For Those Who Run at 5 AM (We Salute You)

This post is dedicated to my local chapter of Moms RUN This Town. 100 days to Marine Corps Marathon!

One of the things that inspires me about my MRTT group is the number of mamas who get up for 5 a.m. runs. A year ago I couldn’t imagine doing that. Now it’s something I do 3-4 times a week. (I take naps in the afternoon–a benefit of working from home.) Some of us meet even earlier, at 4:30 or 4:40 for some extra miles. Yikes!

I used to think people who ran that early were crazy, or way more accomplished runners than I was. Some of them are the latter, to be sure. (And maybe the former!) But now I realize, running early is usually out of simple necessity: the workday doesn’t allow running at other times, or we have little kids we’re taking care of at home, or we’re just trying to beat the heat. There are times when I don’t absolutely need to run that early, but the prospect of meeting a bunch of funny, fierce gals is enough to set my alarm.

Back in June, a friend of mine ran mid-morning, and when she stopped by Starbucks later, she got lots of concern from fellow customers about how hot and flushed she looked. “You need to run earlier!” one man chided. Because my friend is nicer than me, she didn’t say “Are you going to come over and get my kids ready for school for me?” We run when we need to run.

On our group’s Facebook page, we share inspiration and encouragement. This commercial came across the page recently:

 

Whether you’re a runner or not, the message is spot on—it’s the little choices, often when nobody’s looking, that make us who we are.

If I had skills in video editing, I’d put together a spinoff of this commercial, in honor of the MRTT 5 a.m. crews. But I’d want it to show the awkward side of running so early… such as stumbling downstairs and stepping on an Iron Man toy that starts talking to you. Or putting on your running clothes in the dark and later realizing they don’t match. Or stopping by the grocery store after a run and being puzzled that it’s closed, then realizing it’s not even 6 a.m. Or being the first one out on a trail, which means you get a face full of cobwebs.

In that spirit, I posted the following on our MRTT Facebook page a year ago when I first started running at 5 a.m. Thanks, you guys, for inspiring me every day.

Top 10 Reasons Why Running at 5 a.m. is Awesome

10. You’ve officially accomplished something, even if you sit around in your pajamas the rest of the day.
9. If you puke, no one sees it.
8. It’s good for the environment: only one shower per day.
7. If you go with [one of our chapter leaders] you’ll get a muffin.
6. The sense of adventure that comes from wondering whether that hulking object in the shadows is a serial killer… and realizing it’s a trash can.
5. If you use MyFitnessPal, running first thing means you know how many calories you have for the entire day. This is known as The Donut Rule.
4. People’s head lamps and glowing phones look like little fireflies dancing in the night.
3. Sunrise and moonset.
2. Saves you money: no need for silly things like sunscreen, hats, visors, sunglasses.

And the number 1 reason why running at 5 a.m. is awesome:
1. When it’s dark, everyone looks like a badass.

Whether you run early, late, or not at all—go make one good small choice today.

~

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3 thoughts on “For Those Who Run at 5 AM (We Salute You)

  1. Rocky

    Wait, your workout clothes are supposed to match? Seriously, I’ve been doing the 5:30 workout class for several weeks now and trying to make it every weekday. What I’m finding is that trying to just make it the thing you start your day with helps. It’s like the 5:00 am running just becomes the thing that you do because it’s what you do. When you’re not doing it you don’t feel like yourself.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
    1. MaryAnn McKibben Dana Post author

      I totally agree with this. It’s just a thing you do, like brushing your teeth.

      I find running at 5 a.m. requires SO much less discipline than running at 4 p.m. Especially if people are waiting for me. Get up, get out of the house, done. As opposed to summoning up the will power to extricate myself from work/couch/whatever in the latter part of the day.

      Reply
  2. S

    Cobwebs, single shower,sun/sky – yep. Every morning in the spring/summer. I find myself wondering if I will keep up the morning walk in winter, or go back to evening, b/c it’s darker and colder anytime then!

    Reply

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