Not A Morning Gymmer

If you’ve been an Ali On The Run reader for more than a day (and if you haven’t, hi and welcome!), you know that I start my days running.

I run in the morning because I love being outside. I love the fresh air, I love the alone time and I love that I can leave my apartment and head in whichever direction I want.

I run in the morning because it’s my time. I’m in control of my run (unless my stomach takes control of my run, which happens sometimes). I control the route I take, the music I listen to and the number of miles I cover (well, I did, until Coach Cane came along).

But I have plans tonight, which I’m both excited for and sad about.

Excited because I’m going to a dance show, and obviously I’ll enjoy it.

Sad because it means missing my favorite spin class.

Coach Cane has Wednesdays as active recovery days, including a 3-mile run. That means I also like getting a spin class in.

Long story somewhat short: last night I decided that I would move my Wednesday morning run to Wednesday evening, and I’d do something bold in the morning.

I went to the gym.

Dun dun dunnnnn.

It’s so dramatic. This is about as crazy as my life gets. Changing up my workout routine.

So I packed up all my stuff last night before bed. I picked out my work outfit, made my trail mix and crawled into this:

My alarm went off at 5 am and I thought, “Oh hell no. I am not leaving this amazing bed. Ever.”

But at 5:30 I said, “Ali, you made a plan. Stick to your plan or you’ll be annoyed at yourself all day.”

Kick in my own butt.

I jumped out of bed, looked longingly back at the beautiful orange-ness of what I would be leaving behind, and called the gym as I got ready to make sure the 6:30 spinning class doesn’t fill up too fast.

Thanks to the downtown Express bus, I made it to Crunch in plenty of time to sign up for my favorite bike, do some ab work and bust out 100 tricep dips.


I was excited to try a new class, though I admit I didn’t like it. I found the teacher to be really strange, the music was nonstop house music (which I normally love, but I’m not talking “cool Lady Gaga remixes,” I’m talking loud, fast, pulsing beats with no words) and the instructor kept whispering weird things into the microphone.

I felt like I was on drugs.

At 6:30 am.

(Fine for some people, not my thing. Sorry.)

Anyway, it was nice to break a sweat and I enjoyed being able to get to work early since the gym is closer to my office than my apartment.

I didn’t like working out inside this morning.

I didn’t like putting someone else in charge of my day right away. Running is one thing I can control, and I don’t mind taking group classes and following directions at night, but I like being on my own in the morning.

I didn’t like having to carry all my crap with me, either:

I didn’t like getting ready at the gym. The showers are clean and the locker rooms are fine, but it’s not my shower and my “getting ready area.”

And right now I’m having anxiety over the fact that I have a plastic bag filled with sweaty post-workout clothes in my gym bag underneath my desk…

I’m a brat. I know. But I like my normal routine. I tried something new, it was OK, but now I know: Morning running > morning gymming…for me.

Because I was getting ready at the gym, I had to pick out an easy outfit last night. Enter the green dress.

Yes, I got a haircut last night. No you can’t even tell. And yes, I found a giant chunk of hair that the woman completely missed and that I’ll be asking a coworker to hack off for me today.

And that’s my day so far. Glad we’ve caught up.

In other news, I’m sore today! I’m not sure if it’s from Monday night’s Chisel class or last night’s delicious hot yoga session, but I’ve got a good hurt going on.

LET’S TALK ABOUT MORNINGS: Some people are a.m. exercisers and some people are not. If you work out in the morning, do you prefer a solo session or group exercising? I thought I’d love a hardcore morning spin class, but instead I wanted to punch the instructor, plug in my own iPod and somehow ride that stationary bike into the great outdoors.

That’s just me though.



0 Responses

  1. I wish I could be a morning runner/gymmer/anything. I’m barely a morning showerer that’s how bad I am. How do you do it? Has it always been so easy to get up and go? I need someone to teach me their morning ways!

