This morning I ran my 21st run since 12/31, and completed three whole weeks of running. I wanted to run 35 minutes on my birthday, and that was it. I also wanted to wake up early, and get into a stronger morning routine for 2018, versus the haphazard one I had in 2017. I wanted to wake up before my children, and shower, and enjoy those few moments alone before the day kicked off. I figured I would run on the 1st (because it was legit New Years Day and what better way to kick off the year than with a nice sweaty run), and then I did the same on the 2nd, and then I kept going. I still don’t want to say I will run each day this year, but so far so good. I feel good, and strong, and best of all – healthy. My calves could surely benefit from a day off, but my mental game is more important to me than a day off.
Because I’m only running 20 minutes a day, I feel the main goal of staying completely healthy is possible. I don’t want to end up with pain in my hips or feel or knees or back or anything like this at the end of this year or any year. When we were younger, our bodies recovered from tough workouts and overexercise, and long duration and pretty much anything we put da body through. As I age, I want to continue to build and maintain lean muscle, and do enough cardio to keep my heart strong and stronger, but at the same time, never put myself through any type of workout that will hurt my body for the long term. I do fantasize about running a longer run, and once it warms up a bit, and my bod gets stronger, I will go for it. There is something absolute euphoric about getting into that running groove and feeling as if you could run forever.
The longest run I’ve ever done was 13.1 miles, and that was on my own in 2010. In 2017, I ran 6 miles twice, and those felt pretty awesome as well, though I ran both without being in a consistent running schedule. It will be fun to see if I could do a longer run each week and still feel as good the rest of the week. The temp this morning was 36, which is only cold in the beginning, but once it gets to the 50’s and 60’s, I’ll venture out for a bit longer.
My main and only goal was a more legit and stronger morning routine and that’s exactly what waking up and getting out the door has helped me achieve. I wake up whenever my body wakes up (between 5-6am) and I go right into our closet, get dressed and out the door. Most of the mornings my children are not awake, but sometimes they are. Because I’m only running for 20 minutes, I don’t feel as guilty getting out the door because I truly will be back right in a flash. Other mornings I get back in and my son is already up, which gives us some time to read a book together before shower and lunches and the morning jam. Otherwise, if they are still sleeping, I can ninja around the house, unload the dishwasher, switch laundry around, and shower and #partytime.
By 7am, I’m putting together lunches, and enjoying a hot cup of tea or coffee with my husband. By 745am, the fam is out the door for the bus stop, and then by 830am, all kiddos are out learning and growing, and it’s work time.
The morning cardio has certainly improved my mood, and provided a nice consistent, and more stable feeling of just normal happiness, and determination and discipline in the daily goals and routine. I am certainly sleeping better, and waking up a lot less during the night. Prior, toward the end of last year, I would wake up throughout the night for whatever reason and have a harder time falling asleep. Now, most days, I go to bed, and wake up and go. There is very few times I’m waking up in the middle of the night. If I am, because my hubby comes home from a concert, I can go right back to sleep without tossing and turning.
These tiny little things certainly contribute to overall health and are hard to appreciate unless you know both sides. But most of us do know both sides. We know how good it feels to sleep well and all night, and we know the opposite. I have worked hard to be healthy all my life, but there are certain habits I can always improve on, and I knew that nailing down a morning workout routine was indeed going to help. Prior to children and marriage, and while living the single life, it was no big deal to wake up at 4am, and ride to the gym, and spend two hours taking care of self before work, but now we gotta fit that ish in, in 20 min!
Life changes, but we can undeniably stay sharp and disciplined regardless of the obstacles, challenges. I actually believe that only when we have the challenges and obstacles and difficulties and NOT an easy rode presented, we do better. And on top of it all, the gift of age, brings wisdom and experience, and that is just priceless. I believe consistency brings about change of habits. And it’s so much easier to change our habits, and live better habits, when we do what we need to do every day. Not once or twice a week, but every day. Perhaps it’s not running that fills you up with peace, but it may be yoga, or stretching, or lifting or just solo breathing. Or a shower, or your cardio equipment that’s been sitting lonely in a spare room or the garage. Whatever it is, get it started, and keep it going. We are extremely strong humans, the most important part is to believe it, and then live it.
Cheers to our health, our sanity, our happiness, our goals and determination and success and most of all: peace.