Night Runs

By Forrest Smith -

I’m constantly rearranging the schedule. It’s an effort to squeeze more time out of the day; a futile effort to extract an extra three or four hours that I seem to always need, but which of course is never actually there. Regardless, I try things. I stay up late, wake early, wake up in the middle of the night, nap during the day, work in the evening, morning, any time I can get.

It’s almost constantly changing, which perhaps I’m ok with. Do whatever works at the moment and don’t worry too much about things not working for the long run. Right now, I’m actually quite liking a schedule that I haven’t tried before. It’s a simple change, but I introduced night running to myself. 

Night Runs

Workouts are always the hard part. It’s hard for me since if I really had my way, I would always be hiking, backpacking, trail running, riding a bike, and doing whatever else I can do to propel myself across the landscape. I love long hikes and rides — endeavors that leave me exhausted at the end of the day. Of course, the requirements of life inhibit my ideal lifestyle, and one of the things that is most easily axed on any given day is my workout. 

I’ve generally been against working out later in the evening. I like my evenings to be chill, and time to wind down. I also haven’t wanted to work out for fear of not being able to fall asleep quickly. But I do think working out is important, and it’s something I enjoy doing, it just hasn’t been working for me recently whenever I tried to do it in the morning or during the day. 

I hadn’t ran in a couple weeks, and my workouts in general had plummeted under a workload that could basically keep me busy for all hours of the day. In my times of laziness, I always get the voice of Will Gadd in my head. It’s taken from this great video, but basically what can get me off the couch is this great line: 

“Fight for movement. Fight for this Life. Fight for it right up until the moment you come to rest.”

I have lots of goals that involve being in good shape. I always want to be able to hike and backpack. I want to be doing long trails well into old age. I may not be able to do as much of that now, between being a parent and work, but someday I will be able to, and I owe it to myself to stay in moderately good shape until then.

So the other night I decided to go for a run. Sure it was 10:30 at night, but why not? Fight for movement.

It was far more enjoyable than I thought it would be.

Since then, I’ve done about 7 night runs, all of them great. I have a different kind of energy that late into the day — oddly a bit more of a spring in my step. There’s also something about openly defying my inherent evening laziness. Plus, it’s cooler out and the streets are quiet. My only fear is running into a skunk, which is probably only a matter of time before I have a run-in with a skunk that leaves me smelly for days.

But so far, I’m loving the evening running. I was even able to combine the other night with my other favorite productivity hack; biphasic sleeping. I didn’t think it was possible, but I was able to go for a run at 9pm, back and showered by 10:30, at which point I was actually able to fall asleep and wake up at midnight, at which point I was able to be productive for three hours before getting back to sleep. I’m excited to try that one again.

Yeah, my schedule always seems to change, but perhaps it’s just a matter of having several different routines that I can utilize as needed, always using the one that works at the moment, and then switching it up to a different routine when a change is needed. I think that’s ok, and it adds some variety and fun to my work life balance. For now, I’m loving the occasional night run.