Running in the Dark

It’s several days still until Winter officially begins, but the days are constantly getting shorter and supposed to be getting cooler. Last year around this time I started running on my own because it was too cold to take the boys out with me. This year, however, I only have a single stroller and too much on my plate. That’s why, if you’ve checked in on me at MapMyRun you’ll notice I am well below where I need to be to top last year’s mileage.

Yeah, might get close to beating 2013 mileage….WHEN I HAD A BABY!

Instead I’ve decided to stop being such a lazy bum and getting out of bed before my family. Every Tuesday and Thursday since March I’ve been up before 6am to go and teach yoga. Many a Saturday I’m up before then as well to prep for a workshop. What was stopping me from doing it all of the time? ME!

So, last week I decided that I would give this whole getting up early every day thing a try. So, Wednesday morning my 530am alarm went off….and was promptly silenced. Thursday it went off and I taught yoga. Friday I was a little more determined and I got up and did 1.42 miles…in the dark. Saturday I hit snooze and got up at 619am instead. I did the same 1.42 miles in 20 seconds faster. Sunday will be my official day off….unless I do a workshop…because hey, Day of Rest and all.

The real test was this morning. It’s MONDAY...and I’d had one day off. When something is new, the worst thing you can do is take a day off and then start back on a Monday. Monday’s signify a hateful day in the world of work. And for a lot of people, fitness is work. Hence the reason we call it “Working Out”.

What did I do when my husband almost forcibly nudged me out of the bed the second my alarm went off? I got up….turned it off…and headed straight for the bathroom. There, waiting for me were my clothes to go and run in. I’d set them out the night before. After I spent 15 minutes waking myself up and getting dressed I stumbled in the dark to the living room, closing the door behind me. I got my shoes, my watch, my gloves (totally unnecessary), my ear band (even more so this morning), and Truffle Shuffle and got out the door before I could change my mind.

Running in the dark in my neighborhood is tricky. Not many people are on the road at that time, but there aren’t that many street lights either. There is one road on this particular course that has a lot of traffic, but most of the roads have blind corners. It’s basically my job to watch for the cars at this hour. And, with my cracked glasses, that can be tricky early in the morning. Also, my imagination can play tricks on me and make me think that someone is chasing me or about to pop out of anywhere. I also fear that I’m about to roll my ankle in some giant pothole I’ve forgotten about.

No matter how difficult or crazy this may seem, I need to do this for myself. I ran the course backward today and plan to keep running it until I can get under 9 minute miles. I take the time when I get home to workout in a way I’ve been neglecting in awhile (body weight training outside of yoga). In the future I hope to find more time to meditate that early in the morning instead of balancing my checkbooks and writing a to do list (that’s what happened this morning).

What’s something you’re doing for yourself and your health this holiday season?

Do you run/exercise in the dark/before your house wakes?

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