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Morning Swim

by Meghann on June 11, 2013

Morning swim practices are back! Woo hoo!


i love watching the sunrise as I swim. There’s something so calming and peaceful about a sunrise, no matter what you’re doing.

My team’s favorite pool is finally back to its normal summer hours (6:00am – 8:00pm). That means two morning practices have officially been added back to the weekly workout rotation. As much as I enjoy swimming after work (not!), I really missed morning practices. With thunderstorms moving in almost every afternoon already this summer, evening swim practices are just way too unpredictable. Chance of rain in the morning is almost next to none, while late afternoon is almost always guaranteed.

Another bonus to morning swim hours is the ability to train with a long course (aka 50 meter lanes instead of the usual 25 yards). Again, I was really missing swimming in a long course. With less turns, the workouts seem to go by faster. Though, I need to build my endurance back up to long course strength, I was definitely feeling the burn yesterday morning!

I was up at 5:25 yesterday morning in order to make it to the pool by 6:15. The pool was PACKED. I’m not sure why I’m surprised, tis the season for triathlon training! After a little negotiation with other swimmers, my four teammates and I were able to obtain a lane for all 5 of us to circle swim in.

Like I said above, we need to get used to the long course again. Instead of easing into it, we went straight into a speed set and could all feel a difference. Luckily my coach noticed we were all flailing and kept the practice short.

  • 200 warm up
  • 5 x 100 @ 2:00
  • 4 x 50 drill
  • 5 minute kick practice in deep end
  • 4 x 50 @ 1:00
  • 100 easy
  • 400 cool down

I stayed after my team left to get in the extra 400 meters at the end. I probably could have gotten more in, but the long course wore me out.

I was out of the pool at 7:20ish and headed straight to the showers to get ready for work.


I packed my bag the night before with toiletries,a towel, and my outfit for the day.


Unfortunately, since the water was cold – and operated by a pull down rope you had to hold down to get water out – the shower was short. It was just long enough to wash my hair and scrub my body (5 minutes, max). Once out of the shower, I quickly changed into my work clothes, gave my hair a once over under the hand dryer, and pinned my bangs backs. I was out the door and on my way to work at 7:45am.

Thank goodness for maxi dresses. I hate putting pants on when I’m still somewhat wet, when I’m at home I spend the morning in my robe an change into real clothes right before I’m about to walk out the door (after I’ve dried my hair).


Also, I don’t wear make up to work. I’ve tried picking up the habit, but I’m just not good at it, so I’ve given up.

I packed both my breakfast and lunch the night before with my swim bag.


I stopped at Starbucks on the way into work and still managed to arrive about 15 minutes earlier than I usually do (score!).

After dropping my bag off at my desk, I headed straight to the kitchen to prep breakfast.


Yes, I packed a full jar of preserves and almond butter, seemed easier than transferring it to little tupperware containers. 😉

I toasted two pieces of bread and slathered them with preserves, almond butter, blueberries, and homemade granola.


Served with extra granola and strawberries. Yum!

My packed lunch was a bag full of leftovers.


Steamed kale with roasted potatoes, cucumber and chickpea salad, and grapes.   

(Please note I had more granola between breakfast and lunch, a chocolate chip brioche pretzel after lunch, and two big handfuls of mixed nuts and a bowl of popcorn later in the afternoon. I also had a hard boiled egg when I got home from work and made pork chops, steam broccoli, and reheated leftover potatoes for dinner. Fruit for dessert. I pretty much felt like I was eating all day.)

Morning swim practice require a little more prep work the night before, but they actually make my mornings easier since I don’t have to think about food or what to wear. I even arrive at work earlier than I normally would.

Do you ever get ready for work at the gym? What’s your normal routine?

1 Molly @ RDexposed June 11, 2013 at 10:49 am

I love hearing about other people’s workout/work prep morning routine. I am always so tight on time due to having to dry my hair and putting on at least some make-up. I’d love to forgo make-up, but patients already make comments on how young that I look. A little mascara gives me a few more years.

2 Karen June 11, 2013 at 10:54 am

I’ve just started working out in the morning and HATE putting pants on semi wet. I’ve been living in dresses since the switch to morning sweat sessions. And buns! Putting the hair in a bun and being done with it is a real time saver!
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3 lisa fine June 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

You are rockin’ these workouts – damn! I love that you’re a morning person too. And that you don’t wear makeup to work. I pretty much NEVER wear makeup (just for going to weddings or job interviews), so it’s refreshing to hear of others who feel similarly.
lisa fine recently posted..Container Gardening: Growing Basil

4 Sarah June 11, 2013 at 11:02 am

I agree with Molly, it’s great to hear about other people’s morning routines and meal planning. I’m trying to get a morning swim habit started and this post is definitely good encouragement.

5 Lindsay June 11, 2013 at 11:03 am

Now try adding a huge backpack full of heavy books and a laptop to that mix and transporting it all on foot and public transit! 🙂

6 Nicole@TheKidlessKronicles June 11, 2013 at 11:18 am

I am definitely a morning workout person. I am very fortunate that I work from home so I don’t have to worry about getting cleaned up right away and getting to an office.

