can you put a pumpkin spice latte in a camel pack?



This is me at 5:50 a.m.

Scratch that.

These are my feet at 5:50 a.m. The rest of me declined to be photographed in such a delicate state so early in the morning. You know the one between “nobody will see me if I turn back now and sneak in an extra 45 minutes of sleep” and “does this reflective vest make me look fat?”

I have an intense love-hate relationship with morning workouts. Always have. And I suppose I always will.

I hate them when the alarm goes off. I hate them as I lay in bed calculating how many times I can realistically hit snooze before the workout window closes. I hate them as my feet slink out of the covers and meet the cold floor. I hate them when the warmup starts and my muscles ache and my eyes won’t stay open and my heart rate seems to be stuck in a REM cycle of its own. I hate them.

But then it all changes. I can never pinpoint the exact moment, but somewhere in the twilight the miles/reps/laps/asanas feel less like sleep-deprived torture and more like…well…fun.

Fun because I get to start my day in spandex. Fun because I’m out there rocking before most people pour their first cup of coffee. And fun because I get my workout in on my time, on my terms. Not to mention the perks of seeing the sunrise, watching the city shake off the night, and being first in line for a pumpkin spice latte.

Look, sometimes you gotta set goals to stay competitive, right?

Here are a few tips I find helpful when I need to motivate bribe myself into a morning workout:

lay out workout clothes the night before in another room. that way you are forced to walk away from the bed to get dressed. away from the bed, people. also, you won’t have to hunt for a matching pair of socks in the dawn’s early light. no excuses.

i include my watch, foam roller, and my id

create an embargoed playlist of your favorite hits for use only when you workout in the morning. want to hear the new Mumford album? that awesomely nostalgic 90s mix pulled from your high school days? not until you wake up and earn it!

good morning. get moving.

– bring a few extra dollars with you for a post-workout treat. yes…technically this is a bribe. and no…i do not mean get yourself donuts. but maybe that vision of a skim latte or chocolate milk dancing in your head during 6 a.m. spin class is the strategic motivation you need to pedal faster.

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get excited for breakfast. i prefer to make mine the night before, so it’s ready to go in the a.m. and it’s something i can look forward to after i’ve finished my workout. here is what i had waiting for me this morning:

vegan overnight pumpkin oats

Your turn. How do you survive sweating it out before sunrise?


  1. Kasey October 17, 2012 / 3:52 am

    Love your blog Meag! Coincidentally, I just made my pumpkin overnight oats to have after a track workout tomorrow morning – definitely gives me an incentive to get out of bed and hit the ground running 🙂

  2. Uncle Syd March 7, 2014 / 3:54 pm

    I am a little embarrassed to say that I like your blog as much as I do. There aren’t many middle aged fathers that I know that love exercise as much as I do. So I lack per impute.

    Sometimes I reflect on your writings when I need motivation. Like for that 5:45 am spin class I let me 20 something co-worker talk me into.

    Anyway, thanks!

    • DC Fit Crasher March 11, 2014 / 8:42 pm

      Thanks for the kind note, Syd! Appreciate you taking the time to read and leave a comment. Keep up the awesome work with those 5:45 a.m. spin classes, you’ve got this!

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