I’ve always used a combination of motivation, determination and guilt to pull myself out of bed in the morning, grab my gear and go on a run. I cannot lay claim to any of the three right now after finishing a physical and emotionally challenging race, and a crazy work schedule. It has been almost two weeks since JFK, and while I’m not 100% past the “funk”, I am focused on the build to Umstead. Unfortunately, I’ve been sidetracked this week by a series of 12-14 hour work days, late nights (because who can fall asleep at 10:30pm when you just walked in the house?), and way less sleep then optimal. All this, plus the chillier weather, adds up to a lack of motivation to bounce out of bed with your alarm to run. Staying in the warmth of the covers sounds SO much nicer, right? We all know it’s hard enough to wake up before the sun rises on a “normal” work day with your “normal” bed time, much less after a week or so of 5-6 hour sleep nights. So, I am simply tired.
Tired or not, I have goals, as do we all. Mine is far enough away that I could make excuses and continue to miss workouts; however, endurance events do not always work that way. You don’t have to beat yourself up for missing a workout or two, but eventually it gets harder and harder to put the work in when you are willing to say, “it’s ok…I can miss today.” I will say, my friends do NOT like me to miss too many days because I become Ms. Crankypants.
RUN COMMUTE: As I’m sure you’ve deduced, my solution to how I can gain an extra 30-60 minutes of sleep a morning and still get some miles clocked is the good old run to work route. After a couple of days with no workout (and no stealing away at lunch for a quickie run), snoozing through another alarm, and being cranky about another missed workout day, the answer finally came back to me. “Oh yea..I can still run to work and get 3.5-4 miles in the morning and on the return!”
I had this epiphany on Thursday after another morning of snoozing through the alarms for 45 minutes. It should NOT have been an epiphany since I’ve run to and from work before; however, my sleepy brain was a bit slower these days. I rolled out of bed, grabbed a cup of coffee, and started gathering my run gear and work clothes. I packed my little OMM (Original Mountain Marathon company: https://www.theomm.com/) run pack in BRIGHT ORANGE (Go Tigers!) and out the door I went.
I really don’t have to say I felt better that day then the rest of the week. I was “Ms. Crankypants” no more and back to my normal annoyingly energetic self. The best part of a run commute is that you aren’t really going your fastest. It’s not about the distance or the time (unless you are going to be late to work), it’s about being alert and aware of others on the roads. This gives your time to look around and enjoy the morning sun streaming through the clouds, the crisp cool air, and not being stuck on a crowded metro or in traffic. Coming off a hard race, this run also gave me a nice loose workout jog/run with no expectations. Bottom line – when in doubt, run it out…to work that is:) It’s not a solution for everyone, but its a great one if you work out the logistics and need some extra miles!