morning workouts

I’m No Rooster

A friend of mine wrote a post about trying to get back to the gym and how she’s just “no rooster.” I totally agree with her. So well-put! While I feel like a major success when I work out in the mornings, it rarely happens. I’m just not going to get up at 5 a.m. to work out. Ever. Even on the weekends when I work out in the morning, I’ve slept in a reasonable amount of time.

The other day I had an appointment in the morning so I went to the gym first thing. It wasn’t quite as difficult to get out of bed at 6:15 and go to the gym. But I realized that working out in the morning, I don’t burn quite as many calories. The reason? I’m slow. Tired. Lethargic. There’s very little pep-in-my-step first thing in the morning.

I struggled on the elliptical and skipped the weights because I just had zero motivation to that. My calorie burn was decent:

Gym Stats:
Time: 1:19
Calories Burned: 617

Before I went to the gym I had half a serving of plain Cheerios. When I got home I had my normal breakfast (2 scrambled eggs, 1 turkey sausage, beans and salsa). I had a mid-morning snack of coffee. For lunch I had 2 pieces of leftover pizza for 500 calories total.

By the the afternoon I’d nearly 1000 calories of food and still had over 1200 calories leftover for the day.  I had an afternoon snack (apple, 90 calories) and was home with 1000 calories leftover for dinner.

The reason I bring this up is because I realized that my mentality CHANGED when I worked out in the morning. Normally when I work out at night I look at food as numbers that I want to keep “in check” until I work out at the end of the day. I always feel like I’m restricting myself when I work out at night. This is definitely the opposite for morning workouts.

When I work out in the morning, I feel like I’m trying to catch up all day long. I feel like I have to eat, eat, eat to catch up on nutrients. Instead of looking at food and thinking restriction, I look at food as fuel. I need fuel for my body–I eat a bigger lunch. I need fuel to repair my muscles from the morning fitness–I eat a bigger dinner.

Is that mental shift unusual? I wonder. I wonder if that shift in mental thinking is more positive and healthy than living a life of restriction and numbers. I’m just musing out loud, really. The reality is that I’m 32 years old and for my entire life I’ve hated mornings. I just wonder if it could be changed.

Please chime in!

And a quick update: I finally went in and got that blood test for my thyroid. I’m glad I did! It was normal. I can go back to normal life without worrying about “What if?”! Until I find something else to be neurotic about, of course. 🙂

QUESTION: Is your mentality toward food/calories/tracking different when you workout in the morning versus the evening? 

Bottomless Pit

Wednesday morning I had an early appointment before work. The plan was to head to the gym before my appointment, then I realized last week my membership was expiring. I decided to go anyway and see if I could work out despite it being lapsed. At the very least ask the salesperson trying to get me to sign up if I could have one more morning to workout before “making a decision” on the gym membership (snicker).

I got up early, had a snack (English Muffin) and headed to the gym. When I got to the gym there was no one at the counter where I checked in and no salespeople lurking in the sales area. I saw the usual counter girl, whom I really like and chat with, helping some other people. She said “Hi Lisa!” and waved. I waved back and decided–hey, no one at the counter……why not?? Sure it was sneaky. Technically I wasn’t a member anymore. But…..yeah, I don’t feel guilty.

First up: treadmill. I haven’t run since last Saturday when my run was cut short with a calf cramp. The cramp had gone away–I was able to swim on Sunday and bike 24 miles on Monday with no issues. I thought I was okay by Wednesday. I started slow and felt okay.

I got sucked into an episode of Supernatural (yum yum) and was enjoying the empty gym in the early morning hours. Then about 3/4 into my first mile my right calf started to cramp AGAIN. UGH. I slowed to a walk for about a minute then decided to try and run through the cramp. It was my last chance to use the gym and I was just tired of this cramping business.

I was able to run it out and finish my run but my leg still feels cramped up. I have no idea what is causing it. I foam roll, I eat healthy, drink water, stretch….what’s up?? Runners: give me advice!

Run Stats:
Time: 50 minutes
Distance: 3.75 miles

Not a bad distance despite my calf discomfort. I really wish this cramp would knock it off already. If I’m going gym-free for awhile I’ll be spending more time running.

After my run I limped down the stairs to the weight room and did my last weight session at the gym. Sad face. Felt sad. Sure I can buy some free weights to do at home but it’s just not the same.

I spent a good amount of time using the plated weight machines for chest and back since I won’t have access to them. Then I finished up with the free weights. I’ve noticed that I’ve lost a LOT of my strength since taking a month off from weight lifting.

Finally, I spent some time doing some ab work and then did a LOT of stretching. I ended my workout with the foam roller–paying extra attention to my stupid calf muscles. Ugh.

Gym Stats:
Time: 1:33
Calories Burned: 778

I hurried home to shower and eat before my appointment. I put on some muscle rub to see if that would help my calf.

For breakfast I scrambled 2 eggs with chopping red onion, 1 slice of ham chopped and topped with salsa, sour cream and beans. It was a big breakfast but exactly what I needed after a killer workout.

I was hungry in an hour.

Whenever I work out in the morning before work, I am a total bottomless pit the rest of the day. It doesn’t matter if I bring enough food to work to eat throughout the day, or if I eat good, filling foods–I am still starving.

I had leftover pizza for lunch (mmm carbs) and was still hungry. Ate a hard boiled egg as a snack. That took the edge off, then I was hungry again. Stupid hunger!

QUESTION: What’s the deal with my calf cramping?