“Wearing only the weightless nylon shorts he slept in, he ambled stiffly to the dawn-lit window and stood momentarily, drowsily enjoying the pale orange-yellow glow that suffused the blackjack oaks outside his room… He did not like this early morning business, but the idea of forgoing it, even for one morning, never crossed his mind.” Once a Runner. John L. Parker, Jr.
If you have not read Once a Runner, you should. Especially if you are a runner, have ever run, or even thought of running. Seriously stop everything, get this book and read it. I have read it twice and will read it again whenever I need a quick dose of inspiration regarding running or even just life. It will jazz you up like no other. Unlike Quentin Cassidy though, I do think twice, sometimes 3-4 times, of forgoing my 4:30 am wake up call. I love running, I really do! Especially in the winter, when the roads are quiet and peaceful, but the bed is warm and inviting…So what is a girl to do?
Well for starters, I always hang up my running clothes so that I can find them quickly and without too much thought. My running clothes always have priority space over my regular clothes. This is perfectly normal, right? One winter, like Cassidy sleeping in his run shorts, I often slept in my running tights and sport bra. See, the thing that drives most athletes to constantly seek improvement is not what others think, but what you know and think about yourself. What you feel you are capable of doing and more importantly what you are afraid you cannot do, but are determined to tackle anyway. When my alarm went off, I was already mostly dressed to head out the door and this was very effective towards making that happen. Only once did I suffer myself the humiliation of taking off my running clothes without having actually run. Nobody else knew about it- but I knew. I’m not suggesting that you can never alter a training plan and miss a day. I’m just saying that for even those who are most passionate about their sport, sometimes just getting out the door can be a challenge.
Running partners also help tremendously with regards to accountability. Knowing someone is waiting for you in the predawn, sharing your special kind of crazy, is good incentive to get out the door. But what if your special someone at home doesn’t share your kind of crazy? My Sweet Babboo does not get up until 7 and in the past year I have tried several things so as not wake him while I head out for my morning run.
For a long time, after checking the weather, I would just set out my run clothes in the living room the night before. This worked out fairly well until the table started to get cluttered. The weather in Missouri is very unpredictable, except in the summer where hot and humid is guaranteed. Spring, Fall or Winter however, is a crap shoot. I ran a Snow Glo 5k this past Friday (12/11) in shorts and it was an evening run, so no sun. A week ago, I was in tights. In Missouri it can literally vary from tights to shorts from one morning to the next. So as you can imagine, the spot I had designated for my running clothes was getting out of control with rejected “just in case” long or short sleeve shirts, socks and shorts vs capris. We had decided to turn the spare bedroom into my study for school and with it came my very own running closet.
Let’s not forget the shoes: current shoes, retired shoes, recovery shoes, race shoes, different drop shoes…
You will note that all seasons are represented and hanging ready to go. The table is no longer cluttered with various running clothes and I can make last minute changes to my gear without waking my Sweet Babboo. A happy home and win for all.
When you are driven, you will challenge yourself and find a way to set yourself up for success. Happy running!!