Waking up at the ass crack of dawn to run outside in the winter months is not easy. In addition to the usual my-bed-is-too-comfy-to-leave battle, you now have to contend with below zero temps, blizzards, ice storms, bone-chilling winds, and god knows what else -- all before 7 a.m.
Unfortunately -- or fortunately -- for me, I have dogs. My lovely, sweet pups need their weekday morning runs, and Peggy Sue (the crazier of the two) does not let me or Jack forget when it's time to WAKE UP AND GO! (The all caps is my attempt to capture her unwavering enthusiasm for life.)
So while snoozing late is not an option for me anymore, there are a few things that make getting out a bed less painful. Note that these are also the things I did before Little Greg and Peggy Sue entered my life -- before I was a morning person and before I loved running. (Yes there was such a time not that long ago!)
- Invest in one (or two) pieces of cold weather running gear. You don't have to spend a bundle but having something that you know is a. warm and b. comfy makes it a lot easier to throw off those covers and change out of your PJs. My key pieces -- both from Lululemon -- are the pictured pink coat I got two years ago and these dog runner pants* that I got -- on sale! -- a few weeks back. If you need help getting started, check out my picks for cold weather running gear here. (*Side note: OMG I LOVE THESE PANTS. 80 percent of the time it's too warm to run in them but for the uber chilly and windy mornings -- they're beyond perfect.)
- Lay out your running clothes the night before. Prepare everything from your hat to your socks to your bra to your underwear -- it makes it a lot easier to get out of bed when you know where everything is. I also recommend setting your coffeemaker to start brewing a few minutes before you get home from your run. (If you coffee drink before your run, set it for a few minutes before you wake up.)
- Go to bed early (ish). Over the years I've developed a reputation for going to bed early on weeknights. It may make me uncool to be under the covers at 10 p.m. (ok, ideally 9:30 p.m.) but it makes a HUGE difference in the morning. So there!
- Eat a well-balanced dinner. No one wants to run with an upset -- or even slightly off -- stomach. You're going to need to experiment with works for you since every body is different, but for the most part, keep it healthy(ish) and watch those portions. You don't want to wake up full. Oh and easy on the fiber!
- Don't hit snooze. It's mine and Jack's joint 2012 resolution to stop hitting snooze 27 times in the morning. That's only a slight exaggeration. Snooze doesn't make getting up easier -- in fact, it makes it harder and more miserable. So when your alarm goes off, throw on the light and sit up. It's not fun but it gets you one step closer to the road.
P.S. - If you have any running-related questions, leave a comment below or send me an email! I LOVE to talk running to everyone and anyone.