  2. i really enjoy these posts! not sure howww you leave your comfy bed in the mornings, but serious props to you. i can not picture myself on a downtown bus at 5:30am. ever.

    i always run at night…. i find i have more energy after eating/hydrating all day… but i love that time for the same reasons you love the mornings. twilight is my fav time of day and getting to spend it in central park with other happy runners is the highlight of my days. buttt i end up eating dinner/getting to bed way late because of my night runs. and can barely get up for work in the morning. it’s a vicious cycle but one that i live and breathe 🙂

    xo christine

  3. I <3 that dress! I used to be a morning workout person when I had a super awesome gym to go to. I never had a huge preference as to what kind of workout I'd do, however, I was spoiled with a slew of awesome instructors.

  4. I am not a morning gym person either, but I will say that I stuck with it for a while and I DID get used to it. I got better about remembering to bring everything I needed, I figured out how to make the locker room feel more comfortable, and I figured out that rewarding myself with a little treat helped (sadly for me, that treat was a diet pepsi. Not ideal, but it worked). I always did on Friday, and I liked that I had my Friday evening free but still got my workout in.

    That said, I am totally out of this routine now and it is a nightmare trying to get back into it. This Ali = not a morning person, at all.

  5. I am NOT a morning workout person, at all…inside OR outside. That being said, if I had to workout in the morning (and it was nice outside) I’d love to be outside working out. Plus, if you’re inside you miss all the great sunrise pictures as well!

  6. Ideally, I am a morning runner. Most of my “best run ever” runs have happened in the evening, but every now and again I can get in some motivating morning miles. This actually a recent development, as prior to the half-marathon I ran in April, I couldn’t run worth a damn in the mornings. I guess the race cured me of that, which is lovely. When I had a gym membership, I LOVED working out in the morning. I rarely did classes, I was big on strength training solo, but I got a real rush out of getting there at 5:30 or 6am and getting in a solid workout before most people even hit the shower at home.

    Working out in the morning is mostly awesome just because it’s done, it’s out of the way and there’s no chance of something cropping up later in the day to interfere with a run or routine. Plus the kick-start to the metabolism, boost of energy, etc… Lots of great reasons to love morning fitness!

    That said, sometimes it’s really tough to trade a comfy bed for running shoes. The two activities really could not be any more opposite.

  7. I definitely would prefer to work out in the morning.. but because I need to be at work at 6:30 – this means being at the gym.. starting my work out.. at 5am. Hmm. That is a 4:40 wake up call. Double hmm. It happens only occasionally – like when I know there is no way I can get to the gym after work.. or on days like today.. when we had a field trip..and I knew I would be wayyy to tired to go to the gym. (Field trips are super tiring when your the teacher. not nearly as fun!). So .. instead of having to force myself through a tired workout in the PM.. I set my alarm for 4:40am. I am now.. ready for bed.

  8. Omg! I took a spin class with that guy last Friday morning! I was super creeped out by his whispering as well…what was up with that? And his music was just strange and far too techno-y. I prefer to run in the morning too but that was NOT a good teacher for your first (?) morning spin class! I’ve had much better! But way to get your spin class in!

  9. I am the completely opposite of you! I can only work out in the morning if I know I have a class to go to (spinning or body conditioning). I HATE that races are so early in the morning! (Except in warmer months, of course.)

    I love running off the stress of my day in the evenings. I’m naturally not a morning person, and if I could, I’d work out in the early afternoon but being a real adult and having a desk job kind of makes that difficult. 🙂

  10. Love the green dress!
    You are such an inspiration/motivation/someone I want to be like! I cannot get my booty out of bed early to workout…like ever! I think I did once or twice before. How do you do it!?

  11. Have you ever considered running to your gym, doing a cross-training or strength workout, then running home? I do that all the time and its kinda the best of both worlds! You can still get in your gym workout but also shower and get ready for work at home.
    Morning is by far my best time (physically and mentally) to workout, so I don’t mess with it!

    1. I thought about that actually! But the class ended at 7:15, so I wouldn’t have gotten home with enough time to get ready and get back downtown for work. Would work if I didn’t do a class though, just strength trained!

