Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Early to Rise

For some reason, I woke up before 6 this morning, while it was still dark. I read some news articles on my phone, but shortly after dawn I realized that I would not be getting back to sleep, and I had set my bread machine to finish around 7:15. So I did something I had never done before: I went for a morning run before breakfast.

I felt great at first. The weather was wonderfully cool and I was going at what felt like a good pace. I don't know the time, because I had left my watch at school. But after about two miles, I ran out of energy.I started feeling a bit light-headed, and my body simply refused to move at a pace faster than a walk. So I stopped, took a shower, read some more, and then ate breakfast. The bread tasted really good, partly because it was a good loaf* and partly because I was hungry.

I have walked around in the morning before. In the summer, it really is best to be active early. The weather is great and there are far fewer bugs than there are in the evening. The problem is that most places are closed. Most stores do not open until 9, by which time the weather is already nasty.

The Spanish really had the right idea of how to structure a day in a hot, sunny climate. You get up early, get stuff done, take a nice long siesta during the hot nasty part of the day, and then get up refreshed and keep doing stuff in the late afternoon and evening. But for cultural reasons, we are stuck with a work schedule developed in a much colder and darker climate.

On the way to school I stopped by the grocery store to get yogurt. Not the little cups of flavored junk with corn syrup, but a big container of all-natural yogurt. The ingredient list said "cultured milk" and nothing else. My mom introduced me to the potential of this stuff. She gets the fat-free version, and flavors it with fresh or frozen fruit. I get the full-fat version. Given my current physique and diet and exercise habits**, I actually need more fat in my diet. On many days, the only fat I eat comes from cooking oil and the nuts in my bread, so a nice helping of dairy fat is wonderful.

I flavored it with some of the wild flower honey I have in my desk. It was great. I ate over half the container before storing it in the office fridge.

*Equal parts oatmeal, whole wheat, and white flour, with brown sugar, raisins, walnuts, flaxseed, and a tablespoon of rye flour.
** My weekly routine now includes five nights of martial arts practice, a two-hour parkour session, three or four intense sessions of bouldering problems on the climbing wall, and the occasional run.

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