The running dilemma.

Once upon a time, about 6 months ago, I was on SUCH a roll with my running routine. Never in my life had I enjoyed  the treadmill, and here I was spending almost every early evening with the thing. It was glorious. I would nanny from 8-5, pick up Henry from daycare, drop him off at home, hit up the apartment workout room, and was home right before Josh walked in the door. Perfecto!

When the time came for me to leave my full-time nanny job for something less time-consuming, naturally I thought this change would amp up my running to a new level.

I was wrong. (Shocker!)

It has been so much more difficult to nail down an exercise schedule now that my work/social/home life is no longer on such a set schedule.

Now adays, I take my dog Henry on a hike or to the lake in the mornings from about 10-11:30 (sometimes it varies) and by the time I get out of the 100+ degree Texas heat, I am absolutely drained. The last thing I want to do after chucking a ball for an hour in the sun is throw on my Brooks and head back out the door. But if I miss the afternoon window of opportunity, I’m pretty much done for the day since I work most afternoon/evenings.

Henry gets pretty tired on our outings too. Sometimes I have to put a cold wet towel on his head afterward. It’s to save his life. Definitely not just because I think it looks cute.

I decided this week that my ONLY option for maintaining a regular running schedule is…(gag)…mornings. I hate mornings. But I had to try, so I went and attempted a decent work out from 8-9 am on monday before Josh left for work.

It. Was. Horrible.

I thought “Oh, how nice it will be to start the day off doing something I’m proud of and makes me feel good!” Definitely not the case. All I felt afterward was shame and disappointment. I was half asleep and my body felt like it weighed a zillion pounds. Anyone walking by would have laughed and asked if I needed help. It was ugly.

I guess what I am trying to ask is if anyone else has found running in the morning to be a nightmare. Does it get better? 2 things are for sure. I am not a morning person, and I am NOT NOT NOT competitive in the least, so the whole self motivation thing is a huge struggle. HELP PLEASE! I would really like to set big running goals and make some progress here, but at this rate, the dog is the only one enjoying the satisfaction of burnt calories.

**side note: Running WITH my dog is something that sounds like the perfect solution, but ends in tears because this heat makes me crazy, and Henry pulls on the leash so much I curse at him loudly and sometimes throw him off a bridge.

Any and all input will be appreciated, unless it has to do with how my thighs rub together when I walk. Working on it!

8 thoughts on “The running dilemma.

  1. I know what you mean. Running in the AM is tough at first, but it does get easier! I used to run at 5am, then had to start increasing my mileage – eventually getting up at 3am for runs. Have you tried running at night time much? I’ve tried that as well nadir was nice to run, shower and chill/go to bed 🙂

    Not sure if you are using anything to track/motivate you, but may be worth checking out. You could set goals and it will track all your workout, hiking, running, biking, swimming, etc. you could enter the info/plot a map manually, or if you have a smartphone; use the phone gps to do it automatically — or what I end up doing often is using my garmin 305 to track workouts and upload the data file to Runkeeper so all my info is kept together.

    Good luck!!!! Happy running!!!! 🙂

    • Caroline says:

      Thanks for the comment! I love runkeeper, but need to do a better job of logging on regularly to keep up with my set goals. Like I said, I have a hard time self motivating, but runkeeper could help a lot if I take advantage of it.

  2. It really is all a mental thing. I think it helps to be a morning person but it also helps to shut your body down at night and get to bed at a decent hour so you can get up and feel like working out. For me it is so rewarding to finish a workout in the morning knowing that you have the rest of your day ahead of you to do whatever you want without a workout looming later in the day. Just takes some time to get used to the routine! Hopefully you will learn to like it! Happy running to you!

  3. oh how i miss you and your sense of humor! i am not a morning person but somehow bootcamp, once i got into it, worked for me. but the minute that was over, i was back to not being a morning person.

    but that’s not running. and i will tell you that when i ran, i could not run during the day. i would run at like 930, 10 at night and it was glorious. i realize that’s not great for sleeping and that has been my bed time for the last 5 years but i can do so much better at night than at day. when i run when it’s daylight, no matter what time, my runs suck. they always have. i’m sure there’s nothing phsycological to my delima and that’s it’s all mental, but it is (ok was) what it was. 🙂

    • Caroline says:

      I have a feeling that taking a workout class in the morning with someone telling me to move my butt would have a much better result than me trying to motivate myself. Running at night works well for me too, but a few nights a week I am babysitting until 10, so that doesn’t exactly fit my nonexistent ‘same time every day’ workout regimen. But hopefully soon my nights will be freeing up, and I can start doing that.

  4. Yes, it does suck. Some people talk about how great they feel the rest of the day after an early morning workout but I usually just feel tired. Lately my only option during the week (if I ever want to see Lucie after work) is 6 AM. Sometimes Ken will literally kick me out of the bed when my alarm goes off, sometimes I’ll get up all by myself for the satisfaction of adding that # of burned calories to “My Fitness Pal” that day (it’s a good reward). It also helps to have clothes already laid out and ready to go.

  5. Caroline, I hear ya! I have tried and tried to be a runner but the truth is that I just don’t. like. running. I don’t. I make myself do it sometimes (especially races, because if I am spending $$ you better believe I’m running) but I never really enjoy it and have found that the first mile is always the WORST. Once I get past that, it’s a little better but I always spend the first mile thinking of everything else I could be doing and talking myself out of it – when I do run, I can’t stay on the treadmill or do laps because it’s too easy to stop – I have to run AWAY so that if I quit, I still have to go back.

    That said, it turns out that running is really not nearly as productive as other forms of exercise. Hooray! Have you tried doing classes or videos or interval training? There are a ton of fun circuit training ideas on pinterest (I like the ones on and the Jillian Michaels DVDs are fun.

    If you HAVE to run, try mixing up circuit training, too. I ran 2 miles on Wednesday but found a 3-round circuit training idea that I liked, so I ran .5 mile, did 1 round of circuit training, ran another .5 mile and did another round, did another .5 mile and another round. Since I was outside I had to adapt a little bit so I just waited to do all of the ab stuff till I was back inside and used it as a cooldown. It definitely broke up the run – even running is more fun than burpees!

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