Mornings are hard. Morning training for me is even harder. I often joke that the only way to get me out of bed in the morning is to pay me. [read: I coach clients in the morning]
It’s nearly impossible to get me to actually run in the morning.
I’ll go for easy runs– no prob! OK. I lie. Those are struggles too unless I’m on the coast of somewhere beautiful…
I’ll do cross training in the morning.
I will occasionally Yoga in the morning.
But Run? Like hard run? Like training run? NOPE.
Morning races? Oy.
I would go to cross country camp when I was younger and the hardest thing for me were the morning runs. They hurt. Not in the way they hurt others, like the good kind of hurt so good hurt, I mean they hurt my spine and my body wasn’t awake yet hurt. This all reads like excuses but years later we found out that all had to do with some underlying issues. And I really did have a spinal issue back then that had me in the chiro multiple days a week and seeing a PT as well. Life.
If you give me a run workout to do first thing in the morning because it’s the only time someone who is pacing me can do it: I’ve tried and tried to beast them in the morning before the crack of dawn or even not before the crack of dawn and I go in with a mentality of ” I WILL ROCK THIS BISH.” BUT I don’t rock that bish. It rocks me. I just don’t hit the paces.
I attempt the same workout in the afternoon and I 100% own the workout. Almost every damn time. I can’t say 100% because there are times when I don’t. But the likelihood of me nailing it is much higher.
My body is awake. I’ve slept properly. All that science that goes into it.
But there is this ONE sport I can do in the morning, time and time again. I will own the workout every time. And I can do it in the morning. I don’t love love love it in the morning like jump out of bed with joy and glee like a weirdo but when it’s done outside and the sun comes up and you see it, I love it. And I love to bitch between intervals and then throw myself into the next one. Then be overly obnoxious between sets about how dead I feel before throwing myself in again and destroying the next.
Comparing this sport to running?
Oh, in running you get a minute or a mile rest between intervals, right? Comparatively, there’s usually massive recovery time between intervals. This sport? This one thing I can destroy in the mornings, the thing I can get out of bed for: what is rest? Oh. :15-:30.
And when I get done my whole body is both demolished and energized for the day or about an hour till I accidentally pass out for a great recovery nap. And no matter how many showers I take, I smell like it for days.
Why? Because Swimming. Yep, swimming is that thing I can get out of bed for in the morning.
For the last 6 months I’ve been at war with the water.
For the last 6 months, I’ve been inside and not wanting to get wet.
I became a seasonal swimmer on accident and that’s ok.
But today, I stuck to the plan of getting back in and literally destroyed myself in the water.
I flicked my training partner off because I’m a loving jerk like that between sets.
I literally couldn’t feel my body either.
This is where I say: do as I say and not as I do because YOU SHOULD EASE INTO SWIMMING AND NOT JUMP INTO A 3K YARD WORKOUT OFF THE GUN. SHOOT FOR SOMETHING REASONABLE. THANK GAHHHHHHH FOR MUSCLE MEMORY.
2[8×50 on 1:00] when you have NOT been in the water… and you basically already swam 1500 by the time you get to the main set.. After the first of the 50’s… double birds? or was that after the second? Literally can’t remember. But the birds did go into a heart with laughs. I promise.
Second set? Totally put my fins on. My body was NUMB trying to hit the wall on those. And looking at my splits. WOOF. WOOF. I know my old splits. I was definitely off by a good amount of time without fins. And same for with fins. I set my starting point today. Now to get back to where I was!
But the yin to my yang.
The ONE thing that can get me out of bed.
The one thing that can get me out of bed to train in the morning, it happened.
And the thing that can help keep me balanced and sane.
Find that thing you love. That thing that gets you out of bed in the morning.
Chase the shit out of it.
Don’t hide from it.
Vacation from it sometimes, but don’t extend your sabbatical.
It will make you a happier and better person.
It will make you a better person and light up your life.
AND if that thing enhances your training and makes you a more stellar athlete, put it in your training. Keep it there.
This thing had left mine.
And I know it’s why I was losing speed.
It’s why I was going backwards instead of forwards with my running and maybe even things in my life.
Because I am a swimmer.
AND I am a runner.
I will always be a swimmer.
But I was NOT swimming.
The values, lessons, and truths you learn about yourself while chasing that black line are what have molded me and so many of my fellow crazies into the driven badasses we are.
It taught me to be ok with being alone.
It taught me to coach myself through what I needed to coach myself through when NO one else was around.
There were going to be times in my life when no one was around.
There were inevitably going to be times when for whatever reason, I had to put my head down and figure things out on my own. And that lone black line is what got me through that.
And that T at the end of the lane: that T reminds you that you are almost there. That this time is not infinite.
Every time you look to your right or left when you breathe, either during a race or practice and you see someone, those are reminders that you are fighting the good fight. That while the decisions you make are yours and yours alone, you do have people surrounding you, supporting you on the outside. And those in the water with you: they are on their journey, too.
So swimming, that is back.
Let’s try to make this bish stick.