Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Morning time warp

Level 4 lockdown regulations permit walking, running and cycling between 6am and 9am. Only.

Just getting up in the morning has been a struggle for me from as far back as I can remember. I remember my poor mom, a (very early) morning person, trying to get me up for school. Whether I sleep four hours or eight, mornings have never been kind to me. Sure, I wake up, get up, smile and face the day, but if I can avoid getting up until the sun has warmed the earth, then I will.

As for exercising in the morning... I generally avoid it. Of course, I have crawled out of bed on many an early morning for events, races, and hooking up with other people. It is not my preference but it just so happens that all but a handful of events (odd night races) start in the early morning, not in the afternoons (how screwy is this!).

When I'm up, I appreciate the morning, listen to the birds chirping and the cooler morning temperatures in summer are great. But, for me, mornings are the exception and not the norm.

My usual routine is to go to bed late (midnight is common - sometimes I do very late nights but they do nail me), wake up by 07h15, jump up, get changed, wash my face, make tea and turn on my computer. Boom! It takes me 10 minutes to be at work and so my day begins.

My days are non-stop and crazy; emails, calls, admin, errands. In summer, I aim to be out of the door by 17h30 to run. In winter, I love the warm afternoons and try to get away by 16h00. Either way, I get back, put dinner on the go, shower and then I put in another few hours, which could be anything from another two to six hours. If I don't work extra or I only do a dash more, then I settle in for Netflix or an audiobook and my current crochet project.

The bonus of training in the evenings is that I'm awake, I'm warm, I'm go-go-go from the day (most of the time), my body is ready for the action after sitting a lot in the day, and it helps me to destress, loosen up and to put some of the day behind me.

The downside to training in the evenings is that it can be hot in summer (draining) and the work day and last minute invites can get in the way. This can result in shorter sessions or cancelled sessions through cuts in time and lapses in motivation.

With these Level 4 restrictions, I have no option other than to run in the mornings.

I get out between 07h30 and 08h00 (or by 08h30 for a quick 30 minute of I'm really struggling) and get back by 09h00. A guy in town has created a clue-based location hunt where we get daily clues that take us to a location where we must take a selfie with the tag. It is good fun. I started it a few days in so now I'm catching up.

Me and Rusty at a tag.
Once back, I have a shower, make tea and start up my computer. The thing is - I'm slooooowww in the morning, easily distracted and time seems to fly past. I feel like I lose too much ground when my day starts at almost 10h00. Sure, I catch up at night, but daylight just seems to burn away. I've also found that residue from lockdown is that I really like being outside in the day and not tied to my computer - so I'm a bit resentful of being confined.

Of course, you are wondering why I don't just wake up earlier to get my run done and my day started? It is colder and darker and totally unattractive to me. And if I get up at 6am, then in all likelihood, I've only had 5hrs of sleep. I've been there and done that way too much and it hurts. 07h30 is palatable.

Then you're wondering why I don't go to bed earlier to make sure I get 7hrs of sleep or more so that getting up is easier? Well, I've learned from experience that regardless of when I go to sleep and how much sleep I get, I just don't do mornings. I've always thought that it would be nice to wake with the birds and embrace the rising sun, but it just doesn't work for me. And as for night, I love this time of day. Quiet, peaceful and I get a lot done. With my midnight routine as it stands, I still get 7-8hrs sleep, which is fine.

I've often wondered whether the people who have run out of cigarettes and are experiencing an enforced 'quit smoking' will go straight back to it again when they can buy smokes. Some will, some won't.

For me, when we are permitted to exercise at any time of day, I'll certainly go back to my afternoon and evening sessions. That said, now that I've had however many consecutive number of morning runs at the reasonable hour of after-07h30, I would definitely do it outside of lockdown, especially if my morning has less urgent work pressures and I have other activities planned for the evening.

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