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Why I Run at 4:45 a.m.

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There are many reasons why I run early in the morning. Many of them centering on the fact that after work/school tends to be a busy time in the incredible household. “Why run at all?” Is a question I often ask myself from the warmth of my bed when my alarm goes off at 4:25 a.m. In the end, I know why I run … physical and mental health and blah, blah, blah. But, today, today I was reminded why running in the morning just works better.


Today, my alarm woke me up. Today, I turned off my alarm and waited for a moment or two before prying myself out of bed. And today, in that moment or two, I fell deeply and soundly back to sleep, barely waking up an hour and a half later, and having to make a mad dash to shower and and get Jack Jack and myself out of the house in time for me to be several minute late to work.


Usually, when this happens, I end up having to skip my run for the day, but this afternoon, I found myself with some time on my hands as the Mr. was still at work grading tests and making lesson plans. So, I decided that I had time for a run. It had to be on the treadmill; it was snowing, hard, it was almost dark, and I was the only adult in the house.


So I set Jack Jack up in front of Noggin. I put my earphones in to listen to a podcast of Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me and hoped to be able to run for the full forty-seven minutes of news and comedy while Violet and Dash did homework and played on computers.


I did run for forty minutes. But, it was not exactly the energizing exercise that running usually is for me. It may have been because as I ran I watched Jack Jack bounce from couch cushion to couch cushion the entire time. It may have been because the dog kept trying to sniff at my feet as I ran. It may have been because I was interrupted by Dash, no less that five times with questions: “Can I have a snack? When is dad going to be home? Can I watch TV in your room? Can I run on the treadmill when you’re done?” It may have been because Violet brought me the phone when the Mr. called and I tried to have a phone conversation with my husband while running. It may have been because my earphones kept slipping out of my ears. Do people really keep those things in? Or am I the only one who seems to sweat in my ears?


At the forty-minute mark, seven minutes short of my goal, Noggin ended. The preschool shows were done. And Jack Jack started running in place on the floor next to me. It was really pretty humorous; I wished I had it on video. But, I was done. It was a good way to get the run done today. But, it sure wasn’t the “me” time that running usually is. Instead of the peace and introversion, my run became an extension of the rest of the family chaos. And so, even though my body probably is just as happy, my mind will be happier running early and running alone and I will be getting out of bed when my alarm goes off tomorrow.

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