Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My research is inconclusive

Last week, I posted about how I discovered that not gorging myself on chocolate at night seemed to help my training. I probably shouldn't have done that, because almost as soon as I posted it, I started not following my own advice.

Monday night, I pounded some chocolate, and, predictably, Tuesday I hit snooze until it was nearly time for me to leave for work, even though I was supposed to do my favorite workout of the week, a bike trainer/run combo. Since Kari had been intrigued by my less chocolate = better workouts idea, I immediately texted her to tell her how much I'd failed at life. That's how blogging works. People who were once strangers on the internet that happened to write a blog that I enjoyed reading are now BFFs that I text before I even get my coffee.

Luckily, she'd apparently followed my advice (even though I couldn't) and was able to write a whole post about it. That's two of us, so I'm pretty sure my scientific research is ready to be published (in some sort of peer reviewed medical journal, not just on blogs).

Any time I get sucked into that snooze button mentality, I'm always lying in bed thinking "Oh, I'll just workout at night. I'll have a ton of energy then. It was be AWESOME". It continues to seem like a good idea until around 10am. Then, somewhere around one or two it starts to lose its appeal, and continues to decline until by the time I get in the car to leave work, it seems like the absolute worst thing ever.

After a fabulous 2.5 hours of afternoon meetings (who DOESN'T love meetings??), I returned to my classroom and say I'd gotten this email.

Immediately, I mentally canceled my workout and decided to hit Red Robin on my way home and focus all my energy on getting every tiny little bit of oreo out of the cup in my Forever Lazy. Such a dedicated athlete, I am.

Then I read the fine print and saw it was "with purchase, dine in only", and realized it was a no go. I could never fully enjoy the shake surrounded by people, awkwardly eating a veggie burger. Milkshakes are meant to be eaten with a spoon while watching TV on the couch.

The takeaway of this long drawn out story - I was forced to actually workout after work, and, as usual, as soon as I got started, I was glad I did. Plus, thanks to the trainer, I can simultaneously train for a Half Ironman and work on my masters degree. Sounds so much more impressive than "read an article on the stationary bike".

An hour on the bike trainer, followed by 3.5 miles of running. I even kept talking myself out of the run on the trainer, but somehow it happened.

I didn't eat any chocolate Tuesday night (mainly because I ate it all on Monday) so I was sorely disappointed when I wasn't able to excitedly leap out of bed Wednesday morning. That really pokes a hole in my theory. I did a five mile run, and a 9:30 pace felt hard, so now I'm panicking about the marathon this weekend. Naturally.

Do you work out in the evening? How do you get motivation and energy after being at work all day?


  1. I could never work out in the evening. I've tried it and it's sad. Plus, after I'm done I can't sleep for hours. Working out just gets me too riled up or something.

    This marathon is going to be awesome. You will have the only cheering section. :)

  2. I didn't wake up today to run, but it was on purpose, so your article can still be published. Mike has poker night tonight, so I figured I should run when I'm alone and have nothing better to do.

  3. Now that the work season has started up for me, I'm back on evening workouts and it's tough-- but I already wake up at 5:45 for work, and I'm not sure I could bring myself to get up in the 4's for a workout! Luckily, I often meet friends for the workouts, so I can't bail :)

  4. Hmmm, I had chocolate last night after my workout and getting up was for the birds this morning. All I needed were 3 miles and I rolled back over. Maybe your theory does work!

    That shake totally looks awesome and you could have gone there in your forever lazy and no one would have known. It was Red robin after all.

  5. I do all my workouts in the evening. The only way I was ever able to do morning workouts was when I had a workout buddy. I'm not even eating chocolate currently (gave it up for Lent) and getting out of bed in the morning seems impossible, but I think it's me and not the chocolate.

  6. I have failed so much on the morning workout plan. First, I need to figure out why my iPhone alarm hates me, and then I can try it again.

    So so so...have yous started season two yet?!

  7. If i'm lacking energy in the evening ill usually do a class or meet up with other people - usually being with other people/friends is enough to amp up my energy...otherwise, i'd probably just nap :-) and you are going to be great this weekend!

  8. From now on I'm going to announce that I'm working on my PhD every time I read an article. That does make it sound way smarter. And the lack of evening motivation is why I've never been in to waiting until then for my workouts. Sometimes if I feel extra motivated I do a two-a-day in the evening, but if my workout isn't done by 10 AM then it usually isn't going to happen.

  9. I worked out at night before we moved here and the key for me was working out with friends. We had a standing date at the gym every Monday-Thursday night and with all the chatting we did I hardly ever felt like I was working out!

  10. Don't know about the chocolate thing...but it sure does sound like more research is needed. :-)

    I workout in the pre-dawn hours almost exclusively, and for me the key is to JUST NOT THINK when the alarm first goes off. If I start thinking, I can justify nearly anything as being a good fact, much better than my plan the night before. Of course, that is one of my "go to" mantras on long runs as well..."Don't think. Just Do" (sort of a spin off the Yoda quote).

    You are going to be awesome this weekend though...can't believe you're stressing at all really. You have a lot of talent in the distance running area, and you will undoubtedly do well.

    Best of luck this weekend !

  11. I can't chime in on the chocolate issue because while I enjoy it, I'm not crazy about it and over do it very often.

    How I run in the evening is I do it right away. As soon as I get home, I get the kiddos set up in whatever they will be doing (or coming with) and I change my clothes and start running. If I don't do that I could easily get distracted.

    Enjoy your marathon. Just think it will be over so fast conpared to that really long run you took. It will practically just be a warm up. ;-) Don't stress. You don't have anything to prove. Just enjoy it!


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