Guest Post! How to get out the door when you’re busy and tired

Hi! My name is Meggie and I blog over at The Thinks I Can Think. I’m a 20-something who likes to run, pretty much like the rest of Runner’s Kitchen’s readership! I happen to have this thing called “medical school” that often wreaks havoc on my running schedule (its ok, though, medicine is pretty cool, too!). Although I’d love to get my run on in the morning hours like Ali guest-posted about, being in at 6:30 am isn’t very conducive to that (unless you can get up at 4 in the morning, which, if you can, I applaud you). So, most of the time, I’m running after a typical 10-12 hour day at the ol’ hospital (where you’re standing a lot of the day). I’ll have to admit, most days, I’m very tempted to climb into my bed and study for school catch up on GLEE. But, I have this slightly competitive side in me that wants to be faster runner, and the only way to do that is to run. So, here are my top 10 tips for getting out the door when you’re tired, busy, and would rather nap.

 How to Get Out The Door When You’re Super Busy and Tired

  1. Throw on your clothes and shoes before you know what’s happening. Sometimes, I lay my clothes and shoes out before I go to work so that when I come home, I can just throw them on and head out the door before I know what’s happening.

  2. You can process what when on at work/school. A lot of times, I come home from the hospital stressed and feeling overwhelmed with all I have to do for school. Going for a run helps me process all that I learned that day, organize what I need to do and in what order to do it, and helps calm me down so that I can get my work done more effectively and efficiently. I swear running has made me a better student just because it calms me down. Thank you, endorphins.

  3. Tell people at your workplace you are going to run. Odds are they’ll ask you about it the next day (at least I get asked about it.) Wouldn’t you rather say “yeah, I got out there an ran 6 miles” rather than “nope, I studied watched Real Housewives of New Jersey.”

  4. Eat a “typical running snack.” I eat the same thing before I run in the afternoons (a picky bar), so if I eat it, I feel as if I now have to run as I have fueled myself for it. This sounds completely retarded when I type it, but it works. I guess the association of my snack and running gets me in the running mood when I eat it.

  5. Make plans with friends. Similar to what Ali said about the mornings, making running plans with friends is a great way to make sure you get your run on at some point in the day. It’s also a GREAT WAY to catch up with friends that you may not have time to see otherwise. You kill two birds with one stone – get your workout in and have social hour.
  6. Alanna running with me in the NJ Marathon (happier times around mile 8).


  7. Sign up for races and tell people at work/school. I like to think of this as fear-based training, meaning the fear of failure. I mean, do you really want to suck it up in that race? No. So, get out there and run. This is primarily how I motivate myself.

  8. Try on your skinny jeans. Yes, this is sick, but the fear of not fitting into my clothes and having to buy new ones will get me out the door most days. I mean, I love shopping, but not for the next size up.
  9. Join a running club. I know Megan runs for CPTC (there a little, umm, FAST for me!). I happen to run for West Side Y Road Runners Club. We meet at 6:30 on M and W (at 63rd and CPW, if you’re interested in joining us). So, if I get out of the hospital in time, I hustle on up there and get my sweat on with a lot of like-minded people. Its fun. I highly suggest joining any running cub.

  10. Remember, you always feel better after you run even if you feel like crap before it. Even if I run a hard workout, I always feel better after I run. I bet you do, too. So, lace up your Nikes and get out there.
  11. Remember, diabetes and hypertension are no fun. Ok, so this may be the medical student in me, but I remind myself that, with the way I eat, if I don’t run, I will for sure be headed for diabetes. Metformin and counting carbs does not sound fun. And, I’d like to feel my feet in my 70s (diabetic neuropathy…look it up). Hypertension…yeah….I’m not so into having a stroke either. Another fear-based method, if you will.

 Trust me, once you get out there, its not so bad.

Anyone else have any tips for getting yourself out the door when you’re tired?

(Megan says…It is 7pm and I’m still in the office. I haven’t run yet and am feeling very tired and cranky. Please send running motivation STAT!)

  • 16 Handles will taste so much better after a run!!! Bust out those Nikes (or Adidas’ or Saucony’s or your shoe of choosing)!

  • RunTheLongRoad

    Thanks for posting Meggie (I love your blog)!  You’ll never, ever regret a run but you’ll sure as hell regret not running.  I hate that guilty feeling so I just get out there and do it!

