Friday, February 22, 2013

How To Wake Up Before 5AM

I usually have to bribe myself to get out of bed in the morning. If the bribes aren't strong enough, or if my brain isn't awake enough to form a sentence within my own mind, well then I usually end up telling myself it's OK to go back to sleep. The days I allow this to happen are usually early on in the week when I have the whole week to make up a workout. However, lately the whole week is jam packed with specific training, so my brain doesn't have openings to fall back on. The bribing is in full effect. 

The number one easiest way to get myself out of bed is if the dog rises with my alarm and makes it known she needs to go. Her whining and pacing and eventual tongue in my face is a guaranteed method to get my butt up and out. There is nothing more effective than a 60 pound pit bull crying as she sits on your chest. 

This early of a wake up is usually for the pool since I have a very small window of opportunity being as their lap hours are from 5AM-7AM. I have an obsession with being early so if I'm not going to make it there by 4:50AM I'm not going. If you aren't 10 to 15 minutes early you are late in my book. This is why the alarm is set for 4:15AM. 

My favorite bribe is telling myself about the awesome nap I am going to get to take when I get home from the pool. Work doesn't start until 10 and if I don't have another workout planned, that leaves a whole lot of time to sleep. Naps are amazing. My best, longest running, and most creative dreams are during naps. Usually fighting some alien species that have invaded our planet or flying a plane that is about to crash into a snowy field filled with Grizzly bears and T-Rex. I have a problem with recurring dreams featuring Tyrannosaurus Rex, but that will be a story for another day. Having something to look forward to always helps early mornings not feel so much like... for lack of a better word... suck. You know you agree, waking up early feels like suck. Not like awesome just like suck. 

My third method of getting myself up is my favorite. The promise of an awesome breakfast. If I get up and swim, whatever I cook up when I get home is going to taste incredible. The longer I swim the bigger and better breakfast will be... I am food motivated. Why do you think I started running in the first place?

When I was thru-hiking we could eat whatever we wanted as much as we wanted and still lose weight. We were hiking all day everyday with 30 plus pounds on our backs. It didn't matter what we ingested as long as we were getting enough calories to keep us from the skin and bones look. Another thru-hiker mentioned one day (when we were all sitting around lamenting on how we would miss shoving snickers bars and cokes down our throat every chance we got) that if we wanted to continue to eat like a thru-hiker we just had to train for a marathon. I swear I heard angels singing as soon as the words escaped his mouth. A marathon, running, eating like a thru-hiker forever, that was all I needed to hear. The rest is history. Although the older I get the less this is true... I am going to have to thru-hike again. Hence the Pacific Crest Trail Idea. All food motivated. 

This morning was easier than normal to get up, I had been border line awake since 3AM along with the pup. She has a way of knowing the exact moment I open my eyes in the morning, no matter what time it is. The first thing I hear in the morning, if not my alarm, is her tail thumping on her bed. This is Zoe language for "I see you." 

The pool was quiet and I was gifted a lane to myself for almost the entire hour. 2550 yards done, still slow, but feeling stronger with each swim. I'm starting to love the water again, which will end quickly once we start doing open water swims and my irrational fear of sharks rears it's ugly head. 

After Wednesday nights run and spin my legs were trashed. I was so spent the idea of a two hour ride outside in the wind made me shudder and I took the easy (not really) way out and set the trainer up in front of the TV. 

This was a slow, pathetic ride, but I got it done and with how beat up my legs felt that was all that mattered. I watched a documentary on David Horton's run of the Pacific Crest Trail for the first hour. Watching someone trudge 40 some odd miles a day over high peaks and deserts did nothing for my motivation. It did keep me occupied though and added fuel to the fire for the next Thru-hike. 

I was hoping to be running at this moment, but instead I'm drinking coffee and procrastinating. Did I mention my legs are trashed? I'm going to give them the afternoon to get their act together and get in my run after the gym tonight. 

For now I'm content relaxing in my sweats and basking in the knowledge that I don't have to wake up before 5:00AM tomorrow. I love a good sunrise as much as the next person, but I love my sleep much more.

How does the saying go? Pink sky at night sailor's delight.
Pink sky in the morning sailor's take warning? Something like that. 

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