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Night Owl at the Break of Dawn April 13, 2010


Sleepy Eastern Screech Owl

Originally uploaded by nickgatens

Oh boy. So I did it this morning, something I really swore I would never do: I got up at 5:30am so that I could go to the gym. Wow, it was an experience. Mister McBody has been doing this since forever, and I always thought he was just kind of fanatical. Well, I’ve crossed that line now, I guess. Or just: the idea of losing my fitness level after I’ve come this far is probably something I fear more than my fear of losing sleep.

So the alarm went off. First his alarm (5:05?). So I was actually treated to the “luxury” of “sleeping in” until 5:30 when mine went. The nice thing about having a partner who wakes up even earlier than you, is that there is always nice hot coffee ready!

I got up. I threw a bunch of clothes in a bag. I had my cup of coffee. (mmm hot) And drove off in the dark. That was an experience. I was amazed to see at least half-dozen people RUNNING in the dark with reflective clothing on. Wow, I said to myself. That’s pretty hardcore.

Got to gym. Shocked to see that the parking lot was PACKED. Even more shocked to see that the exercise-machine room also packed. Who are these people? I could not believe that probably 1/3 of them were in their 60′s and older (70s for sure) – I mean they looked like retired people. I did not think they needed to do this in order to zip off to a job. I’ve heard that as people age they lose the need to sleep so much. Did they have insomnia? This was interesting to me.

I did 30 minutes on the elliptical. Started out slow but by the end I felt very good and the sun was coming up and I could’ve kept going BUT I had this plan to jump in the pool to see how that felt. I’ve been making small noises about some triathlon in September and I figured I better start seeing how the other two legs of my stool are holding up.

It was COOOLD OUTSIDE. I noted that people smarter than me had brought nice slippers and big thick robes and towels from home. I had a skimpy little gym towel the size of a washcloth, and no shoes and certainly no robe. Note to self.

I jumped in the water. It was fine. (the air was freezing) I started swimming. Which sort of shocked me since the last time I swam laps I was pregnant with my almost-16 yr old kid. But it did sort of come back. I experimented with breathing every 1, 2 and 3 strokes. It was okay. Which actually means that it was FABULOUS since anything more than drowning after 3 strokes felt like a major victory.

I swam 4 lengths. Which I think = about 200 meters, or 220 yards. Which is about half the distance of the swim distance of the triathlon. I think i can do that. (by September)

It was shocking how tired I got though, and so fast. It made think, is there a couch-to-5k equivalent for swimming?? Swim half a length, float one minute?? Hmm.

After I felt like I couldn’t swim anymore, I got in the outdoor hot tub. For like two minutes. That felt really good. But then I had to bust out of there, shower and run home to pick up my kid for school.

Did that. I got to my work place about 45 minutes early. I had not really prepared my food for the day, and I didn’t want to go home again in between the school carpool and work. So I have to work on that piece of things. I went to a little cafe on the corner. They didn’t have any protein. I had some sourdough toast and a cappuccino. Not exactly breakfast of champions. I can work on that.

Work was more hands-on than yesterday. I could go more into detail about that and maybe I will at some point. But now I need a POWER NAP because I’m going to a concert tonight with Mr. McB.

I’m exhausted. Now of course I understand why HE naps every evening. I feel like my biorhythms have gone through a blender.

Anyway, what I learned today:
1. It’s pretty out at dawn.
2. It’s annoying that the gym is so crowded. I thought it would be kinda peaceful. But no.
3. I think I need to save swimming for the weekends when I am not so rushed.
4. The endorphins felt great but they had kinda dwindled down by 8:30am.
5. OH forgot to mention: got out and walked 20 minutes at lunch. That felt FANTASTIC – to be out in the sun, and to move around. That felt great. More of that.
6. I need to plan ahead more for food.

7. I’m really really sleepy. But I feel like this might be do-able.

8. I need a “performance” bathing suit, not a “lie around the beach in Costa Rica” bathing suit. LOL

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10 Responses to “Night Owl at the Break of Dawn”

  1. MizFit Says:

    I’m soooooo cheering you on in this whole endeavor. And training with you. Virtually.
    When you/if you hate it ;) just know I’m up and going too!

  2. Oh wow…I so hope this never happens to me. Ha. And I, too, am married to a morning person who makes the coffee :-)

  3. Shannon Says:

    You did it! I love the gym in the mornings. You will get used to it ;)
    Proud of you that it only took you 24 hours to decide you needed a system and just get right on it!
    I equate swimming to running and holding your breath. It is harder than you think huh? On the same note the times I have found my groove it became so much easier, not much faster but easier.
    Your awesome!

  4. Tabby Says:

    I want you to know that you inspired me to go out walking last night and I managed to drag myself to yoga this morning, even though my brain kept telling me I didn’t need to do it because I felt like crap from being underexercised and overweight and icky. I am tired this evening and need to go to bed earlier, but I’m cheering you on because you’re inspiring me. Thanks & keep up the excellent work.

    • Wow!!! Tabby that’s fabulous!! Good for you!! It’s going to feel better and better the more you do. I’m excited for you and totally thrilled to have any part in it.

  5. S. R. Says:

    one thing that’s nice is that you tend to see the same people over and over and they all form a little community. i was out of town for a week on business and on my first day back, three people mentioned they were happy to see me back. sweet and encouraging.

  6. Pubsgal Says:

    Yeay, you!!! I need to start hauling my buns out of bed and getting some exercise in the morning again.

    Regarding the swimming: sure, why not try it that way? I sometimes swim on my back or switch to side stroke when I’m getting tired of front crawl and need to catch my breath. Never thought of it as being like Shannon said, “like running holding your breath,” but she’s right. I always wondered why I could run reasonably well but always felt kind of out of breath when swimming. (And I’ve always felt comfortable swimming, it’s just I never swam competitively.)

  7. ernise Says:

    I have been working out, exclusively, in the AM for 7 years now. I absolutely love it! The few times I’ve gone in the evening, I’ve been annoyed at how crowded the gym is (at least the last 2 where I’ve had memberships). The previous gym was pretty crowded in the morning, but it was large enough that it wasn’t annoying. My current gym is not so crowded in the AM, there are about 10-15 of us and it is the same people just about everyday.

    I get up at 4:30 am to be there at 5 am. i workout for an hour, then shower/change and I’m at work by 6:50. I’m also in bed no later than 9:30. If I don’t get to bed by then, I’m likely not to make the gym. I know that I need that much sleep to function the next day.

  8. Diane Says:

    When you get used to it, working out in the morning is the best. I will admit I haven’t been great about getting up…winter and injuries have interefered but I always get to the pool to swim by 6:00 am or I don’t get a lane.
    The swimming will come back, don’t worry! 200 m the first time out is great. You’ll do great at your triathlon. Don’t let it scare you. They are tremendous fun! Enjoy the training.


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