If you are running in the morning, then lay out your clothes before you go to bed. That way, they can stare you right in the face, and dare you to get back under the covers.  Also, if you have one, the significant other will appreciate your not stumbling around in the dark, trying to figure out what to wear, while they try to get that last hour of sleep.

If you just bought a lovely pair of new tights, I suggest you use them as motivation. No one can resist new gear, especially a “gear-head” like me. (wink, wink)

Key ingredients: shortness on time, cold weather, and desire to get a run in regardless.

  1. Have some tummy issues, so you get a late start, but still need to get to work on time, if not early. Know that you could shorten the run, but decide not to.  Nothing like knowing you have a deadline to get you going.
  2. Start running in the cold. 31 degrees ought to do it! No pre-heating necessary.
  3. Even better, start running in the dark. Wear a headlamp and reflective gear if you can, for safety.
  4. Reminder: turn ON the headlamp. (If you’re sleepy in the morning like others, your pet may have to remind you to do this. They’ll figure out how to speak English, don’t worry. They want you to return so you can feed them.)
  5. iPod.  Use it. New music. Enough said.
  6. Start your Garmin before you mean to. That means you can’t dawdle, get out there and go, the clock is TICKING!
  7. Did I forget to mention it might be cold, especially if you are following this recipe in the Northeast?  GET RUNNING AND WARMED UP, NOW!
  8. This is no time to run slow. Well, actually it is, but you may not be able to afford such luxuries.
  9. Do not allow yourself to look at your watch. That will just get you to thinking that maybe you are going too fast, and you’ll never make it to the end at that pace. Keep all negative thoughts out.
  10. If you can run by a lake, take a few glimpses at it for inspiration.  Don’t stare too long at any glance, you may trip in the dark/pre-dawn/dawning light.
  11. Think of all the houses you are running by where people are just stumbling around and waking up. You’ve already been up for at least 45 minutes, and think of what you are doing already.
  12. When you hit a hill, don’t slow down. Just keep going.
  13. Maybe you have to shorten your stride, if you do, that’s fine. Don’t hunch over, stay strong and upright.  Get your arms moving more if you need to.
  14. When you think you may be flagging, eat a Sports Bean with caffeine. (Because let’s face it, Gu or Powerbar Gels, this early in the morning, can be difficult to think about, no matter how helpful they are.) Also, remind yourself, if you walk you could be late to work. Can’t do that.
  15. If that doesn’t work, visualize someone running next to you, or better yet, in front of you. Pick someone you know is faster than you, and who won’t allow him/herself to stop and walk. For me, that leaves a lot of options open, as I am not faster than most. I am a middle-of-the-pack girl, remember?
  16. I chose Lisa today – if you read her post on her run with Race for the Cure, you know, she’s a speed demon.  She kicks my butt anyday. 
  17. Alien, for part of it, you were hypothetically running next to me. Then you took off, too! (Thanks to Chris, who told me once I’d be his virtual training partner on one of his morning runs.)
  18. At the end, find some kick-ass song that makes you want to sprint through the finish line. I don’t care if you have to hit forward 10 times in a row on your playlist, just do it.
  19. Pat yourself on the back and try to remember what this feels like, the next time you have a bad run out there.
  20. Write this post over your lunch break before you go shopping to see if you can find a warm running jacket that won’t also break your budget.

The last ingredient: tell your significant other how fast you went.  When he/she makes the motion toward their invisible hat that is supposed to have the word “Coach” on it, listen to them as they tell you, “I expect that to be the same pace for your Feaster Five Race on Thanksgiving Day.”

All of these should be mixed perfectly together to make the perfect tempo run.

When you tell your significant other (or dog, cat, fish, gorilla, whatever your pet is), “but today’s run was flat, and not as far, and that race is UPHILL for the first ENTIRE MILE,” listen to them say (and cover the children’s eyes if they are reading this next to you, “Excuses are like a*!@holes.   Everyone has them and they all stink!” (My husband, the poet laureate.)


I am so thankful for today’s run, and for being able to get up and out there every morning. When you see a homeless person on the street, think of all the things you have, and that you have a job (hopefully) or the means to provide for yourself.

Goal for thoughts on next run: try to figure out how to do more with my life.

Run Happy everyone.