Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Early Bird to Rise Gets the Worm

… or something like that, right?  I know there are some people out there who are natural early birds.  Ironically, it seems like my whole family is like that. Why didn’t I get that gene?  There are also people who prefer to get up early to get their workout over and done with.  It’s hard to go through 8+ hours of work, traffic, and family, and then still have energy to knock out an hour or two at the gym.  I generally feel like just going home and sleeping after work at least 3 out of the 5 days.  There are also some people who feel energized the rest of the day if they get their workout done in the morning.  This is a rarity for me.  I’m pretty bouncy for the first couple of hours after the workout, but sure enough, if I don’t have some coffee around I will be in physical pain trying to keep myself awake. 
I do not prefer to wake up early.  On a side note, I <3 breakfast.  Good thing you can eat it any time of day  Smile.  To me it just feels totally wrong to wake up before the sun.  And, it feels soooo good to sleep.  But, with being in the heart of the Ironman training, there’s just no getting around having to do two-a-days during the week and getting up early on the weekends to beat the heat.  For about 6 weeks now, I’ve been waking up between 5 and 6 AM 5 days a week (3 during the week and both weekend days).  This should feel natural by now.  But nope, it’s still hard.  Here are some of the tricks that I play on myself to get up early … to get the worm:
- put my phone (aka alarm clock) on the other side of the room or in the bathroom.  This rarely works on the first try.  I usually get up, hit the snooze, and lay back down 

- pick out my clothes the night before and put them in the bathroom.  Last week and this week I’ve actually been picking out my workout clothes for the entire week.  When I’m tired sometimes trying to decide what to wear can take 15+ minutes.  My mind just goes blank and I stare at my clothes hoping the right ones will just walk into a pile on their own

- I tell myself “You know that if you don’t get up now and get this workout done, you’re not going to have time to do it later and you’re going to be more mad that you missed it than happy that you get to sleep an extra hour”

- I don’t wash my hair the night before.  Like I said, I’m doing a lot of two-a-days during the week.  I’ll take a shower so I don’t stink, but I won’t wash my hair.  This means that my hair is greasy and gross.  So, if I’m tempted to skip my AM workout to get an extra hour or so of sleep, I don’t get the full hour because I still have to get up a little earlier to wash my hair    
- I set up workout dates.  My training group for the bike and Sarah for my long weekend runs have been the backbone to this working.  I don’t know that many people, actually I don’t know anyone, besides these select few who are willing to get up before the sun to get in anywhere from 1 hour to 5 hours of a workout.  Perfect example.  A friend of mine who just did the Louisville Ironman, every time I invited him out to the long group bike ride on Saturday, he would make a “that’s gross” face when I mentioned what time we started, followed by stating “that’s so early”
I haven’t found anything that says waking up early is beneficial to your health.  Just make sure that you get enough sleep to give your body time to recoop from the day. 
How does everyone else feel about waking up before the sun to get stuff done?  If you don’t like doing it and you have to, what tricks do you play on yourself? 

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