Enjoy a guest post this morning from http://redmountainsquatch.blogspot.com/ while I am still in Florida. I have so much to share with you when I get back! Stay tuned!
Twenty plus years ago I decided to become an early morning exerciser. It’s not an easy decision to make but as my life got busier it became harder and harder to exercise in the evening. So I took the leap one morning. It was a difficult transition at first. You are a little sleepy in the morning and by 10:00AM you are usually starving. But for me the rewards to this schedule far outweigh the hurdles (no pun intended) adopting this strategy. There are many epiphanies I have experienced while working out during this time period. First, I am not the only crazy person that does this. There are many people out on the road during this hour. I am not the only one at the gym. It’s not the chaotic mess at 5:30PM. It’s very laid back but be warned you still have to get there early for a bike in a spinning class most of the time these classes are full.
I start my day the night before. I put together everything I will be wearing to work the next day. I also pack my lunch. I have it all packed and ready to go. Why do I do this? Because at 4:30AM I do not think clearly and inevitably I will leave something out. There is nothing more frustrating than driving to the gym and realizing you left your pants at home. I am usually in bed by 10:00 but sometimes I can stretch that to 10:30. Anything after that and the likelihood of me getting up at 4:30AMdiminishes. The first alarm goes off at 4:10. I hit the snooze bar and go to sleep for another 10 minutes, I do that one more time before the dreaded 4:30 time is upon me. The hardest part is getting out of bed. Once I make that “commitment” it’s a good sign I will make it to the gym. I put my gym clothes on and grab a light breakfast. I also get in a few minutes of the local news and weather. Yes, the local news starts at 4:30AM on three of the local channels. This lets me know what the weather’s going to be like for the day. I have had a few mornings where I made the call of not working out due to the weather. On April 27th 2011, watching the weather stopped me from going to work out. That morning a tornado crossed one of the roads I take to the gym.
I head out around 5:00-5:10 and I am usually at the gym by 5:30. I either take a class as part of my cross training regimen or run. This time of year is great due to the long days. By 5:30AM it is daylight enough to run outside. I run through the neighborhoods around the gym. During the winter months I usually run on the gym’s indoor track. It takes nine laps to make a mile. Some people find this to be tedious but for me I prefer it over running on a treadmill. In addition to using my Nike Sports Watch I bought a clicker counter at Office Depot that helps me keep track of how many laps I have ran. I can’t mentally keep track of this on my own ESPECIALLY at 5:30AM in the morning. I usually work out between 1-1/2 hours. When I am through I shower at the gym and head directly to work. I always have a morning snack when I get to work. By this item it has been over three hours since I have eaten and I am hungry!
There are some drawbacks to this workout strategy. Things that are not so great include the wintertime. 22 degrees, wind blowing and the darkness at 4:30 in the morning is not fun. I mentioned this earlier but have to bring it up again. Forgetting an article of clothing is frustrating. The items I have forgotten the most are socks, t-shirts and underwear. I keep a backup pair of socks and underwear in my gym bag. I have been known to stop by Wal-Mart on the way to work if I have forgotten a belt. Dress shirts, pants and shoes are a deal breaker. I usually have to head back home if I forget one of these. That throws the whole morning off.
These drawbacks do not outweigh the positives for me. I love the feeling of accomplishment when I am through working out. It makes the rest of the day more enjoyable. I love the people that work out at this time in the morning. They are all there to do one thing, exercise (a novel concept for the gym…right?). It’s a close group of people that will usually give you a hard time if you miss a morning. I love the calmness of the morning. Whether I am running or just working out it seems less hectic. Lastly, depending on the time of the year you get to experience amazing sun rises.
QOTD: Are you a morning or evening runner?