Brain Alarm Clock

Ever since this semester started I’ve been struggling with getting out of bed in the mornings to go running. I start work at 8a instead of 9 now and the missing hour feels like a big deal if it means running at 5:30 instead of 6:30. I hate the feeling of waking up early, deciding to go back to sleep and then getting up later knowing that I’ll have to fit my run in somewhere else that day. We’re 18 weeks out from the Napa Valley Marathon now so skipping training runs is not a great idea.

Well, my brain has a solution that works! (At least so far.) It started 2 weeks ago with my first long(-ish) run in a while. There was no way I was not going to do that run. I was bound and determined. I was so dead-set on it that I set out my clothes, prepared breakfast ahead of time and set my alarm clock. I, without trying to, spent a lot of time the night before thinking about getting up early and heading right out for the run.

I did wake up early. In fact, I woke up every couple of hours until about 5:30. I had planned to wake up at 6 for the run. I woke up every 5 minutes between 5:30 and 6:00 and anxiously checked the alarm clock — had I overslept? Was I out of time? Each time I saw that I had only been asleep for a few minutes and tried to sleep again. Needless to say, when 6:00 came I was almost relieved to get out of bed.

So now, the night before a long run, run as I’m setting the alarm clock I think to myself “I’ll feel so upset if I don’t get up tomorrow. I better get up when the alarm goes off. I am going running tomorrow morning,” and so on.  Then, when the alarm clock rings and I contemplate going back to sleep my brain reminds me of last night’s pep talk and, somehow, convinces me to get out of bed.

I’m going to keep using my brain alarm clock to get me out of bed. It’s possible my brain will realize that just because I said I wanted to the night before, doesn’t necessarily mean that I still want to but I’m hoping I can keep it going — at least until tapering begins in February.

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