How to do a Breakfast Run

Thinking about jumping on the Breakast Run bandwagon?  Wondering how to make it happen?  Not a morning runner?  You can apply the same process to a Happy Hour Run or a Dinner Run.  (Brunch run?  Lunch run?)

You’ll figure out what works best for you, but if you’re curious, here’s our process:

  1. Plan Breakfast – start discussing it throughout the week.  It’s nice to start thinking about the weekend when you’re facing Monday.  Look at upcoming events like Slab’s first day of serving breakfast and consider that.  The night before, finalize your plan, decide that 10:00 is too late for a breakfast run, and decide to go to Hot Suppa.  Yelp is a great resource for planning your breakfast run, since you can filter by when the restaurant is open if you’re shooting for a certain time.  If you’re local to Portland, Portland Food Map has a nice list of breakfast/brunch places here.
  2. Plan the Run – Once you have a place picked out, plan your route.  Figure out how many miles you plan to go and try to find a route where you’ll run most of your miles before breakfast.  For example, we (well, Mike) needed to run 10 miles today, and Hot Suppa is about 2 miles from our house.  We planned to run from our house, up State Street, over the Million Dollar Bridge and on to the Eastern Trail for 5 miles then turn around and end up back at Hot Suppa arriving there by about mile 8.  That way, we’d only have about 2 miles left to go when we were full of breakfast and breakfast beverages.
  3. Wake up with the sun – Figure out what time your chosen restaurant opens, and try to be the first one there.  Hot Suppa opens at 7:30, so we planned to hit the road by 6:15.  That way you don’t have to worry about reservations, lines, etc.
  4. Waffle – wake up at 6:00, decide you don’t really want to get out of bed, check Facebook, delete your junk email, read the blogs in your reader, check the weather, start thinking about what you’re going to wear, wake up the spouse who said, emphatically, that we’re waking up with the sun.  Tell him that it’s time to get up and that you’re getting up and wait for the cuddle that will make sure you don’t actually get up.  Wait for spouse to tell you that he actually doesn’t want to go to Hot Suppa and wants something lighter.  Consider Ohno and Dutch’s.  Surf Yelp for awhile figuring out what would be open at this hour.  Decide on Sinful Kitchen which is decidedly NOT lighter than Hot Suppa and plan a new route.
  5. Get dressed – check the weather again.  The best running advice I’ve ever gotten is to plan for 20 degrees warmer that the actual temperature considering that you’ll warm up when you run.  It was 39 when we started out this morning, so I tried to plan for about 60.  Went with running tights, wool base layer, and short sleeve race T over that – just so I wouldn’t be in all black.  (This probably goes without saying, but also brush your teeth, go to the bathroom, do something about your hair, etc.)
  6. Pack – I’d love to be able to do a breakfast run without carrying anything, but no matter the weather, I get really cold as soon as I stop running.  I bring my hydration backpack – I have this one:5035nlbd_moxy_bluedanube_back_form_nwI just remove the water holder.  In the summer, we both just pack an extra t-shirt.  I get cold even then, plus it’s just gross to go into a restaurant in a shirt drenched with sweat.  In the summer, we just do a quick change outside the restaurant.  I’m always wearing a sports bra, so it’s not like stripping down completely.  In the winter (which is really the only other season in Maine), I usually order my drink then sneak off to the bathroom to change.  I usually pack an extra long-sleeved race shirt and one of my wool-blend sweatshirts.  Mike is more stoic and insists that his fancy wool shirt prevents him from getting cold.  Then of course, we bring at least one phone to take pictures and check in on Facebook (priorities, right?) and a credit card and ids (not that, being in our forties, we’ve been carded yet).
  7. Run – in a way, this is kind of the easy part.  Think about what you’re going to get for breakfast.  Get hungry.  It’s best to make your Breakfast Run an easy run with no pace goal, but if you are shooting for a certain pace, try to “bank” some time in this part of the run.  You probably won’t be setting any records after breakfast.
  8. Eat – yum – this is the moment you’ve been waiting for.  Maybe walk for a minute or two before you walk into the restaurant, so you’re not breathing too heavily. Ooops – wait, don’t forget to stop your watch.  Pause it, don’t stop it, you have more running to do.  Steel yourself for some puzzled looks but assume that the restaurant appreciates your business way more than they care about your weird clothing and sweaty, heavy-breathing self.  Catch your breath, order a drink (I don’t recommend coffee, I’ve felt really strange running after a cup, heart-racing, etc, but I know a lot of runners drink coffee, and it does seem like a great way to warm up, so figure that one our for yourself), visit the bathroom to change clothes, pick out your breakfast, check-in on Facebook to make sure all your friends feel guilty that they’re still in bed, enjoy your breakfast but decide that what your partner got looks much better and have a few bites of that, too.  Refuse the box that the waitress offers for the leftovers, since it would be awkward to run with it.
  9. Get yourself home – this is the hard part.  Get packed up, don’t forget your watch that you left on the table.  Maybe take a picture outside the restaurant, then start hobbling running home.  It will probably hurt at first, but remember that you’ll warm up again quickly and home (and the bathroom) is not that far away.
  10. Prep for step 11 – run out and get the kids donuts or some kind of fancy kid breakfast (bagels work, Lucky Charms work, even the gross supermarket powdered mini donuts work) to limit nagging.
  11. Relax – have another mimosa, take a shower, settle in on the couch to watch football, fall asleep, wake up and feel guilty that you didn’t accomplish all you wanted to over the weekend and start step 1 all over again.  Hey, at least your got your running in!

Happy running.  Thanks for reading.

p.s. don’t forget to take your wet, sweaty old clothes out of your backpack.  Trust me, you won’t want to wait until you need your pack again next weekend to smell them.


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