Sunday morning, I ran.

That is something new for me. The last time I remember running on a Sunday morning was in November 2010. It was early, it was dark and I hated it. Then when I got home, and later at church, I felt rushed and tired. I said I would not do it again.

That was a long time ago.

This past Sunday, I got up, did my usual pre-run routine of prayer, coffee, getting ready and getting out the door. Four miles breezed by, as the sun rose and the nieghborhood awoke. I saw a couple of other people out walking, taking the dog out, and just a few cars on the road. I got back in plenty of time to get myself and the kids ready, and we actually ended up being early for church. On top of that, I was alert and happy while helping teach the 3 year olds, and felt clear-headed and cheerful for the whole day. I think that, sometime since the marathon I’ve realized that if I want to achieve my running goals I am going to have to run smarter and run more. Given our family’s time constraints, that will mean more mornings, and even earlier. I am just thrilled to be able to do it and even enjoy it. So, here are some ideas that made it easier for me to get my (important) run in while still being in good shape for (more important) worship.

1. Get the kids’ church bag ready the night before.

2. Set the kids’ outfits out the night before–including shoes. Then set out your own outfit, too–including shoes, jewelry and other accessories.

3. Have an easy breakfast plan in place–Sunday is Cereal Day in our house anyway, so that was not a difficult thing.

4. Figure out what time you need to be home (including time to stretch and get settled back in) and get back by then, even if you have to cut the run short a bit.

5. And then…

Rise & Shine, and give God the glory, glory! (pic by my friend Kristiana Burk, of one of my favorite places to run, Lake Michigan)