I am considering my first sprint-tri. Any tips? I am already a runner, have a bike and have been working on that. And have access to a pool at the gym.

The Kidless Kronicles
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7 rachel June 11, 2013 at 11:23 am

make-up and fixing my hair has totally become a thing of the past for me too!

I do sweep on some physicians formula “BB” bronzer powder to give me some color and coverage – and then a sweep of mascara – but that’s it aside from moisturizer – all done in about 30 seconds.
rachel recently posted..just werking on my fitness

8 Lindsay June 11, 2013 at 11:45 am

Is this the Bobby Hicks pool? I need to find a great public pool in Tampa that I can use in the morning. I used to swim at 530 every morning and I miss it!
Lindsay recently posted..running with jeff galloway.

9 Presh June 11, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Yes sunsets are always so great!!! You are staying so on point with these workouts! I love maxi dresses! Your breakfast look so yummy! Oh and the steamed kale with roasted potatoes. Mmmm.
Presh recently posted..TIP for tat: Stay focused!

10 Amanda June 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm

I wake up around 4:45 to go to the gym before work – I get changed, drive there, warm up, and take a class (either spin or bodyworks) that starts at 5:30. I head back home afterwards to shower and get dressed. Then I take out the dogs and feed them while the coffee automatically is made at 7:00. I’ve been making my lunch and my breakfast smoothie the night before so I don’t have to waste time prepping in the morning. I drink my coffee and smoothie while I do my hair and makeup and watch the Today Show. Then, I leave the house at 7:45 to walk to my 7:58 train into Philly. I walk from the train station to work and get there at 8:30.

11 Megan June 11, 2013 at 1:28 pm

Hi Meghann,
I know it is old news now, but congratulations on your new job! I haven’t been checking in here since you had quit your job and you were blogging full-time since I found it harder to relate to. So, I am happy that you are back in the working world and happy to start reading the blog again! Congratulations again!
I love morning work outs. I am so much more productive in the morning than the afternoon! We have a treadmill at home, so I am able to get ready at home although I used to do it at my work gym before we had a treadmill at home.

12 Meredith June 11, 2013 at 1:34 pm

When I workout in the morning I’m up at 5:20 and out the door at 5:50 for my 6am workout. I don’t prep anything the night before because I’m lazy.

Luckily, I work at a very large site (over 1000 people) so there are showers and locker rooms very close to my desk. I actually keep a small toiletry bag at work and a towel and shower right when I get in. I’m usually out of the shower and working by 8-8:15am (which is actually a bit late for where I work, people are typically in between 7:30 and 8am).

And no make-up for me! I work in a clean room so make-up actually isn’t allowed. Neither is nail polish. And my hair needs to be up. Best. Job. Ever.

13 Katie @ running4cupcakes June 11, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Love that first picture of the pool. When I was in college, morning swim practices were the best. It was always hard to get into the pool in the dark, but having the sun rise while you are swimming is awesome! The best morning swim practices were when we were in Hawaii my sophmore year for our winter training. Ahhh memories.
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14 Angela June 11, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Love that maxi skirt!!
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15 Megan (The Lyons' Share) June 11, 2013 at 2:02 pm

I love this post! Thanks for giving us so much real insight into your morning! I travel for work Monday- Thursday (unfortunately), so I get ready in a hotel room, which I think requires almost as much planning as the gym! My teams always laugh because I do lots of planning like bringing chia seeds, cinnamon, snacks in my bag, and supplement by going to the grocery store instead of just relying on room service. Having a somewhat “homemade” breakfast just makes me feel soo much better about starting my day!

16 Stacey @ Starpulp June 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Ahh I feel your pain with the scramble to get ready for work. It’s one of my biggest hangups about working out in the morning. (The second being getting up early…) I’m always afraid I’m going to forget to pack something important too (i.e. bra?!?!) Reading this makes me feel like I really need to suck it up and join the local pool though. I really enjoy swimming. Maybe I’ll do it for a month and see how it goes.
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17 Andrea June 11, 2013 at 3:32 pm

I LOVE the stripes on your maxi dress…so bright and fun! As a new mom and very minimal make-up wearer myself, I just found Loreal Studio Secrets BB Cream. It’s amazing, works as a moisturizer, and drys matte with a nice dewy factor. It has become my secret weapon and add some lip gloss and you’re good to go. 🙂 Just a little fun find!
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18 Aurora@Fitness is Sweet June 11, 2013 at 4:34 pm

I definitely know what you mean about watching the sun rise! I used to row crew and every morning on the water we’d see the sun come up. It is so peaceful! And I have definitely done the whole morning gym/tons of prep thing. I always feel weird packing a majority of my meals though!
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19 Meghan @ After the Ivy League June 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm

I love reading about people’s morning routines like this! Preparing the night before always makes my mornings run so much more smoothly. I’m so happy when I do it, but I’m often pretty lazy the night before and end up scrambling in the morning. And yes maxi dresses to work are the best!
Meghan @ After the Ivy League recently posted..Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

20 Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin June 11, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Your routine is so efficient! I take way too long getting everything together in the morning before my day and I HATE feeling rushed so I always give myself a ton of time. I probably could get ready way quicker if I didn’t wear make up or have to dry/straighten my hair!

