Today is the second Sunday in a row that Matt's played basketball at 7:30 a.m. with a group of guys. I love having all this time before church to read the paper, drink coffee, blog, ponder and unload the dishwasher. I could run if I wanted to, but I don't want to. It's going to be 70 degrees today so I'll run while Matt's watching the State game, but for now I'm just chilling in my robe and red slippers, adding to my iTunes the two awesome CD's Amanda made for me last night.
Amanda's custom-made mixes are a small thing that brings me great happiness. She a) can totally nail what songs I'm going to love and b) shares my nostalgia for MANY undeniably mediocre songs that I love because they bring me back. Amanda never presents me with a CD that doesn't rock my world.
The latest batch features mellow hits -- think Lily Allen, Corinne Bailey Ray, Jack Johnson. Three weeks ago it was the best of hip hop -- think Akon, Beyonce, Lady Sovereign. Together they represent the awesome playlist she put together for our trip to visit Lib a few months ago. Getting my hands on those songs was No. 95 on my list, so thanks doubly, babe!
I'll be the first to admit that I'm spoiled about sleep. Most weeks there's only one or two days that we need to be at the office before 9 a.m. (Matt's usually there earlier than that anyway, but I'm not.) So our alarm is set for 7:30 a.m., which means we can stay up until 11 p.m. or so and still get a really good night's sleep. This is a very natural sleep schedule for me and the fact that it works with our jobs is another relatively minor thing for which I'm very grateful.
There have been only a few periods in my life in which I lived like an early-riser. The first was during my senior year of high school, when I was maybe a little too dedicated to track and went to the gym every morning at 5:30 to run before school. The next was the year between college graduation and getting married, when I worked at an afternoon newspaper, had to be there between 7 and 7:30 a.m. and lived 30 minutes away.
Another was about two years ago, when I was training for the Pinehurst Triathlon and went to the gym most mornings to swim laps before work. And the final was last year, when Katie and I were training for the Myrtle Beach Marathon and did our weekly long runs every Sunday morning before early (8:30) church. It was NEVER pleasant to crawl out of bed for that -- freezing cold plus crack-of-dawn early plus 18 miles -- but it was worth it for the time with Katie. And to finally knock out a marathon.
It's interesting that a commitment to physical activity motivated most of these early mornings, since I really dislike morning workouts. They aren't without appeal -- they save time, jump-start your metabolism, make you feel productive and free up the rest of your day. But I doubt they'll ever have a permanent place in my daily routine.
The biggest issue is that I have to be fully awake before I start a workout or else I'll wind up with a crazy headache in the afternoon. A Coke sometimes cures it, but that cancels out part of the run. I'm usually fine if I have to drive to the gym or to meet a running partner, but if I try to wake up and walk out my front door for a run, it never ends well.