A few weeks ago, we welcomed a new treadmill into the family. The 16-year-old prefers to run on one (vs. outside in our neighborhood) so it seemed like a reasonable request (and it takes less time than driving him to the gym). I massively prefer to run outside, but I suspected that I would be able to use the treadmill on cold or bad weather days, and to get in the marginal extra workout during these months when it will be dark from 4:30 p.m. on.
Also: I find the treadmill so boring that I tend to run faster. I just lope along outside, looking at the scenery, which has been reflected in some of my run data (“really? I only went that far in 45 minutes?”).
Anyway, I have no desire to wake up earlier, but some mornings I do have some downtime in the morning. Both my 14-year-old and 12-year-old are now playing in their middle school’s competition jazz band, which meets at 7:20 a.m. two mornings a week. So, two mornings a week, I get the three older kids up around 6:30, then my husband (if home) drives them at 7 a.m., stopping first at the high school and then the middle school. Often, the little boys don’t wake up until later, and if they do, they often want to watch videos for a while anyway.
So this week I decided to see if I could fit in a treadmill workout in the morning. I knew it was going to be disjointed. I cannot totally tune out the 6:30-7 shift, as things go awry. But here’s how it went down.
6:20 – up. I got into my running clothes. I walked down to the bedrooms and rousted everyone by about 6:28. I walked up to the treadmill and started running at 6:30 (ok, like 6:30 and 37 seconds, which mattered because.…)
6:42 – After running one mile (about 11:23…), I went to check that everyone, including my husband, was moving. They were. So I went back up to the treadmill.
6:44-6:55 — After running a slightly quicker mile (more like 10:30, with bursts up to 7.0 mph, which is fast for me) I went back down to make sure everyone was going out the door, had instruments, glasses, computers, etc. Then it was back up to the treadmill!
7:02-7:13 — last mile. I did 3 minutes at 7.0 mph, but the rest of it was slower.
At that point, I went downstairs, got a cup of coffee, and took about 2 sips before I heard a little voice yelling “good morning Mommy!” The 3-year-old was up.
Of course, this sequence of events meant I needed to shower with the 3-year-old awake. (Normally this would have happened at 6:30 after I got the big kids up). This turned out to be slightly more of an ordeal, as he kept coming into the bathroom, rather than sitting on a chair outside of it with his Kindle, but oh well.
Anyway, there were some bumps, but I have a proof of concept. By 7:15, without really waking up any earlier (about 5 minutes) I’d managed to run 3 miles, including doing some speed work. Everyone still got out the door. I don’t intend to do this every jazz band morning, but it’s nice to know that I can use this spot. I realize that breaking a run up into three chunks might drive some folks crazy, but remember — the treadmill is very, very boring. I feel like breaking it up isn’t a bad thing.
(I do longer, continuous runs outside.)
If you exercise in the mornings, do you modify the routine for winter?
In other news: Still no wi-fi. They told us 3 a.m. last night…but this morning it was not on. I worked in Starbucks yesterday morning and went to the local library with my 16-year-old so he could submit an essay in the afternoon. I am posting this from a friend’s house (they’re all at work or out so it was available).
Other spooky things beyond the lack of wifi…We went trick-or-treating last night, with the three little kids going as Princess Peach, Mario, and Luigi. This was the first year that the little guy really could figure out how to go up to doors, say “trick or treat” and choose the candy he wanted. We met up with one of my daughter’s friends and that was nice. We went through the local fire house’s haunted house, which was a bit disturbing — think jump scares, an air cannon, and two costumed people chasing you around the whole time. The kids liked it. The 14-year-old went with some friends, and went dressed as that giant inflatable dinosaur. Good times.
Photo: The morning scenery is not nearly this nice on the treadmill…