11.20.2013

Managing the 4 am Wake-Up Call

Gotta love big, bright moons!
Marathon training takes time and dedication. Working in those long runs and higher mileage weeks while holding down a full-time job and being a Mommy can make it even harder. And I haven't even mentioned squeezing in quality time with dear hubby, errands, or other hobbies in my life. This brings me to the point of my post today.

Waking up early.

That is a key secret to my success of getting my weekly miles in. In all reality, waking up early means I can run on an adjustable treadmill at the gym and nail my workouts better than I would on the set incline treadmill in my house. And yes, on the weekends I strive to do my long runs outside and yes, I wake up early for those too....but not as early.

The benefit is that after my work day is done and over I have more time in my afternoon. I feel a burden fall off my shoulders as I can be there 100% for darling daughter. We have more fun but she does support me when I do need to do a run after work. We still have fun but there is that added weight of one more thing Mommy needs to squeeze into her schedule.

So how do I manage to wake up at 4:00 am? It is hard. It will always be hard. But here are some of my tips for successful early morning wake-up calls.

Be Prepared

Don't give yourself more to do first thing in the morning. The night before I have everything set and ready to go. In fact, I do all my next day preparations before I even start dinner to ensure I get it all done. This includes making lunches for darling daughter and I as well as packing a breakfast in my bag. I also prep my recovery drink by putting the scoop of Vega Sport into my Shaker bottle. I add water after my run at the gym. Yum! Yum!  Plus my gym bag is packed with toiletries (always kept in there), my work clothes, and my running gear. Last thing I do, turn my alarm on. It is set at the same time each and every day 99.9% of the time. I am ready to go!

Have a Routine

My mind is in a fog when I drag myself out of bed so I don't want to think. On autopilot I grab my gym bag, head out of the bedroom, and to the kitchen. I pull out my running clothes, get dressed, and then return to the kitchen to start a cup of coffee. I finish putting my lunch together, which is an easy as putting the lunch bin into the bag with my ice blocks. Everything is kept in the exact same place so I could do this with my eyes closed. I toss a washcloth and my phone in my purse along with my Shaker bottle. Zip. Zip. Zip. The coffee is brewing. I put on my socks and shoes, pour the coffee from the mug to a travel mug, set the mug int the sink (thank you dear hubby for washing it for me every morning), and out the door I go.

Darling daughter did go through a spell when she was waking up before my first toe even touched the ground. I had to add in some time with getting her settled in front of the TV with a bowl of cereal. It took a few more minutes and I am glad that phase is over....I hope for good. She doesn't need to be up that early but it was nice to see her and get some morning love and kisses.

Too early for non-blurry pics!
Early to Bed, Early to Rise

The downside of early wake-up's is that I am tired earlier in the evening. And recently that tired feeling is hitting me even earlier. I blame the increase in weekly mileage. And unfortunately for dear hubby, I listen to my body. When it wants to crash, it is time for bed. Even if it is barely 7:30 pm. That was last night. As much as I wanted to be with him and watch the show I found on Netflix (woo hoo, Netflix streaming actually worked) I couldn't keep my eyes open. I went to bed. I slept well. The best I have in a couple of nights as I was going through a crazy dream spell. And in all reality, going to bed at 7:30 pm only gives me 8.5 hours of sleep. It isn't too crazy.

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

What is my worm? A good run in before work. It makes me feel good to start the day right. I wake up on the treadmill, literally. As I step on you can see me still rubbing sleep out of my eyes but in that run I can reflect on the day or ponder whatever it is that I want to ponder. As my heartbeat increases my body wakes. I get to work feeling good about myself and energized. I feel happy that when I get home I have my run done and know I won't be feeling grouchy because I need that run and time for me. I have taken care of myself right away and now I am better prepared to take care of others. And with how crazy work is right now, it does me some honest goodness to head into work feeling strong and capable!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I can make sun tea in November.
Daily Affirmation: I am in tune with my body.

4 comments:

  1. Great tips! I need to start getting up early to run it is just so hard to do!

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  2. If I don't run early it just doesn't happen. Life gets too busy and I'm generally too tired at the end of the day. But maybe that's from getting up so early to run.

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  3. I get up super early...and go to bed super early. people think I am crazy but it works for me and my kids!! Great post

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  4. I learned a lot, thanks for sharing your advice!

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