For the past six months or so, I’ve been getting up at 3:30am twice a week so I can get a run in before starting a marathon workday in the office. Basically I get up and get out of the house at 4 so I can be running in Boston at 5am.
I know, it sounds like it’s stupidly, crazy early. And it felt crazy early at first. But it’s been really good for me. Because a good run, usually with girlfriends, helps ground and center me for the day – and alleviates some of the suck of those workdays.
And on the days I don’t go into Boston, I still get up around 5:30, even on the weekends. It gives me a chance to wake up, drink my coffee, journal, meditate, blog, or whatever else I feel like doing before anyone else in my house is awake.
I love that time. It’s my time, it’s time where I’m awake and alert and it’s quiet and I can breathe and relax and ease into the day.
Because I get up so early, my whole life schedule has shifted to be earlier than what people would probably consider “normal.” I eat my lunch most days around 11 (if I don’t have a snack at 10, haha!). I’m pretty much ready for sleep every night around 8, though I usually try and stay up until 9. But a late night for me is like 10:30.
That’s just my schedule, and it’s normal for me.
The Saturday night before my half ironman, a bunch of us decided to stay in a hotel which was closer to the start. The race started at 7am, and they close the transition area 45 minutes before the start, so we planned on being to the venue at 5ish so that we had plenty of time to set up.
The optimal time to take in calories – a big bowl of breakfast with carbohydrates and fats – is 3-4 hours from the start of the race. That way you digest it and it’s actual energy by the time you start the race, not just food sitting in your belly.
Which meant a 3am wakeup for food.
It was then – at 3:15 or so – that I realized I had no spoon to eat my oatmeal. Luckily for me the hotel we were staying at had a breakfast area, so I went there in search.
When I walked into the breakfast area, I saw two fairly young-looking guys standing there, one eating McDonald’s, and the guy eating McD’s was dressed in black pants and a white shirt. And no spoons – nothing was out at all.
I made the erroneous assumption that McDonald’s guy worked for the hotel and was on his break and asked him, Good morning! Do you have plastic spoons here?
Turns out, he was a guest staying at the hotel and had just come back from a night of partying/bar hopping, and he was totally wasted, and it was hilarious to try and have a conversation with him.
The beginning of my day, the time I was calling morning… was his night.
It was a complete figure-ground moment, where all of a sudden my perception switched. And I realized.
Right. People usually think of 3am as the middle of the night, NOT the morning, Karen.
I’m not exactly sure what’s going to happen with my workout schedule when I start this full time job, but I’m anticipating more 3:30am alarms.
And to me, that time is morning.