  • The best I’ve got is the first one, which I think of as the Monopoly methodology: do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not check your email, do not have a snack – get your ass out the door. Sometimes changing at your place of employment and running from there works, too. Because there’s nothing sillier than hanging out at work in running clothes.

  • Getting out for a run is the perfect way to actually enjoy the outdoors in the extreme heat! ‘Cause let’s be honest, I love hott weather, but I do not love sweating as I walk down the street (it’s just not sexy), BUT if your running it’s OK to be a sweaty mess 🙂

  • I love Meggie’s first tip – get on the shoes before you know what’s happening! The old, “don’t think, just do it” always works for me. And remembering that you always feel better afterwards. Get excited for tomorrow morning, Megan!

  • Ali

    These are such great tips! As a total non-evening runner, this kind of convinced me that nighttime runs can be fun 😉

  • Lauren

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post! I’m currently entering my second year of law school so this post ‘speaks’ to me haha.  I think the most important thing when other things truly dominate your life is to remember who you are and what YOUR priorities are.  I cannot tell you the # of times a classmate of mine literally falls over when I say I completed 2 1/2 marathons, a couple of 5Ks, and a 10 miler in my first yr of school.  They always say they don’t have th time to put in that training-FALSE!  Those people choose not to make the time, and instead sleep in or de-stress watching tv.  Running is what works best for me and has been the best coping mechanism in law school.  Not only do I feel healthy, accomplished, and more energentic, it allows me to have a focus outside of school, which I honestly attribute to how well I’ve done so far in school. So thank you for this post and know that there are other people doing the same grind as you, and loving it! 🙂

  • Thank you! I’m glad when anyone reads my blog! I was so afraid starting it that no one would!

  • I’m telling you – running has made me a better student! And, I look forward to running more than I do studying, that’s for sure!

  • and your post convinced me to try to become a morning runner!

  • Pingback: Night Moves a.k.a. sometimes I run at 10pm | The Runner's Kitchen()

  • I get to the hospital by 7:15 in the morning when I’m on day shift, and I definitely don’t wake up early enough to run before work!  Definitely agree with a lot of these tips, as running after a twelve hour shift is hard!  My tips:

    Don’t sit down!!  If I sit down when I get home from work, I’m doomed.

    Make plans, as you said…well, few people want to run at 8pm and most running groups have already met, but if you can find someone, go for it!  (And if you live on the UES, we should probably be friends and run together…)

  • Kgd456

    You follow a great post about the exercise + guilt connection with one that claims “Yes, this is sick, but the fear of not fitting into my clothes and
    having to buy new ones will get me out the door most days. I mean, I
    love shopping, but not for the next size up.”

  • Anonymous

    For the record, the follow up post was a guest post, not written by me. When I publish guest posts, the opinions reflect those of the original author. Different things work for different people.

  • Nancy Dickison

    Meggie:
      Thanks for most of the advice, pretty good. FYI: A medical professional in training should never use the term retarded. Megan (Runners Kitchen) I know you are not responsible for the guest bloggers.

  • KJG

    I agree. It is an incredibly offensive and hurtful term.

  • Dear Ms. Dickison and KJG,
    I am sorry to have offended you both and just now saw both of your comments, to which I wanted to follow up. I did, in fact, work with Special Olympics (just coaching basketball on winter Saturdays, nothing big or in any sort of organizational capacity) in college and enjoyed it immensely. Further, one of my dear friends and classmate works on the “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign (I believe that is the official name). So, I am sorry to have used it in the wrong capacity. I must have been writing hastily and typically don’t edit blog posts carefully as I would an academic paper due to time constraints. However, I do have a question for you both as I am truly curious and do not know the answer. Is the “End the Word” campaign and the like to stamp out the word in its vernacular/slang usage where it is in lieu of another word, or is it to stamp out the word entirely (ie to not use the term “mentally retarded” anymore)? I suppose I could also find this on the campaign’s website. Thanks in advance. Sincerely, Meggie

  • Dear KGD456,
    I just now saw this comment so I am sorry for the late response. I consider it untimely that Megan posted my guest post after her great post, as you mentioned. My comment/writing on that point was meant more in jest for some motivation to run in haste rather than true motivation to run/train. I guess I should have mentioned that as my real reasons for running reach far beyond the physical benefits. Running, for me, is more about goal setting, chasing a PR, challenging yourself, etc. That’s truly what gets me out the door during an 80 hour work week. I should have enumerated that more clearly. I’m sorry to have upset you and hope you continue reading Megan (Runner’s Kitchen) blog! Sincerely, Meggie