Today I started running in the morning. I always knew there was a reason why the kids were getting up at 4 in the morning, to condition me to get up on my own at that time. Before my son was born, I was getting up at 5 every morning to go running. After my children were born, I stopped running to take care of them and my wife. I got my son up every 4 hours for the first 4 months and after that he decided to get up on his own in the middle of the night but he did not start that until summer was over. He slept 12 hours a day over that summer. After my daughter was born, everything turned upside down. I did the same feed every 4 hours day and night but she did not always go back to sleep like he did. As she got older, she was waking up every night sometimes a few times. I did not get 4 continuous hours of sleep for over a year and a half. Sleep has reentered our lives slowly over the last year and now both children are considerate enough to usually sleep until 5.
During the time when they were putting me through the ringer in the battle for sleep, I had a feeling there was some reason for why this was happening. (Not just because this is what children do. I know they do.) I had a feeling that I needed to be getting up at that time. all my life I have bee waking up at night to get a drink of water. Usually 3:12. Not sure why that time specifically but that is the time I noticed most when I got up. In recent years, it has been 4:20. Even when the kids would ‘sleep in’ I would wake at that time. It was not because the kids had conditioned me to that because I would wake at that time even when they had been sleeping well for a week. I have always enjoyed getting up in the wee hours of the morning. I delivered papers (back when kids were doing the grunt work) and had to get up early. I enjoy being up when the sun rises and I am almost sad when it finally comes up because the quietude is over.
I guess I am part vampire or something.
What does all this have to do with running? I wake now between 4 and 4:30 without an alarm. When I was getting up to run before the kids, I slept in another room so I would not wake my wife with the alarm or my rustling to get ready. Not only do I wake at that time but, I get up at that time and I do not lie in bed like I used to. I am alert because I woke on my own and not to some artificial stimulus. I enjoy my run better and I feel exhilaration at being able to do all of this without the pain I used to go through when I was training for marathons.