It can be empowering to do something different.
For the past 2 days I was required to be in meetings during the time that I would normally be 1) sleeping and 2) running. Many(all) people who know me on an 'in person' basis, consider me the most routine oriented person they've met. I expect that could be true and I will add that it is a positive thing. Remember, "Everything I needed to know, I learned in Kindergarten." Schedules prevent 90% of daily conflicts.
At the same time, the ability to break from a routine can be important. I did get up at 7:30a.m. instead of 9 a.m.(both days) and I ran in the afternoon/evening instead of at 10:00a.m. (noting that it would have been a rearrangement of weight training and swimming if the meetings had been held on Mon or Thurs).
My decision to run at a different time wasn't as simple as I just implied. When I was faced with the "routine" challenge, several thoughts and options went through my mind. Only briefly did I consider the one that most people probably would have chose - "just don't exercise those days." I did tell myself that the world would not end if that happened, but it would not be my first strategy.
I considered running Monday night in place of Tuesday morning or getting up even earlier on Tuesday and running before the meeting. Those were bad ideas because my body would not be adequately rested from running Fri- Sun on Monday evening and because getting up that early on Tuesday would have me running with sleep deprivation. Putting those together, the risk of injury was high.
My self talk continued. For the negative thoughts that I had, I tried to use counterfactuals - you know, think of an instance where what I was thinking was NOT true. "I don't feel as good when I run in the evening as when I run in the morning." "Not, true. I used to ONLY run in the evenings." "My legs feel heavy in the evening." "DO they, really?" Instead, "Think of how they will feel light and start off with a short quick stride."
I also challenged myself to recall and employ things that had worked in the past. "Lay out clothes." "Go home and change and get out the door without stopping to check email, wash dishes, etc." "Think of what can be positive." "Different time of day, different sounds, different people, different feeling." AND most important... "It doesn't matter WHEN you do it, the end result is always the same.... Feeling Good."
It was also different metabolically because I run on an empty stomach in the morning and had to think about when I was eating so that I would not be too full at the start of the run. Tuesday I ran at 4:30 and had my diet soda (caffeine) around 3pm (instead of after 5). Today I had lunch around 1:30 and ran at 2pm. I think I actually felt better today. Yesterday I was a little pressured, not sure why. Both runs were indeed awesome... but I don't think I'll change my routine permanently :)