Yesterday I was supposed to do an interval running workout and my 300 workout. Sadly, that didn’t happen, and now I feel guilty about it. Could I have fit it in? Probably, if I had planned for it properly.
What happened was that I worked out fairly late Monday night (biking intervals + core) and got to bed late. On Tuesday evenings, my husband has Men’s Night at his golf course, so I’m on my own with the kids for supper and bedtime. I had originally planned to do the workout late in the day, after the kids were in bed, but briefly toyed with doing it in the morning instead, knowing that I would probably feel pretty tired by the end of the day. However, with Monday’s late workout, getting up early Tuesday just wasn’t doable for me. Well, I could have done it, but it probably wouldn’t have been a high quality workout. Evening rolled around and I made supper, cleaned up, folded the piles of laundry that my husband had washed the prior evening, and suddenly realized that it was 9:15pm! I had promised the kids I would take them for a walk, so we headed out for a quick stroll around the block. 45 minutes later, the kids were in bed (WAY later than usual) and I was TIRED. Of COURSE I was tired – it was 10pm, I had gotten about 6 hours of sleep (not nearly enough for me; I should probably start drinking coffee), and I had to get up at 6:15am to get to the gym to meet with my trainer the next morning.
Mentally kicking myself for not getting my workout in, I decided that it’s probably time to commit to morning workouts. If you know me, you know that I HATE early mornings. It takes me a good hour (at least) to get functioning reasonably after I wake up, so I’ve found in the past that morning workouts are hard for a few reasons:
- I’m always dragging when I finally roll out of bed, so it takes me forever to head out the door or down to the basement and get working out. As a result, I’d often end up having a shorter workout than usual/planned.
- It’s morning and everything is creaky, so I have found it hard to really push myself during a morning workout. This is getting easier, though, since I’ve been doing more morning workouts this summer, both on my own and with my trainer.
- I find it too easy to turn the alarm off, snuggle back under the covers, and go back to sleep. Not as much of an issue now that I’m training for a specific event, but it’s a rare morning that I don’t hit snooze at least once before I lace up my runners.
- I’m a night person so I like working out during the evening. Or, at least I USED to be a night person, before I had kids. Now I’m required to get up at a decent hour to deal with them, and go to bed so that I’m not ridiculously short tempered. I’ve been known to start a workout at 10:30pm and feel good doing it. I also used to study until 2am and feel good doing that, too, but that doesn’t happen anymore (see comments above re: having kids).
- I live far enough north that winter mornings are dark. COLD and dark. When sunrise is around 9am, getting out of bed at 7am for school (and before I went back to school, work) is hard enough, never mind getting up at 5:30 or 6:30am to fit in workout.
Having said all that, I have occasionally been working out in the morning this summer. Since I’m a dental student, I have the summer off and I’m home with the kids. I’m unfortunately not one of those moms who can workout with her kids nearby. I’m not opposed to plopping my kids in front of the TV to be entertained while I lift weights or run on the treadmill, but I find that there’s inevitably some sort of fight to break up or timeout to give (I like to say my kids are “very active” rather than “out of control” – ha!) and I find that I just can’t focus on my workout. Early evenings don’t always work out if my husband has a work event to attend, and most pools around here have lane swimming every morning, but not so much after 6pm.
Since I’m training for a half marathon, and before that was training for my first sprint distance tri, I found that I’ve occasionally HAD to workout in the morning this summer in order to fit my workouts into my schedule. Yes, I think it sucks, but I still do it. Why? Because I’ve hit a point where my fitness goals are a high enough priority to me to schedule them in pretty much no matter what (even if I do miss a workout here or there – see above). Also, I’ve found that it’s great to get my workout done in the morning and not have to worry about it for the rest of the day. I know that a lot of people say working out gives them energy for the rest of the day, but I haven’t found that to be the case for me. Actually, I usually find that I could use a nap later in the day!
So, I’m tentatively committing to morning workouts, especially once school starts on August 23rd. Wish me luck!