Despite my best efforts to move, today has seen me sitting quite happily at my desk for hours on end, with all the shortening of hip flexors and tightening of ankles that inspires. Still wearing the hoodie and sweat pants I threw on first thing this morning, too. There has not been a shower, nor a peek at my hair, but I would like to go on record as having brushed my teeth when I first bounded out of bed. To do any less would be Philistine.
It's been that kind of week, which is always what happens when my wife is out of town. The structure and routine that define daily life is replaced by a helter-skelter make-it-up-as-I-go approach to the day. Stuff gets done, but it's just not as methodical. All of which got me thinking about the importance of daily routines. It's been written that a set routine to start the day helps you win the morning. And if you win the morning you win the day. My optimal morning routine is pretty straightforward, and has not deviated in many years: get up at 6:45, brush teeth, make coffee, go outside to get the LA Times off the driveway, read the paper, start writing. I've recently added a to-do list, because it sets my mind at ease. But the other stuff I read that others are doing just puts me over the edge: 1) Meditation: I can't do meditation first thing in the morning, and most days I don't attempt it at all; 2) Training: I enjoy a morning workout, but training usually happens around midday, unless I'm crashing the golf course with my buddy Gregg. I feel like it puts me behind; 3) Performing any kind of task other than writing: a non-starter. I write early and give it everything. When I feel like the words don't make sense anymore I stop. All the other stuff like emails, phone calls, and administration can wait.
But that's the thing about routines: there's no such thing as a bad one. Whatever works for you is the best thing for you. When I listen to a podcast or read a book about things you should do as part of a routine it makes me feel as if the walls are closing in.
Southern California Championships on Saturday, so today was just a sharpening effort: 6-lap tempo, followed by 2x400 all out (400 walk recovery) and 2x200 all out (200 walk recovery).