Sunrises, run rises, and becoming a morning runner

Happy Thursday everyone! I hope you’re all having a great week so far and staying hydrated and cool in this intense heat.

Tuesday morning, I headed out for a run with my local run club, Believe/Achieve. I’ve mentioned run club a few times on this blog, but as soon as I moved here, I immediately joined a run club to meet people. The run club is sponsored by our local Try Sports store, and so far, it’s been great. I’ve met lots of other runners and found plenty of cool places to run. Locals know the best places, and with running longer distances , you have time to chat and form friendships. Before you know it, you’ve met someone new AND accomplished a 4 mile run- awesome huh?

Before moving to Charleston, I wasn’t a morning runner. I went to work at 7 AM in an office, and it made more sense to run between work and coaching track because I had an hour and a half break between getting off work and track practice. Being a morning runner would mean I had to wake up super early, run, shower, head to work, find something to do for an hour and a half, coach, shower again, and sleep, so it just wasn’t practical.

This summer’s been great for morning runs. First, it gets me up and out of bed, and I get a workout in before the intense South Carolina heat and humidity kick in. It also forces me to shower and get dressed for work, which is important because I work from home now, and showering and being dressed makes me a more productive employee. Granted, “dressed for work” consists of shorts and a t-shirt when you work from home, but it beats pajamas.

A lot of people say they wish they could get up and run in the mornings, so I’m going to give a few tips that have helped me over the past few weeks.

  • Don’t think about it. When I tell people I wake up at 5 AM to run, I get crazy looks because it’s just crazy. If you think about the crazy, you won’t do it- so don’t let your mind fully “turn on” until you’re on the road. By then you’re already sweaty, so you’ll keep going.
  • Lay your clothes and shoes out at night, stumbled into them, and just go.
  • Save breakfast for after the run. First, you would have to wait for breakfast to digest, meaning you might think about it and your mind might convince you morning running isn’t a good idea. I do drink a little coffee and eat breakfast after I run. That way, it’s my recovery meal. Sometimes after our morning runs, we go out to Subway or a local coffee shop, so that’s another nice treat for getting out of bed.
  • Run with a group. Skipping a morning run when it’s just you is tempting, but I’ll do anything for friends, including waking up at a crazy time for running.
  • Use your run for reflection. Sometimes on my morning run, I gather my thoughts on what’s going on that day, think about others, and have my happy quiet time. It’s my little time for getting myself together mentally, which is what I used to do for a few minutes each morning at work.

And of course, there’s the obvious benefits when you’re done. When you finish, you’ve done more exercise than most people do all day, before others are even awake- definitely worth the accomplished feeling, and I find that confidence extends into my whole day.

The Charleston sunrises aren’t bad either, and one of the run clubbers, Robert M., takes pictures each morning. Here’s a pic of the sunrise over Shem Creek, which is where I ran Tuesday morning.

And here’s the sunrise over the Arthur Ravenel Bridge, which crosses the Cooper River. There’s a huge 10K run each Spring on this bridge, but why wait for that when you can run four miles on it on a random Thursday morning?

It’s been sooo worth it so far!

Other cool posts to check out:

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19 Responses to Sunrises, run rises, and becoming a morning runner

  1. People think I am crazy too but I have to run in the morning. I lose all motivation and am dead exhausted by the afternoon after work. Plus it gets me going each day!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, I don’t really like waiting around either! I like being able to have my run done by 8:30 or so and just enjoy and do whatever I want the rest of the day.

  2. ladycoop says:

    I’m hoping to switch to mornings after school starts. I can run after I drop my kids off at school. I’ve been running in the evenings and I stayed wired until 1am. NOT good for me. LOL

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, I did too when I ran in the evenings, but that was okay in the Spring and Fall because I sorta needed to be wired to coach the kids. Morning running sorta wakes me up too, I only drink like one cup of coffee.

  3. All of these are awesome tips-thanks Amy. This summer I’ve also become a morning runner because it saves so much time and the heat is terrible in the afternoons. I will have much more productive runs if I wake up and do it before breakfast!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Heat is terrible here too! I might do some afternoons when it cools down, but we’ll see… especially if I’m coaching because that would be easier with working.

  4. Patty says:

    Hmm!! Well you make lots of good running-in-the-AM points, but my bed makes better ones ;-) I definitely admire people who can do this, but girlie, I know myself and I won’t ever be one of them!

    I’m glad you’ve found another great running team!!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, I definitely love the running club here. I got a headband with the Believe/Achieve logo on it so I can wear it to represent, when I wear my run club shirts from the Florence run club I was in. Pretty cool :)

  5. Sean Newell says:

    Being a morning person I find the mornings are the best time for me to get a run in. It’s very relaxing for me and a great way to start my day off by getting the blood circulating and clearing my brain of all the stuff going on in my life. It’s nice to enjoy the quiet sunrise with mother nature and you thoughts.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks Sean! I remember seeing you during your morning runs at McLeod, you are so right it’s good to get it in before all the craziness! I hope your training is going well!

  6. i LOVE running in the morning…well, once i can peel myself off the pillow i kno i’ll feel so much better for the entire rest of the day. and where u’re living, if i were to wait too long to get my run in i’d die of over-sweat lost…i’d be the wicked witch melting! ;)

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, I hit the snooze button a time or two myself but once I get up I’m fine. I never can go completely back to sleep so I guess I may as well get up and go, right?

      I sweat like crazy when I run here! I’m not a big sweat-er normally but it’s just so humid in the summers here.

  7. shannonjoe says:

    Yes, I need to take your advice about morning runs. The FEW times that I have run early have made for terrific days! I.just.don’t.like.mornings. :)

    Shannon

    http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

    • Amy Lauren says:

      It’s something you have to get used to, you can’t just do it every so often, have to make it a regular thing. Not saying you should run every morning, but I guess if you do it 2-3 times a week and it becomes habit it gets a lot easier. But it’s tough if you have early work hours though!

  8. allieksmith says:

    I love your tips for running in the morning! It takes some time to get used to, but it feels good!

  9. Kara says:

    I need to remember these tips tomorrow…I’m going to TRY to wake up early butttttt we’ll see. haha!!

  10. sherri says:

    So jealous of all the beautiful places you have to run in Charleston! Columbia’s trails are not that exciting :)

  11. wow what a pretty view!!! I have to work out in the morning otherwise it usually doesn’t happen! but lately it has been at 430 am before work. and thats just crazy!

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