Personal Bests

  • 04/07 Boston Marathon3:33:22
  • 10/08 Hartford Half Marathon 1:46:23
  • 09/06 New Haven Road Race 20K 1:36:47
  • 08/04 Deary 5-M Road Race - my 1st race ever 39:37
  • 11/06 VMG 5K 21:05
  • 07/06 Boombox Mile 6:12

Breaking The Tape

Upcoming Races 2010

Stay Tuned!

Timing

When I first got into this running thing, I was an ‘after work’ runner. I’d either tie up the laces in my office and run on the streets of Middletown, or I’d wait until I got home and would run on the roads near my house. Occasionally, I’d really mix things up and meet friends at UConn in order to run around campus. (Especially during the dark winter months, the well-lit sidewalks of a college campus have come in very handy.)

One of the things I struggled with the most with the late afternoon run was nutrition. I tried countless different types of pre-run snacks,  toyed with different combinations of foods and experimented with the timing.  More often than not, I’d experience a sugar crash around the 2-2.5 mile mark. My energy level would plummet and I’d start to feel weak and shaky.  Sometimes I could push through it, and other times I would have to eat a Gu in order to make it back to my start point.

Somewhere along the way, I decided to try early-morning running and see if that made a difference. I’d always thought that early-morning runners were a bit daft. Losing precious sleep to get up and run in the dark just didn’t appeal to me. I could barely drag myself out of bed to get to work on time. Then I became that daft runner, in the dorky reflective vest with the bright, shining headlamp, taking up valuable space on the narrow roads with no shoulders at 5:30 a.m. No sugar crashes, no energy plummets. That has been the norm for the better part of last years, at least.

Until now. It seems that my timing is all off. I was working odd hours for about 8 months and ever since then, I cannot reset my internal clock. Further thwarting this effort has been the wicked winter and the lingering rhinovirus that just won’t quit. Every morning, I set the alarm. It goes off, and I listen to the wind outside and decide that I will run after work instead. Except that promise is only kept about 50% of the time, which is leaving my running log looking a little thin. Plus, with the return of the late afternoon run, the nutrition problems have returned.

On the rare mornings that I can convince myself that I still am ‘hardcore’ and 15-degrees Fahrenheit isn’t *that* cold, it takes me the better part of 30 minutes to actually get out the door. Gone are the days when I rolled out of bed, stepped into my running clothes, threw coffee towards my mouth and hit the bricks. These days, it takes 10 minutes for me to remember why I am even awake at that hour, another 10 minutes to pull on the 10,321 layers that I need to face The Tundra, and at least 10 minutes to enjoy that first cup of hot, steaming, delicious coffee.

The goal for this month will be to reset the clock and get back into a routine. I operate better with a little more structure in my life.  I’d best get building then!

15 comments to Timing is the Key

  • Joe

    Us morning runners are “daft” eh??? Never used that word…will work on it Friday!!

    Isn’t it the truth, how we need structure? And if it goes away one place, it deserts us everywhere? Hope running can help make sense of all the other schedule changes!!!

  • I’m about a week into my reset to morning running…and although difficult…I’m starting to adjust and reap the benifits of daft morning running…i.e. free evenings, better times, better sleep.

    Best of luck to you!

  • That’s where I’m happy I live in South Africa. No serious winters like you get. We go below zero, but we don’t get the snow. -4°C is about the coldest we get in Johannesburg each winter. Last year I never missed a morning run the whole winter. At the moment we have lovely summer mornings so running is perfect. I don’t enjoy running any other time of day. I’m sure your clock will recover soon. Odd working hours always mess things up.
    Good luck!

  • I’m with you, sister. I keep pretending that i’m going to run at lunch, but either 1) someone calls; or 2) Lunch calls. Must. Not. Hit. Snooze.

  • Hi there…I came across your blog while googling for someone. You have a great blog and I’ll look forward to reading along. Wow, you are super speedy! I ran Boston last year and it almost killed me at those hills. I’m preparing to tackle them better, I hope, this year. Will you be running Boston this year?

    I agree with the morning running. I am craming way too much in after work and it’s killing me to get the run in, too. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Lilly

    Hello Again! Looking forward to reading more of your blogs – keep up the good work. The sweating out the fine details of becoming a better run is part of the journey right? I hope? I have lots of “details”…I’m not a morning runner either. :0)

  • I run SO much better in the morning. I, like you, have problems with what to eat/when to eat/crashing in the afternoons. As it is I get up at 5:45 for work and just can’t stand it to get up at 4:00! So for now I just suffer though it, except on the w/e when I finally get a morning run!

  • I fantasize about moving to a warm location all the time. I think it would be extremely easy to get up and run if it was 60 degrees everyday. Don’t fret. Take some time to get healthy and when the weather (and your cold) breaks, you’ll be good to go.

  • Chris C.

    I couldn’t agree more. However, I am a Tea drinker…. When I run in the morning I have a tight deadline because I have to run and get home in time to take my wife to the train. If I snooze, I loose. I have been off my routine for 2 weeks now. I’ll be up at 5:50am, hope you all are as well!

  • you are not alone, it really kills me that I’m not that morning person I use to be and i know exactly why its 11:26pm i should be in bed!! I can’t keep going to bed this late and expect to get up at 4:50 to be out the door by 5:30. I want to get back on track as well. Good luck.

  • Dianna, I finally got it together to start a blog. I credit you for planting that seed.

    I got a recognition award from a fellow blogger the other day. Very Nice. I was asked to pass it on to other bloggers I like. You are on the list. Check out the posting at my blog, Global Table…

    Hope you are well!

    Sasha

  • I’m having the exact same problem. I set my alarm for 5:45 (the old usual time I got up to run) and then promptly turn it off in the morning, confident in the knowledge that I will, of course, go running after work.

    Hopefully, things will settle down and I can start running in the morning again.

    Hope to hear more!

  • Patrick

    I just read up on your blog for first time in a while– Hope the morning running is going better. I always look at it this way–when non runners ask about this running thing. I just tell em you gotta Embrace the Horror!!! Of course this is a joke but it always gets em laughing.

    To me there is nothing nicer than a beautiful breaking dawn so much so that if I had a daughter I would like to name her Dawn.

    But I gotta recommend forgetting about Gu and all that stuff and just bring a couple dried figs or bananas. Much better and probably better for us.

    Keep up the running and writing and the healthy life style. Thanks for your blog.

  • Some of my first runs were around my local college campus…mainly to fight the beer belly! I was hooked after a few weeks and have now been running for four years!

  • I find that when I have a set schedule and structure in my life my running goes great. For example I usually have no trouble getting in great runs during the week after work. But through my routine off on the weekends by trying to run in the morning and I really struggle. I don’t want to run or feel like it is a much harder effort. But if I can fight through it I know I will have better running days ahead during the week. Sounds like a routine will help you get back into running again as well.

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