Sarah Finding Fit

An unconventional look at fitness... my journey in reaching goals, laughing and having a bunch of outstanding adventures.

Posts tagged AM workouts

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How I’ve Grown to Love (and still hate) Morning Workouts

My alarm has been going off way to early the past few weeks as I embark on a sort of quest to find fit in the mornings. The harsh berrp berrp berrp cuts the darkness and bleeds into my dreams at 5:30 AM. I fumble to sit up… then I usually pause and think, “do I really want to do this?” Before I change my mind and roll back over into the warmth of my covers, I amble to the bathroom in the dark. My crazy morning hair gets pulled into a ponytail, teeth are brushed, lulus are pulled out of the hamper, put on, and then covered in layers of sweats. Before the rest of the world is awake, I step into the brisk but fresh dawn air and make my way to the jeep. While cycling through radio stations, I almost talk myself out of going each time… part of me wants turn around and retreat… and I regret not hitting snooze right up until I pull into the gym and park. The box is filled with muted “mornins”… Bodies sprawled out across the floor pretending to stretch while catching a few last moments of shut eye. I am self-admittedly not a morning person, but in an effort to alleviate the afternoon rush, or have time for non-fit finding activities (ahem summer happy hours), I’ve found myself waking up early more often than not… so here is my collection of reasons why the morning workout is slowly making its way into my routine and maybe my heart:

  • Feeling productive! Being done working out before 7:00 AM offers a huge sense of accomplishment. It starts the day on the right track.
  • Warp speed work. I tend to spend my first few hours in the office plowing through my to-do list.
  • Healthy eating comes easy. The body craves good fresh food after workouts.
  • Pumped up metabolism: full breakfast, lunch at 10, lots of water… I love feeling my body burn through fuel all day.
  • Positive side effect: Super hydration. I down Nalgene bottles like crazy on AM WOD days.
  • Getting laundry done at 7:00 AM is kinda cool, right?
  • Having time to make bacon, eggs, and coconut coffee before I shower and get dressed for work. Apparently AM workouts bring out my domestic side.
  • Running laps at dawn reminds me of Ragnar. It’s peaceful.
  • Beating the heat. The DC humidity doesn’t kick into high gear until later in the morning.
  • There isn’t any rush to get from work to metro to crossfit… which is usually a superman sort of quick change for me.
  • Rolling out of bed and into comphy lulus - if only I could also wear them at work!
  • Encountering “nature” Arlington, VA style. Finding raccoons hiding out under the jeep jeep at 5:45 AM is an experience.
  • Small class sizes. More space. Less worrying about lack of equipment. The gym is pretty quiet, because really, who CHOOSES to wake up that early and push around heavy weight.
  • AM accountability is way more intense than afternoon accountability. Telling workout buddies that you are going to show up, means you really won’t hit snooze and go back to bed. If you do… there might be some sort of burpee penalty.
  • Playing guinea pig to the afternoon crew usually means that we are often the crash test dummies for harder workouts.
  • Listening to loud rock and/or pop music that early gets the blood flowing? Okay, it’s debatable.
  • Having the entire day to roll/stretch out.
  • I’m usually not really awake until the workout is half over, which means my body has less opportunity to fight.
  • Practicing for the real thing. Most races kick off at 7:00 AM, so why not train at the same time that I will likely have to perform.
  • There is room for 2-a-days. Sometimes they happen.
  • Four words: Over. Done. Afternoon freedom.

