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Friday, March 4, 2011
I love the night life

By Adena Andrews

Our own Adena Andrews -- former swimmer and more recent couch potato -- is training for her first triathlon, to be held March 19 in South Carolina, and is blogging every proud, painful or demoralizing step along the way.

"There just aren't enough hours in the day." Sound familiar? It's the excuse you use each week to justify not working out. Well, you might be right -- there's only so many hours in a day. But at night, there are plenty of hours to get your workout done.

Here was my workout schedule this week. See if you can find the pattern:

Monday: 7:30 p.m. 1,500 yard swim practice.
Tuesday: 9 p.m. 45-minute bike ride on my terrace, 20-minute run (and Knicks loss).
Wednesday: 7 p.m. 800 yard swim, 30-minute treadmill run (and Knicks win!).

Did you catch the pattern?

No, it's not the Knicks games -- although they do give me motivation.

I'm a night owl when it comes to my fitness routine. Many people brag about their great morning workouts before dawn and how exercise wakes them up for their days. If you ask me, that's poppycock and only works in crazy sitcoms. You won't catch me awake before 10 a.m. unless money, my hair or a doctor is involved -- in that exact order of importance.

I've said before that I am a professional lounger, and most of my quality lounging takes place during the day. Throw in some errands, school, work and a needy pet, and my entire day is gone. That's why I feel the need to get my workouts in after the sun sets.

The night workout life isn't for everyone but, once you go late, it's hard to hate (I made that up all by myself).

Normally, all you do at night is watch "The Biggest Loser" or some other crazy reality show. Why not do it on the treadmill while breaking a sweat? Or try buying a bike trainer (like a treadmill for bikes) and bike indoors on your road bike. Yesterday, I biked on my terrace in the cool Atlanta night air with my bike trainer while watching the Knick game. Then I jogged around my neighborhood for 20 minutes past the downtown Atlanta skyline.

Jogging alone at night isn't the safest activity, so to make sure I didn't get shanked, shot, stabbed or involved in some other tragedy, I ran with no music and in circles around my block. I felt safe because my neighborhood is part of a national park and is well lit with officers patrolling all night. I am determined to get these triathlon workouts done, rain or shine, sunlight or moonlight.

After my run, I went grocery shopping and typed up an interview. Throw in some crazy tweeting and I was in bed by 1:30 a.m. (Sure, that might seem late for those of you corporate types who wake up at 6:30 a.m., but you're formally pardonned for skipping the shopping and tweeting.)

Some people say late-night workouts keep them awake at night, and there is some truth to that. I've learned to give myself ample time to wind down before bed after a late workout. A hot shower also helps calm my mind and body before bed.

So no more excuses, there is enough time in the day -- and night -- to break a sweat. Even if it's in your pajamas.

Sweet dreams. And even sweeter workouts.

15 days until my first triathlon. Let's get it!