  12. Bahahaha! I’m sorry…this post made me laugh…. “I felt like I was on drugs. At 6:30 am. (Fine for some people, not my thing. Sorry.)”

    Unfortunately, I know a few people where that IS their thing…. there is a reason why we aren’t friends anymore. 😉

    Anyway, that spin class sounds really weird and creepy and I don’t blame you for not liking it.

    I prefer to workout in the morning, but if I go to the gym in the morning, I do my cross-training alone. They have a few spin bikes on the main gym floor, so I do my own “spin class” of sorts by myself.

  13. Not a morning excersizer unless I have to… Dont have the energy!
    Love your discription of spin class this a.m, made me lol to myself!!!!!!!


  14. Haha, this post was hilarious. I’m sorry you did not like the class – I have had similar experiences. But you did get an entertaining post out of it!
    I am definitely a morning exercise person. I feel “weighed down” later in the day.

  15. I haven’t worked out in a gym in almost two years (never got a membership in NYC) and now both my office building and soon-to-be apartment complex have free gyms inside. It’ll definitely be a perk to have the treadmill when it’s insanely hot outside, but I’m nervous that I’ll hate it! As far as outdoor running goes, I definitely prefer mornings, too. I feel more awake the rest of the day, and I’m usually starving and ready for dinner rather than a run when I’m off work.

  16. I love the reasons you have for going for a solo run in the morning. Any time that I choose to start my day with a run, I feel unbeatable for the rest of the day (um, usually – obviously I have bad days, too).

    But I can’t seem to choose running over sleeping an extra couple of minutes. I can’t choose anything, actually, over sleeping. This is probably why I don’t wear makeup, don’t dry my hair … the list goes on. I stay to the basics and am happy to get out the door with a clean face, body, clothes, and teeth.

    Real classy 😉

  17. this sounds super crazy..and I hope I don’t sound to stalkerish…I was running the other day and my new fav song..chris brown’s beautiful people w/ benny benassi made me think of you…with all of you have gone through just reminded of me you:/

  18. Oh that dress is adorable! I feel ya. I used to do kickboxing in the morning, and I still do it every now and then. But, in the end like you, I prefer to put on my ipod and coast. I don’t mind the treadmill though. I like having the Today Show and Sports Center on tvs in front of me. Gives me a chance to catch up on the ol’ current events 😉

  19. I’d pick a morning run over the gym any day! I consider a.m. gym time a necessary cross training evil. But I’m definitely a strict morning workout person – it’s my favorite part of the day. Love mixing runs up – sometimes I go solo, and other times with company.

    I would love to try Pure out one of these days (preferably for free…)

  20. 100 tricep dips? who are you and can we trade arms?

    I had the same battle in my head this morning and I’m glad to say I also won and got out of bed and to the pool. It’s SO much easier for me to get my run on in the morning than deal with annoying crowds and people at the gym. I’m with you on this one…with the the exception of MY spin class on Friday mornings. That is totally worth being a bag lady and disrupting your routine for.

  21. I do like exercising in the morning, but only because I live two blocks from my gym. Based on the pictures, it looks like you were actually at the spinning class I was going to try for the first time this morning, but slept through and procrastinated until this evening. Thanks for the review — I HATE spinning to house music, so now I’m not too disappointed I slept through it!

  22. That dress is so cute!

    I can definitely get up in the AM to go to hot yoga (not a member of a gym) but I cannot get up to run (except for the weekends). All of the areas I run in are WAY too dark and creepy in the morning and I’d much rather stay in my bed than worry about snatched up by some creeper!

    I also run with a huge group and most of our runs are scheduled at night. I like it because I dont have to worry about getting up really early to fit in a 10miler.

  23. I am NOT a morning exerciser. I cannot wake up early to workout for the life of me..I’ve tried but if I have an option to sleep or go workout sleep wins every time. Luckily I work at a gym so I can workout during the day.

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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