Wait. Okay. So as much as I appreciate the morning burn, here is why I still hate workouts before daylight:  

  • Waking up at 5:30 AM sucks, plain and simple.
  • Post workout naps on my couch are the worst idea ever! There is a sweet 45 min gap between when I get home from crossfit and when I need to start prepping for work. If I don’t force myself to stay awake, I end up crashing out on the couch. I wake up groggy and crossfit seems like it was all just a bad dream - except for the fact that I’m still sweaty. Then I end up rushed and late.
  • Bad side effect #1: Day long sweats. Even post shower.
  • Bad side effect #2: Hunger. Lots and lots hunger.
  • The Tupperware party that happens in my backpack. I end up packing nearly three “lunches” on morning workout days.
  • I miss my 6:30 PM social hour with the cool kids.
  • People are half asleep in the morning which means they are quieter. Screams of encouragement usually make me work harder.
  • Sometimes by the time I’m out of the office, I feel like I need to go back to the gym.
  • Fact: People are WEAKER in the morning - weaker and slower. I’ve estimated that I lift around 20lbs less and my run times are much more lethargic in the morning. It’s harder to gain the same intensity that early and sometimes frustrating to see 2RMs and finish times take a nose dive.
  • The 3:00 PM crash. It’s when you’re body realizes how long you’ve been awake. I get an overwhelming urge to curl up under my desk… either that or mainline coffee.
  • Everything just feels harder and heavier.
  • Box jumps, wall balls, counting… basically anything that requires coordination or thinking is way more difficult when the brain isn’t working yet.

My AM adventures happened by mistake… sort of out of necessity. I was forced to incorporating mornings into my routine on days where I knew I wouldn’t make it to the gym at night. Jumping out of bed before the sun is up still feels kind of like ripping off a band-aid. Temporary pain. But I’ve learned to embrace the suck (ahem AM “Jerry” anyone?). Once you’re in the gym and playing with PVC, it isn’t sooooo bad. Bed becomes a distant memory. And, as a result, I have time for afternoon fun, reduced my must-leave-the-office-at-exactly-5:30-or-I-won’t-make-it stress and have entered beast mode before most people have even showered.

When the alarm goes off tomorrow, I just have to remind myself…this is brutal, but worth it.

Filed under crossfit AM workouts friends

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Day 44: Working out before traveling makes me feel better. Proof that I got up and went to AM crossfit. Carrying my 12lb duffel bag the 2mile walk to work as a cool down, might not have been a good idea. 10AM and I am DONE finding fit today!

Day 44: Working out before traveling makes me feel better. Proof that I got up and went to AM crossfit. Carrying my 12lb duffel bag the 2mile walk to work as a cool down, might not have been a good idea. 10AM and I am DONE finding fit today!

Filed under InstaPhoto 366 AM workouts crossfit

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Fearless Friday: Operation Shock and Awe

Do one thing every day that scares you.

It’s been a week of early mornings and two-a-day workouts: power yoga, 4 crazy CrossFit sessions, hockey games, a mud run, a run/mt. bike through the woods… operation “Shock and Awe” has been fully waged on my body. 

The objective: push past the plateau and recharge my motivation. The results: within the week, I feel leaner, meaner and more energized than normal.

I think I’ve done enough fearless behavior for 7 days… the true test, keep the battle waging. Time to bring in the reinforcements!

Filed under crossfit Fearless Fridays AM workouts yoga hockey running biking mudrun

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Fearless Friday: The Dreaded AM Workout

Do one thing each day that scares you.

Every morning I set my alarm for 6:00 A.M. with the intention of getting up early to work out, and every morning I fail to roll myself out of bed. I must hit my sleeping stride in the early hours of dawn and when I hear the bzzzt of the alarm, the warmth of my covers entices me back to dreamland. In a sleepy haze, I usually fumble with the reset button and doze back off to sleep. That extra hour is never the most restful, I end up tossing and turning, but for some strange reason I’m addicted. Without it, I worry that I’ll suffer from withdrawal symptoms for the rest of the day.

As the dark creeps in earlier and earlier each evening, I end up exiting the gym or wrapping up my run in the pitch blackness of night. My headlamp has become my best friend.

This week, I’m challenging myself to rip off the “extra hour of sleep Band-aid” and just do it, if only for just one day. No hitting snooze. No excuses. I’ll sleep in my workout clothes if I have to!

I know that if I just wake up and get my workout on, I’ll feel more energized all day. The challenge has been issued. Now the hard part, holding myself accountable to roll my not-so-morning-person self out of bed. Who is coming with me?  

Filed under Fearless Fridays AM workouts