Six months. Six long months of drudgery and slogging. Six months of terrible morning runs was what I did before I finally figures out how to have a fantastic morning run. Or I should say fantastic morning run first thing in the morning.
If I had my way, I would probably do all of my running at night. I just like it better then. I am awake and energized and evening runs are relaxing. However, this year I actually trained for races and because of doing long runs on the weekends of more than six miles, this was going to necessitate getting up to run early. For a time, I was able to get away with doing evening runs and still feeling fresh enough to run on the weekend early in the morning.
However, as marathon training progressed with longer runs on Fridays as well as the usual long run on Saturday mornings, morning runs were being necessitated on Fridays. And earlier in the week as well since I had to get to work and work super long hours. So it was up early to get the miles in. And it was not the most fun thing to do.
A few times I tried to do a Friday evening run and then turn around and run Saturday morning, but with right around 12 hours of recovery time, it just didn’t seem smart to keep doing that if I wanted to stay healthy. Ergo, early morning running. And for six months it was terrible. Sometimes the runs would be okay, but they were never my fastest. I would end up stopping for water too much. And while at the end of the run, it was nice to have the miles done, I never really felt accomplished in what I had done.
I know a lot of it was mental and this was proven to me one morning when I looked at my Nike+ and it said that I had run farther and faster than the average of my last seven runs one morning. A morning I was feeling particularly tired and unaccomplished. But apparently stats don’t lie so I thought perhaps I could run in the mornings as well as I did at night.
The next day, I decided to just suck it up and walk a bit before I actually started to run. And a funny thing happened during that run. It. Was. Awesome! At the end of it, I felt really accomplished and I was faster than the average of previous runs. I thought perhaps it was a fluke, but I did it again and the same thing happened.
The only thing that annoys me is that it took me six months to figure out that if I just walk for a few minutes and just accept that the first mile will be slow, it will turn into a great run. Ever since this discovery a few weeks ago, I have continued to do it and my runs continue to go well. Recently, I saw an article on how to run better in the morning and all of the things recommended I was already doing and the one thing that I’d recently added – walking for a few minutes – was also on the list. Ah, if only I had seen that article months prior. No matter as I have finally figured it out.
This isn’t to say that I wouldn’t still prefer to run at night. But at least now, I know I can run first thing in the morning and still have a great run.