When I first started running regularly, I already had both the kids, and I found that the best way to fit running in during the week was to get up before them. I would set the alarm for 6am-ish, do as little a warm-up as possible, then get 3 miles under my belt before anyone in the house started to stir.
Recently though I've moved away from that habit. I've been running more in the evenings (still in the dark), and felt that I tended to run better later in the day. I don't think I've had a pre-breakfast run since about June. The thought of losing 45 minutes sleep, or even 45 minutes lying quietly in bed has been too horrible to contemplate.
But this week I thought it might be time to reconsider. I wanted to fit a run in on Wednesday, and I couldn't guarantee that Pete would be home early enough in the evening for me to go. Then I would have struggled to make that run up later in the week. I also wanted more than 24 hours rest before Thursday evening's run with the club, as I've got a sore calf at the moment.
So on Tuesday night, I only had a little glass of wine, I went to bed at a reasonable time and didn't stay up late reading, I organised my running stuff into a little pile, and set my alarm. It woke me up in the dark of Wednesday morning and I forced myself up, dressed in a haze and did a few warm-up exercises in front of the morning news on the telly.
Then I went for a run. And it was great! I must admit I didn't enjoy getting out of bed, but after I left the house, things improved dramatically. The roads were quiet - just a few dogs and their walkers about, and I remembered how good it felt to be out early.
When I got home, everyone was still asleep in bed, so I managed to have a lovely hot shower before being pestered about breakfast or clean school uniform. It was only a ploddy 3 miles, but it really did improve my whole day. I felt virtuous, energised and like a good runner! I spent most of the day thinking about running and planning future races in my head.
So I think I'll incorporate a Wednesday morning run into every week. It fits into my training well, and seems to have various benefits. Although I do reserve the right to change my mind and hit the snooze button whenever the novelty wears off...