Being an Early Bird

Last weekend, I experienced being a VERY early bird when I woke up around 4:30am and could not get back to sleep. While I consider myself a morning person far more than a night owl, I wouldn’t say I am truly an early bird. I usually wake up naturally between 7 and 8am, and dragging myself out of bed at 6am for November Project is a struggle more often than not. And yet, every time I get out the door and watch the sun rise on a morning run, I’m so grateful for the experience and glad that I didn’t give into the snooze button. Which makes me think I’m more of an early bird than I realize, and wonder about what makes people tilt one way or the other. This was definitely on my mind Sunday morning and the past couple of days.


Once I got up and out the door, I was awed by the summer dawn. The photos can’t do it justice. I always feel that way when I take pictures of nature, but hey, I want to share what I can! I paused at the intersection of my street and a main road to capture the view, something I rarely do on a run – most of the photos you see are taken when I’m walking later in the day or on a rest morning stroll.




Summer sunrise



The temperature was perfect, and as I began to settle into an easy jogging pace, I was happy I had come out to greet the morning while the dew was still fresh. It’s always strange to see the moon in the sky when you can tell the sun has risen, but it’s ethereally lovely nonetheless.


Summer sunrise


It was only after a few miles that I became aware of what I was enjoying the most, and why. I love the morning, and have grown accustomed to rising early, because I gravitate towards the light. When I was younger, I would stay up very late trying to finish homework and chatting on AIM or Facebook Messenger with my friends, who were also awake at all hours trying to finish their calculus assignments. I would then be exhausted and not in the best shape to face the day ahead. Chronic lack of sleep and this unsteady schedule continued at Oxford through some rough patches, but it was there that I began to leave my room when the sun was rising and take a stroll when sleep was elusive. I started to realize I was happier and brighter when the world was too, and that perhaps instead of fighting my body’s natural rhythms I needed to listen closely to their tune.


Of course I didn’t, because college is often more about fitting your own needs around the way social life works, and I wanted to be up late into the night chatting with friends, wandering Oxford, drinking wine, and having fun. I’m glad I did. I made so many wonderful memories at 3am and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. But once law school was upon me, and I struggled through the first fall, it was time for a change. That first spring in law school was when I started running, and by summer those runs were in the morning. I was voluntarily waking up early before work to get outside, and I felt better during the days. I also started trying to get to bed earlier, and over the past few years it’s become rare for me to see the other side of midnight. I joke that I’m a grandma compared to most 20somethings who are out at all hours, but I’m so much better off. It’s what works for me, and I’d rather be happily idiosyncratic than droopily conform. (Incidentally, we could all learn from pups on this – Sasha sleeps when she wants!)




It’s only recently that I’ve thought about the fact that several of my closest friends are also early birds – in fact, my two best friends from growing up and one of my dearest Oxford friends all tend to rise just as early, if not earlier, than me. I think we all like to wake up with the sun because it’s lovely to see the dawn of a new day, when the world is aglow in light and everything seems possible. Every new day is like the birth of another chance at life, and I love that. Of course it’s hard when the majority are marching to a different rhythm, preferring to greet the evening in style, but at least I’ve found more early risers through November Project! And sometimes, like Sunday, one of those really early mornings is serendipitous, with a wonderful run culminating in breakfast at, fittingly, a local favorite of mine in Ridgefield called the Early Bird Cafe.


I met my BFF from growing up for an early breakfast around 8am. They always have fun specials, though I enjoyed my usual plate of scrambled eggs with Swiss cheese and buttered gluten free toast, along with a mug of decaf coffee. The food here is simple but good, and it is very popular with locals, as demonstrated by the full house so early on the Sunday morning after a big holiday with evening fireworks. I was shocked when they started serving not just gluten free toast, but also gluten free pancakes and waffles – but it’s great for me! 


Early Bird Cafe


Early Bird Cafe



I must admit I always get hit with a migraine later in the morning after a suddenly sleepless night, and Sunday morning was no exception. But I enjoyed my early morning run and brekkie, and so long as I’m intending to wake up at 6am and not just up after hours of sleeplessness, I’ll savor the precious hours of the bright and early morning.




Are you an early bird or a night owl?









© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.


16 thoughts on “Being an Early Bird

  1. I am definitely with you on tis one! Being a night owl has brought me some amazing experiences with friends at college, but I think i will always be drawn to being an early bird. I just love mornings so much, they are by far my favourite time of day:)


  2. I am a night owl, but I “slept in” today and was awake by 8am, so I guess my body clock is shifting a bit. I’m going to need to figure out how to get to bed earlier if my body is going to insist on getting up earlier LOL.


  3. Total early bird. I love early mornings when the rest of the world still seems asleep. I always have my most peaceful and mindful runs at dawn. Glad you really got to enjoy it!


  4. When I was in college there was no way you could call me an early bird, but I wasn’t a fan of the all-nighters either. Now, I’m definitely an early bird, and can’t wake up later than 7:30 on the weekends. I’m at work at 6 am during the week, so it can be rough! Wish I could do more super early morning runs though!


    • I LOVE the early morning running because it starts my day – luckily I will not need to be at work so early in the fall when I start my job, actually lawyers tend to be night owls so getting in at 8am will be two hours ahead of everyone else!


  5. There is actually a lot of science and studies suggesting that being an early bird or night owl is a biological inborn preference; aka, what makes you “tilt” one way or the other is that you are just wired that way. I personally think this is true. I also think that it’s scalable; aka, there are extreme larks and extreme owls, and some who are mostly larks or mostly owls, and some who are so close to the center it depends on the day. I feel like I’m having success in gradually becoming a morning person, but I don’t think my night owl “wiring” will ever truly go away. And, as you note, I think we tend to adapt based on our social environment. College definitely does cater to the schedules of night owls, but the rest of the world caters to morning people. I agree with you though that I have never regretted waking up at the crack of dawn once I see the sun rising on my run!

    That’s really neat that you met your BFF over shared early bird tendencies and that you have memories attached to mornings now; I’m sure that just makes mornings more special for you!


    • Oh, we actually met in sixth grade when everyone has to get up early whether they like it or not – but she was a gymnast and then a college level rower so she became a REALLY early morning person too, and wow, 13 years later, we text each other at 6am all the time!


  6. Early bird. Really, really early bird. Always have been. Getting up at 6 would be seriously late for me. I don’t even work; it’s just the way I’m wired.

    When I was your age I’d stay up to the wee hrs & still get up early . . . nowadays I’m usually in bed by 9. At least I’m almost old enough to be a grandma. 🙂


  7. I’m a total night owl, and have unfortunately become very, very well-acquainted with my snooze button (even after putting all my alarms across the room…). 😡

    That’s cool that you got to go for a run + have lunch with your best friend though! :] I would definitely get up early for that!

    (I would be all over that smoked salmon omelet! *-*)

    Sasha is adorable! ❤


  8. I always thought I was a night owl, but after years of having a young one who insisted on waking up at 5am and a job that requires me to be there at 6:30am, I’ve morphed into an early bird. And the quiet of an early morning really is a beautiful, calm thing.


  9. I was a complete night owl when I was younger and rarely ever went to bed before 3 or 4 AM. These days, though? Complete opposite. I love waking up at around 5 or 6 so that I can enjoy a quiet morning and not start my day feeling so rushed. That being said, I’ve kind of adopted a weird night owl/early bird state where I go to bed late and wake up early. Err. I’m still waiting for the sleep deprivation to hit me like a truck 😆


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