Another update for today’s post!
Yesterday I completed my goal of running every weekday. I woke up at 4:30AM everyday and ran 2.5 miles with the exception of Monday, where I ran 3.5 instead. The goal was interesting because it required that I get up 15 minutes before my alarm. I thought that this would make me more exhausted throughout the day. Instead I found that I had the same level of energy for the day.
Exercising in the morning also pushed the importance of getting to bed early. I managed to get to sleep about an hour earlier each night. I didn’t feel more rested but I felt more satisfied knowing that I was exercising daily. This isn’t to say that I sprung out of bed with an enthusiastic smile on my face every morning. I found that I got out of my bed on my first alarm. Usually I roll over through 4-5 alarms.
My diet became more regulated early in the week. As Wednesday rolled around I consumed less protein and found myself eating worse than I was before I started running. I can’t remember the last time I ate so badly. I attribute it to my lack of protein consumption but it could have been a variety of other things. As I exercise more often I require a higher caloric intake and as a vegetarian most of my diet is low calories. Eating more carrots didn’t satisfy me, so I found myself reaching for chocolate instead.
Overall it was a good experience. I’m proud of myself for getting up early and completing this goal on the first attempt. It was gratifying to say that I had run a little under 14 miles before 5:00AM this week. All together that isn’t very much distance but it fit into my schedule and I made it work. More than the 0 miles from the week before.
Will I run everyday next week? Probably not, but I will be running more often in the morning. I’ll aim for 3 days a week and see how that feels. It’s going to be insane sleeping in til 5:00AM this week! I never thought I would say that!
Running gives me this rush that is really difficult to explain. Runner’s high makes you feel elated or numb but when I run I get goosebumps. It’s like I feel all of my emotions at once and I channel them through my body. Any frustration, depression, loss, loneliness, happiness, or anything else gets expressed with each step. I feel it so deep that the feeling is almost in my bones. The goosebumps on my arms tell me that the feeling is all-encompassing. Depths to surface, it’s my whole body speaking.
When I am running regularly, my diet also regulates. I eat a lot more food but I expend a lot more energy. I can burn through what’s in my body and replace it. It feels like my body is full of stagnant water but when I run it starts cycling. Making my blood flow makes me conscious of my body and weary of anything that could harm it. I drink things like wheat grass instead of grabbing the soda or juice. Eating healthy clears my mind and improves my mood. Therefore, regular exercise helps me clear my mind and improve my mood.
Using all of that energy is a double-sided coin. If I run in the morning, it wakes me up and boosts my mood for the day. If I run in the evening, it knocks me out for the night. Either way, my mood increases and my quality of sleep doubles. All in all, running makes me conscious of my body and willing to work for it. If that means going to bed early, then I will. If that means walking past the ice cream, then I do.
My goal for this week is to wake up at 4:30AM everyday (Monday-Friday) and run. The distance doesn’t matter because once I get out I’ll run no matter what. I need to find something to physically discipline myself. I know that I can blog daily or do a myriad of other things but exercise has always escaped me. Last year I was exercising 5 days a week (mostly swimming) and it was amazing. I felt on top of the world. I don’t expect running to fix my life problems but I want to work on something. It something I feel like I can do and I’m excited to start. I won’t be excited tomorrow at 4:25AM when my alarms go off, but in the end it will pay off. Running has always done something to my head, I guess we’ll have to see where this first week takes me!