I’ve Done Something I Always Said I Would Never Do as a Runner

No, I didn’t qualify for Boston or anything crazy like that. What I’ve done is something many of you do all the time. For years I’ve thought about doing what I’ve done but I resisted. Despite other runners telling me I should change, I didn’t until recently but I’m stubborn like that.

I’ve become a morning runner. OK, go ahead and roll your eyes and say, “Is that all?” For me, though, this is a big thing. Like I said, for years I resisted. Instead of running before work, I would run after work. For much of the year, that was fine, except during the heart of summer when the highs for the day reached the 90’s, and of course the heat of the day coincided when I was running. I’ve always run my long run on Saturday mornings but I would never set my alarm early and get out at something crazy like 5 am.

I love my sleep and I didn’t want to have to get up at crazy-o-clock in the morning so I could run before work. But then I had an epiphany- I could just wear my running clothes to work, run there, shower, and go on with my day. We’re lucky enough to have not one shower stall at work but four shower stalls in two separate bathrooms. They’re clean and I’ve never had to wait while someone else was using one (I’ve used them in the past occasionally when I’d run after lunch). Why the heck wouldn’t I take advantage of such a great perk?

Even at 7:45 am it was hot but still a lot cooler than if I would have run after work!

So one morning I tried it. I woke up at my usual time, packed a bag full of my work clothes, shampoo and the rest of my shower things, a towel and washcloth, and everything else I needed to get ready for the day. I ate breakfast at home, drove to work, ran, showered, and went on with my day. Hmmmm, not bad but I could do better. A couple of days later I laid out my running clothes and shoes, packed my work clothes and shower things the night before, and ate a Honey Stinger Cracker ‘N Nut Butter bar in the car on my way to work. Much better this time.

On my fourth day of running in the morning before work I started noticing a few things. My times were definitely faster when I would run in 60-something degrees versus 80-something degrees (no surprise there). I also was able to finish my run, shower, and get on with my day before all but one other person from my group at work even got to work, so certainly no one even noticed anything different in my work schedule. If I needed to, I could always work a little later in the evening because I wouldn’t need to hurry home to get in my run before dinner.

More importantly, I started noticing how much I enjoy being outside in the early morning. There are less cars on the roads so it’s noticeably quieter and there are more birds out, which I enjoy. It’s hard to put a finger on, but mornings just feel a bit different. I also really like having the evening completely free to do whatever I want. Instead of rushing home, changing into my running clothes, going for a run, making and eating dinner, stretching and foam rolling, I can now take my time getting home. I also am not running when it’s super hot outside, which is great!

So it seems I may have been converted to a morning runner after all of those years of fighting it. I have to admit I probably won’t run all four of my weekly runs in the morning, however, although I’ll continue running my long runs in the morning like I always have. I’ll probably still run 1 or 2 days a week in the evenings because I’m not 100% converted (yet, although that may change when it’s July!).

What about you- are you a morning runner or do you prefer to run in the evening? Do you think I’m crazy for just now changing so I run some of my runs in the mornings?

Happy running!