Let the mind games begin

Summer is here.  Officially and unofficially.  Runs have become sweatfests.  I’m not complaining, I’m ready for it.  I’ll probably be singing a different tune about mid-August, but for now, I’ll take it.

The thing about running summers in south Mississippi is timing.  Unless you have a death wish, you can’t run between the hours of 8 am and 8 pm.  Before or after, you’re going to sweat, but you’re less likely to die of heat stroke.

The problem for me is that I’m not really a morning person, and I’m REALLY not a late evening person.  A late bedtime for me is 9:30.  I know, that shows my age, but I don’t care.  I fully embrace my old broad status.  I’m fed, bathed, and in my pj’s by no later than 8 pm, and in bed, usually asleep no later than 9:30.  Seems like I would then be bright eyed and bushy tailed by 5 am, but, for whatever reason, it doesn’t happen that way.

I can make myself get up, as long as my man has to get up, also.  Staying in bed isn’t as much fun solo.  I’m a little dangerous when I get up really early, though.  This morning, Gary had to leave by 6, and I wanted to get in a short run, so I got up at 5:30 to fix his breakfast.  I put my coffee water on to heat (I’m a French press girl, so my coffee takes a little longer), then I set about making Gary’s breakfast while I waited for my brains to wake up.   I put his bacon on to cook, then started prepping the scrambled eggs.  I sprayed the skillet, whisked the eggs, then fixed Gary’s coffee (he’s a Keurig guy).  I took him his coffee, then checked the bacon.  It was still completely raw and cold.  What?

By then, the kettle was whistling for my coffee, so I poured it into the French press, then turned back to the bacon.  Still raw and cold.  I felt the pan and it was cold, too.  Turns out, I hadn’t turned it on.  Geez.  Turned it on, poured myself a cupa joe, then looked back at the stove to see smoke spiraling toward the ceiling.  The eye I had turned on for the bacon was actually the eye under the egg skillet (which, of course, was eggless because I was waiting for the bacon to cook).  Anyway, Gary finally got his breakfast and I finally got my coffee,  but it really brought home how clueless I am before 6 am and coffee.

So, what’s a South MS gal who loves her sleep to do when summer rolls in?  Learn how to trick herself into rolling out of bed early on those hot summer days.  It’s a little easier for me when Gary has to be up early and get on the road for work.  Mornings when we don’t have someplace to be, it’s way too easy to snuggle down in bed.  I’ve spent a fortune making my bed sleep friendly, Tempurpedic mattresses and pillows, 1600 thread count sheets, temperature set at 76 degrees Fahrenheit, fans creating white noise, as well as keeping us cool and comfortable. I love my bed and treasure my sleep time.

I’m telling you, running is much more mental than physical.

I learned when I was training for NYC through the long, hot summer of 2011, that in order to roll out early, several things need to occur.  I have to be completely ready the night before.  No early morning search for shoes or Garmin or iPod.  All is neatly laid out and ready to fall into.  But, that’s not enough.  Getting my feet on the floor requires some mental gymnastics.  I’ve had to come up with many tricks to make myself get up.  One of my go-to tricks is to tell myself that I don’t have to run today, I can just walk and pray.  Sometimes, I promise myself coffee and a devotion, then I can decide if I’m actually going to run.  Sometimes, I bribe myself.  If I run x amount of miles, I’ll get a treat to go along with my after run coffee.  Almost always, just the act of getting up and starting my morning routine will get me out the door and running on time.

The most effective “trick” right now is to remind myself how wonderful I feel when I make myself workout, how my day flows with productivity, how my mood is brighter and happier; and how awful I feel for the entire day if I don’t get my butt in gear early.  Also, the threat of having to complete my miles on a treadmill because I’ve stayed in bed too long to safely run outside is motivation to get me moving.  I would rather broadcast my weight online than get on a treadmill.  Yes, I hate treadmill running that much.

As you can tell from my breakfast fiasco, I’m not a morning person.  However, after a couple of cups of black coffee, I’m usually ready to roll.  Today’s run was a pretty easy one.  I ran five yesterday, so I didn’t want to push my luck. I’m still very, very slow on my injury comeback, but I’m getting there.  I pushed the last mile yesterday pretty hard, so I took it fairly easy this morning.   Walked half a mile for a warm-up, ran two miles hard, then walked half a mile for a cool down.  I guess the humidity was really high, because after I was done, sweat engulfed me.  I keep a towel in my car so that after runs, I can put it on my seat and keep the funk smell at bay, but I guess I took it out to wash after the last run at the Trace and forgot to put it back.  Fortunately, I have a convertible, so I put the top down and headed to Starbucks for my post run coffee.  It’s a commentary on how humid it was  that my barista asked me if I had been for a swim this morning.   I’m sure I looked lovely.  Good thing I checked my ego at the door.

So, mind games are the topic of the day.  What are some of your favorite tricks to get yourself up and “at ’em” in the wee morning hours?  Share in the comments section, I may have to steal a few to get me through the summer.


6 In the morning it blooms and flourishes,
but by evening it is dry and withered. Psalm 90:6

2 thoughts on “Let the mind games begin

  1. Sandy says:

    I laughed through most of this because it sounds like me! I am not a morning person either and yet, I so desire to find some kind of exercise that I like and inspires me enough that I “want” to do it. So, I am not much of one to give you advice but I did want to say thank you for your blogs because you give me hope…..and laughs!


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