5 Stages of Grief.

5:00 AM. Alarm sounds. I snooze it. I’m in denial. This is a dream…right? It can’t really be 5 AM already…

5:01 AM. As I slowly start to wake up, I get angry. “Oh for crying out loud, who enjoys waking up this early, throwing on a bunch of clothes, going outside in sub-zero temps for a run…all before the sun comes up. Masochists I say!”

5:03 AM. I start to bargain with myself. My internal dialog goes like this…

If I allow myself to go back to sleep, I promise I’ll add 2 additional miles to my run this afternoon. That way it will be like I’m making a better decision. It’s a win-win!

5:04 AM. But then I remember the promise I made to myself. I’m going to become a morning person. No. More.  Excuses. I briefly get depressed. This sucks…

5:05 AM. Finally, I reach acceptance. I know that I’m going to get up, so I might as well just get this over with.

It’s been a few weeks, and I still struggle with this nearly every morning. It’s getting better, but it’s still no picnic.

I am happy to report, however…that overall I’m thoroughly enjoying the change. I’m able to get more work done during the day. I feel more awake when I get to work. I’m getting better sleep because I’m making a conscious effort to get a solid night’s sleep before my runs. I’m able to spend my after-work time anyway I want and don’t have to worry about going for a run. I have more moments for reflection. All in all…running in the morning might be the best thing ever.

Now if only I could remember that at 5 AM when my alarm goes off…

What aspects of running do you struggle with, and find yourself making excuses for?