Thursday, January 27, 2005

Early Morning Blues

True to my word, I’m ellipticall-ing the hell out of the gym this week. Honestly? I kind of miss the running. I see the people on the treadmills and I think, “I’m one of you now.” Or I see the people running outside, and I think, “dear god it’s cold. Am I supposed to be one of you?”

But I’ve always enjoyed the elliptical in the past (and by “enjoyed,” I mean gotten my masochistic thrill from the sweat and the out of breath and the “no way—that has to have been twenty minutes already—you’re telling me I’m not even halfway yet?”) so I’m not minding it now. And I’m appreciating the rest for my knees.

Alors, here’s my whine of the day. My gym routine has been pretty steady. I get home from work around six, snarf down a pound and a half of carrots and hummus (at my fitness assessment, they determined I was 30% fat, and 85% hummus, and that DOES add up, because one of the ingredients in hummus is oil, which is a kind of fat), and head to the gym. That gets me home in plenty of time to cook some dinner and park my but on the couch for hours of primetime entertainment. (Who’s been watching Wickedly Perfect? Don’t be embarrassed. It’s kind of fantastic, isn’t it?). This also has the added benefit of sparing me from hours of crappy sitcom reruns, because god forbid I should crack a book or watch the news or something.

So I had my routine, and it was great. Except that my incredible physical fitness seemed to be getting in the way of my having any sort of social life AT ALL, which is not necessarily something I wanted. I mean, I’m not sure I didn’t want it, but, in theory, I enjoy social interaction with my peers. Of course, when something more interesting came up, I usually just skipped the gym or squeezed in a fast workout before heading out. But now that I’m starting this marathon thing, I’m going to have a SCHEDULE. With ASSIGNMENTS. And we all know how anal I am when it comes to homework. As in, I never (really, never) had to pull an all-nighter, because clearly I had started the paper before the night before. And the only other person I know who can claim that is Anna, which doesn’t refute the anal claim even a little bit. (I say that with love and admiration.)

Then I had a brainstorm. If I worked out in the morning, I would be free in the evening. And this week provided a helpful test for my plan, as I was invited to three separate super exciting evening activities in a row.

I’m not that great at waking up in the mornings (unless it’s because I need to finish a homework assignment, because, anal, remember?) but I was inspired by this article. I mean, I’m just like Hilary Swank in every other possible way, so if she can wake up for exercise, then probably so could I.

Tuesday was kind of a failure, because I didn’t get to sleep on Monday night until way too late, and I was still extra tired from my debacle of a train trip on Sunday. So I slept in, still managed to get to work late, and decided to skip the Aussie* Day concert in favor of the gym and a very early bedtime. But yesterday and today, I got my butt out of bed at 6:30 am, which, by the way, is when the world is a cold, dark, unwelcoming place, and I went to the gym.

Here’s what I learned. That’s not enough time. If I want to get in my full workout, especially on weight training days, I need to wake up EVEN EARLIER. Because my workouts? Apparently take, like, an hour and a half. And that’s before my schedule starts calling for 5 or 6 mile runs midweek, which is totally going to happen. Then you add another 35 minutes for the shower and blow-drying my hair (because I am NOT going out with wet hair in this weather, and also, I have learned, finally, how to make my hair all cute and straight, instead of a frizzed out puffball of Everest proportions). And breakfast takes another 10 minutes.

When I was in high school, I used go from bed to desk in under 20 minutes, and that included a shower. I’m not saying I aimed for that, but sometimes the snooze button worked a little overtime.

What I’m trying to say, wombats, is that I like my morning sleep time. But I also like my exercise time. And I like my happy hour time.

I am a modern woman who believes she can have it all. And I’ve already given up my “stuff my face with piles of chocolate chip cookies time”. Where will this end?

Seriously. Should I quit my job? That might free up some time.

* A helpful hint: pronounce that as “Ozzie” (like Kelly’s dad), so real Australians don’t think you’re stupid. I learned this because I pronounced it as “Ossie” once, and my Australian friend said, “You’re stupid.”


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