I think you need to recondider the ‘cutting out of work early’ thing. What you need is a structure and schedule that can be sustained over the long haul.
I do like your idea for weekend early runs. Thats what I do. I have two children that expect me to be part of family activities. I am lucky that neither of them (nor my wife) are early risers.
On weekends I am out the door by 5-7, no later than 8, and even on a 3+ hour long run get home before they finish breakfast, shower and are done with the rest of the morning routine.
I don’t need to feel guilty for taking time away from family and they are happy I am not around to wake them up early (I am an early bird, even when not running).
On weekdays I prefer to run after work even if that means running late at night. Depending on when I get home I run either before dinner or just after. On some days I get stuck at the office and have to run very late at night. Luckily that happens only a few times a month.
The reason I prefer to run after work is its an excellent way to unwind from a stress filled day. After getting home and cleaning up I always feel more relaxed. Plus I work in a field that requires creativity (software development) and often solve tough design problems when on the run. Something about running frees my mind to look at problems from a different perspective then I do while at the office.
In any event you need to have a schedule that can be followed long term. Every once in a while, especially in the early spring, I ‘sneak’ home from work early, on really nice days, to run.
It’s a reward for running on all those cold winter days and nights finally ending. No more hats and gloves! Now its time for shorts and singlets! Buit it is not a sustainable plan assuming I want to continue to earn a living.
The key is to determine when you can get the time, on a regular basis, to get the runs in and then stick to it.
Good Luck, I’m glad to hear your redoubling your effert to get back on track. Especially after running well last weekend. You should have more enthusiasm then ever.