By Toni Carey (@toni_carey)
I love sleep. No, really I do. Ever since I was a kid, I've been a serial napper. As a child, my mom said I used to voluntarily take naps unlike all the other two year-olds in the world. In high school, I snoozed through Spanish (and still passed, by the way). In college, I planned classes around a 1pm siesta. To this day, I'm the worst passenger ever. If I'm in a car for longer than 10 minutes, I find a way to sneak in a nap. I'm not a morning person. In fact, if you want me to remember anything, tell me after 11 a.m. Race mornings are hard. Ashley accuses me of being cranky. I blame my nerves. But the truth is, I absolutely hate waking up early. I HATE IT.
That's why when my running game hit an all time low, I decided that drastic times caused for drastic measures. Between work, home and BGR!, fitting in runs was becoming increasingly difficult. Morning runs seemed like the natural solution. After all, I'm a runner and I'm supposed to LOVE early morning workouts. There's no reason, I REALLY need sleep. I tried getting up at 5:30 a.m. a few times to get in my runs, hoping that my endorphins would not only last me through the entire day, but encourage me to do it again the next morning. But it never happened. Truth be told, my attempts at early a.m. workouts have all been short lived. I even bought a $100 lamp to mimic the sunrise, with birds that chirp and all. I was baffled and frustrated with my inability to workout before the sunrise. Why couldn't I be the chipper little runner you see on the morning trails?
But today I had a epiphany. However, it required me to get over my idea of what a runner should be. In my mind, a runner should LOVE morning workouts. I realized it's these preconceived notions that prevent new runners from getting started. "If I consider myself a runner, I must do [blank]" or "I'm a runner so, I should be [blank]." But actually the quite opposite is true. The great thing about running is that you do you. Whether that's running in the morning, running at night, running outside or running on the dreadmill, there isn't a mold you have to fit into. It truly is a race against yourself.
All these months I've been trying to change something that's unchangeable. I'd sacrifice anything to sleep longer in the morning. Even if that means hitting the pavement after a long day at work.And I'd like to think that I'm really doing the running community a favor. No one likes a cranky runner.
Are you a morning or night runner? Have you tried to make the switch from one type to the other? If so, was it a success?