Sunday, September 13, 2009

Major achievements in athletics

Now that I have a dishwasher and convenient means of doing laundry, I have all this extra energy I don't know what to do with. That, and I have new running sneakers, and now live near a jogging path, so near that I have no excuse for letting the sneakers collect dust.

But! I see no viable way of incorporating running into an otherwise productive existence. I look back to high school, when 3PM track practice left me done for the day at 5, and do not find an answer there. My day does not, cannot, end at 3. Going much later means jogging in the dark, and while in this area I'd bet that this is safe, given how absorbed I get in podcasts during runs, night-running is not for me.

Which leaves the mornings. There are the sort of people who wake up a couple hours earlier than necessary to fit in workouts, smoothie-and-egg-white-omelette-consumption, novel-writing... but if I can make the time to shovel down a bit of cereal and to get my eyeliner on symmetrically, that's a productive start to the day.

I'd like to switch camps, but fear logistics, more than the not-insignificant enjoyment of sleep, get in the way. First off, there's breakfast. I know from experience that I can't run pre-food-and-coffee, nor can I do so right after. What becomes of the hour-long waiting period between breakfast and athletics? Then there's the inevitable switch this will entail to morning-showering. And, assuming winter or some modicum of vanity, morning-hair-drying. There goes the day!

Clearly, people do this, this running-in-the-morning thing I keep threatening to do but as yet now accomplish exactly once a week, on the weekend. How? Do they just get less done, or are they low-maintenance (on account of their hotness deriving from toned legs and not eyeliner) and thus the sort who need only add a three-minute shower plus the time of the run to their morning routines? Am I just particularly addicted to food and caffeine, with other runners able to breath in the fresh West Side Highway air alone for sustenance? (Given the emaciated, decaffeinated look of many of my fellow runners, I'm thinking this might be it.)

So is there a way to both run regularly and do other things? Advice much appreciated.


Daniel Goldberg said...

I can relate. Here in Texas, it stays light for longer, but all the time I used to spend training and running in the evenings is now (happily) reserved for family time. I too am useless in the mornings, but it is possible to surmount that trait and run in the mornings.

When I have been able to make it a morning routine, I have found that the secret is simply to get up and go. No messing around, etc., b/c any activity interpolated between rolling out of bed, getting some shoes on, and walking out the door decreases by orders of magnitude the likelihood that the run will actually occur.

But if you can't try that without vittles, that could be a problem. If you're really gung ho I do know there are all sorts of nutritive products (not sure they deserve the name food) that are designed to be eaten immediately before or even during a run.

Once the vile summer leaves us here, I often look to run in the early afternoon; I am a night person, and exercising c. 3 actually gives me more energy rather than knocking me out by 5 pm.

Phoebe said...

"But if you can't try that without vittles, that could be a problem."

Yes, this is the problem. And, while I'm not a big-breakfast person, I'd rather a chocolate croissant than a powerbar. Hmm.