Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Whip-my-butt-into-shape update

I had hoped to swim this summer, instead of run - the campus where I work has a lap pool, and that seemed an ideal way to 1) workout in the afternoon without really caring how hot it gets, 2) workout at no cost (I am anti pay-to-exercise at the moment, just a personal thing, nothing wrong with it if that's what works for you), and 3) switch up the exercise regimen so I don't get bored. However, problems with the water system have shut down the pool for the summer. So it was time for Plan B: operation run at 5:45 am.

I've come to the realization (again) that I do not exercise well in the mornings. I first reached this conclusion in college, when regular morning workouts ended in painful mornings. I'm not really sure why I thought it would be different (better) now, 16 years later. I only knew that there is no way in heck I would be running at noon in 90+ degree heat. But now, experience has taught me that there is no way in heck that I can keep running first thing in the morning.

I have to say that sometimes, I really did enjoy the morning run. At that hour, the air is sweet and fresh, there's no one on the streets to witness my dripping, staggering self, and it gave me a good feeling to start the day so virtuously. However, a lot of days I couldn't complete the workout. I struggled with feeling sick partway through (for various reasons), sometimes actually getting sick partway through (dry heaves are not fun, and I've had more than my share this summer). Getting up at 5:30 to run at 5:45 meant going to bed at 8:30 or 9:00 at night.

I feel strongly that exercise should be something to look forward to, to anticipate and to enjoy. Running in the mornings is something I dread. Working out at the hotel gym in Louisville last month reminded me how much better I perform later in the day. I'm strong! I kick butt! I don't feel sick, ever! And it's a great way to beat that afternoon slump that hits me every day at 3:00. Running at lunchtime is ideal because it breaks up the workday, and running after work is a great way to burn off the day, and give me a good appetite for dinner. But neither of these preferences is possible. So I have to figure out a plan for August and September, until it cools enough for me to return to lunchtime runs.

Whatever that plan turns out to be, I do know that I have benefitted so much from my running and workouts that there's no way I'm giving it all up just because I'm a weenie in the morning.

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