When the alarm went off at 5:15 this morning, I wanted to curl up and spend another hour in bed. Even though I’ve always been a “morning person”, recently the early morning workouts have been tough. I reached over and started to set my alarm for 6:45, allowing for an extra hour and a half of sleep. But, then I remembered that I was meeting three other Brooklyn moms for this morning’s run. I remembered that I’d pushed snooze on the alarm the past few mornings. I remembered the conversation Bo and I had regarding morning workouts and how important they are for my mental and emotional state. While many people don’t understand why I would wake up at 5:15 when Katie is sleeping until 7, these morning workouts are part of my transition from maternity leave to working mom mode.
In a month, when I return to work, early morning workouts will be the only opportunity I have to workout during the week. In order to get back in the habit of working out before the sun rises, I needed a kick in the pants. I needed to remember how wonderful it feels to have my workout done by the time I’m sipping coffee and nursing Katie.
This morning, less than 43 minutes after meeting the fellow moms, I was back home preparing Katie’s bottle.
I only spent 14 minutes running with the moms this morning, as I’m still building my endurance. But, the comraderie and acountability that came from meeting them at the corner and starting the run with them was exactly what I needed to help get me out of the door at “still dark early.”
While my return to workouts seems fast for some people, to me it has been a slow, gradual build. For the past few weeks, since getting clearance from my OB-GYN to return to workouts, I’ve been doing run/walk intervals. While I am starting to crave things like hill repeats, speed workout and longer distances, I know that slow and steady will help me return to running injury free.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve made it out the door two times per week for early morning runs – typically Thursday and Saturday. I’ve worked up to jogging fourteen minutes and then transitioning to intervals. Depending on how my body feels, the intervals have ranged from one to three minutes of jogging followed by walking until I complete that day’s distance goal, which has increased from 2.5 miles to 4 miles. Each time I run, I increase the initial jog distance by one minute.
Right now, my goal is to increase morning workouts to four per week, but give myself the grace to realize that the stress of returning to work may mean that my body craves more rest. But, one thing is for sure, this momma is not going to sweat in the evening. These days, the only thing I want in the evening are cuddles with Katie and then a large glass of red wine and time in the kitchen with Bo.