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Posts Tagged ‘early morning’

I’m pretty sure I’ve made this clear: I am NOT a morning person. I do NOT like getting up early. If left to my own devices with no responsibilities, I would sleep until 9 or 10 every morning. It could be my biology or maybe the remnants of my hard drinking college days, but I like to stay up late and wake up late.  Until a few weeks ago, I’m pretty sure I had gone to bed at 4:45 AM more often that I had woken up at that time.

That said, I love the early morning runs.  Actually, check that.  The pre-dawn runs themselves have varied, from the blissful to the “please let me sustain an injury RIGHT NOW”.  I don’t always have the enthusiasm or drive to do them.  I am always glad when I do, no matter how miserable the run itself ends up being.  I love the feeling I get after the early morning runs.  That is because for the rest of the day I feel like I’m playing with house money.

Have you ever gone to a casino and won a few hundred bucks early?  When I do, I tend to put my original bankroll back into my pocket and happily play with the house’s money for the rest of the evening.  That, to me, is what the early morning run is.  It’s winning a bunch of hands early at the blackjack table and putting my original stake away.  I’ve produced a significant caloric deficit AND jolted the metabolism into high gear.  After the early morning runs I can essentially munch on whatever I want for the rest of the day.  There’s a freedom in that, and I think that freedom actually keeps me from eating whatever I want.

Truth is, I eat fairly healthfully anyway, but it’s knowing that I am essentially playing with the house’s money for the rest of the day that is so gratifying.  The coolest thing about the early morning run is that it’s not a gamble like blackjack or roulette.  It’s like knowing what the cards are before they are dealt.  If you run, you win – every time!

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So I have come to realize that I suck at housework. Wait, I take that back – I have known all my life that I suck at housework. The problem is that as a Stay At Home Dad, part of my responsibilities are, you guessed it, keeping the house clean. I’m pretty good at the other stuff. I feel like I’m a pretty good dad, I think that the wife is still happy she said, “I do”, and I can hold my own against most people in the kitchen.

What in the world does this have to do with running?

Here’s my problem: I stink at keeping the house clean.

No, that’s not the problem (though the wife might argue otherwise).  The problem is that in the last year, if the sun was out and it was a choice between cleaning the house or going out for a run, the run almost inevitably won.  I’d tell myself, “Oh, it’s only a quick 5 – 7 miler.  I’ll be back in an hour and then I’ll clean.”  The truth being I’d also warm up for 5-10 minutes, cool down and stretch for 5-10 minutes and then take a shower for 10-15 minutes. Suddenly that hour run would stretch itself out to an hour and a half – and that would be on days where I decided not to tack on a mile or two for no reason.   By the time I dried and dressed, it would be time to pick up the kids.

“Oops! Sorry honey! I’ll get to the cleaning tomorrow.”

The thing is, the cleaning needs to get done. The floors aren’t going to sweep themselves. The dishes and laundry aren’t going to walk themselves over to their respective washers and take their little bubble baths. So something has to change. I’m not about to give up running, but I am reminded of a phrase my dad’s cousin Teddy said to me on my wedding day. He said, “Son, there are two phrases that you will have to learn now that you are married.  The first phrase is ‘A happy wife means a happy life.'” Truer words were never spoken.  I’ve lived on both sides of that equation.  Consequently, the second one was, “let me check with my wife.”   Another phrase that I’m always telling my girls is “do the things you have to do so that you can do the things you want to do.” We can sit here and argue the finer points of whether running is a “want to” or a “have to” (and believe me, if you want to keep me in a good mood it’s more of a “have to”), but the truth is, in the bigger picture of my family, we have to have a clean environment not only for my wife but for my two daughters as well. Disorder can play particular havoc on my younger, autistic daughter.

So I’m not about to give up running, but the housework needs to get done. A few days ago I read a post by agirlrunsthruit.  It was a tough love post to people who complain about not being able to find time to run or exercise.  She essentially called “bullsh*t!” on these folks saying that if you make exercise a priority in your life, you will make time for it.   I found myself nodding at the screen in agreement.

So earlier this week, I decided I would try a new routine. I decided to get up early (5AM) and hit the treadmill. Based on the mileage I’ve been able to get in, I may try a little earlier next week, but so far so good.  Do I like getting up that early? No Frakking Way!  I am a night owl by nature.  I have a hard time going to bed before midnight, but I have to set some priorities. I was encouraged yesterday when I read pigtailsflying‘s post on her early morning runs.  As the snow starts to get cleared away, I will probably venture out for some pre-dawn runs on the road.

There will still be days where the pull of the sun and the road is just too strong, but for now the plan is to do these early morning runs at least 2 or 3 times a week so I can focus on getting the house right.

Will it last?  Who knows, but hopefully it will get to point where I will have done the thing I have to do so I can do the thing I want to do.

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