As my weekday training runs get longer and longer, I have to wake up earlier and earlier these days. But more mileage is only part of the reason why I'm setting my iPhone to strum a good morning song at 5:35 a.m.
The other reason is my pre-run ritual has gotten more and more complicated. I used to just lace up and go. Now, this is my process.
1. Wake up and turn off alarm before husband wakes up.
2. Gather up workout clothes, set aside from the night before, and go into bathroom.
3. Brush teeth, take vitamins, Advil and allergy meds (all necessary for a run these days).
4. Dampen strap from heart rate monitor with warm water.
5. Put on heart rate monitor chest strap and watch and test twice to make sure it's picking up on my frequencies.
6. Put on sports bra, tank top and running skirt or leggings.
7. Strategically place safety lights on front and back of body.
8. Sit on the floor on a towel and apply baby powder to feet to prevent blisters.
9. Put on Nike Dri Fit socks, making sure left sock goes on left foot; right sock on right foot.
10. Put on sneakers; check lace tightness.
11. Make sure iPod "On the Go" playlist is acceptable.
12. Turn off Wi-Fi so that RunKeeper GPS program can work.
13. Put iPod in arm holster and plug in earphones.
14. Go outside and stretch.
15. Turn on safety lights.
16. Hit "Shuffle" on iPod.
17. Turn on RunKeeper.
The strange thing is, I really look forward to my pre-run ritual. It is a lot of work, but it also kind of reminds me of getting ready for a black tie affair; the preparation is part of the fun. There's no open bar to look forward to, of course, but when no one's looking, sometimes I do a little jig as I'm running, like I'm out there twirling around in taffeta on a dance floor...