21 Courtney June 11, 2013 at 5:13 pm

I’ll often run in the morning near my office, use the shower there and then just head into work. I actually like it because (like you), I seem to always make it at least a couple of minutes earlier! It doesn’t require planning the night before, but so do most things 🙂
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22 Jennifer June 11, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Meghann – where did you get your tri bag? That would be a perfect gift for my husband! Thanks.

23 Sarah June 11, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Yep – in the winter, I go to the gym in the AM if I can’t make it after work. I get up at 5:42 (weird, I know), drive 20 minutes to the gym that is very close to work, and am working out by 6:35. Just a quick workout – in the shower by 7:10. I pack my clothes for work the night before (usually on hangers), as well as my shower stuff, towel, and makeup. I blowdry my hair and straighten, do my makeup, and get dressed, and I’m at work by 8. Sometimes i have time to get Starbucks on my way 🙂 I’m pretty proud of this morning routine!

jealous of your 50 meter pool! i hate circle swimming though 🙂

24 Nina June 11, 2013 at 5:55 pm

It legitimately made me happy to see you don’t wear makeup to work. There was a big debate on the non consumer advocate’s Facebook page about it and I couldn’t believe the number of “well it sucks to do it but if you wanna get anywhere in the corporate world you need to adhere to these standards!” responses.

25 Jelena@FabLifePhD June 11, 2013 at 5:56 pm

I love preping my things the night before. I always choose what to wear the night before, since I wake up before my boyfriend and our closet is in the bed room. I put the lunch and snacks in a bag day before, if I’m not to lazy and always load my coffee machine in advance. I also shower in the evening and not the morning (unless I do sport before work)
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26 Abby June 11, 2013 at 6:07 pm

I’m so interested to see how your hunger changes/what you are eating as your Ironman training progresses. Please keep us posted! I feel like I would eat everything in sight for about 6 months!
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27 Karla @ Run, Karla, Run! June 11, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Ahhh, I can’t even remember the last time I swam in a 50 yard pool! What a luxury. Here in NYC pools are few and far between. I train in 15 yards. No joke. It’s A LOT of turning. But I found a 40-yd outdoor pool that opens in late June. I can’t wait!
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28 Jessica June 11, 2013 at 8:10 pm

I hate getting dressed until right before I leave too. Pretty funny.
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29 Elise @ Expeditions of Elise June 11, 2013 at 8:20 pm

It’s interesting that you don’t wear makeup to work! Have you always been someone who doesn’t wear much makeup or is this a new development from your morning swims? I like to go makeup-less when I can but I would feel a bit “under-dressed” without it…I just like prove to myself that I don’t NEED it.
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30 Meghann June 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm

I’ve never worn make-up. My mom doesn’t wear make-up either – like mother, like daughter.

31 beka @ rebecca roams June 11, 2013 at 8:41 pm

I so wish that I had a gym close to where I work – none for at least 15 miles! But I have a very short work lunch anyhow. Sometimes I’ll go walk outside just to get out my desk. You look bootiful without make up – none needed! 🙂
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32 Grace June 11, 2013 at 9:22 pm

What I want to know is, how do you transport all of that stuff? And how much does it all weigh? There is simply no backpack that fits my fins, paddles and pull buoy…and I need to take it to the office regardless of whether swim is in the morning or at night (usually at night – the public pool where we swim opens only at 8am).

If I’m at the track in the mornings, I shower there and head right into the office and am in by 8.30; if I’m on the night shift that week and don’t have to be at work till 2 (I work 2-11pm), I…uh…sometimes go home and nap.

33 Sara@RunningInPinkProject June 11, 2013 at 9:28 pm

No getting ready at the gym for me BUT I love reading about other people having to prep their meals and such the night before. I do that and sometimes it gets daunting. Glad to know others are sleepy and packing Tupperware and little baggies too. 🙂
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34 Jan @ Sprouts n Squats June 12, 2013 at 4:19 am

Love the idea of granola on toast like that it looks delicious!

I can’t believe the shower is cold where you swim I don’t know if I could handle it. My gym is in the building where I live so I can go home to change. I used to go to a gym near work and would sometimes do lunch time classes but I don’t really love changing into work clothes from the gym but sometimes it can be much easier to do it, it just means being super organised which I can see you are 🙂
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35 Grazia June 12, 2013 at 5:08 am

I love morning workouts! Unfortunately my gym opens at 6:45 so I’m always in a hurry and I still arrive at work a little late (but I always make up for lateness in the afternoon).

36 Katie D. June 12, 2013 at 8:21 am

I get ready at the gym on Tuesday and Thursdays after a 6:00 am class. I rarely wash my hair there, just pull into a ponytail. I do get ready faster though, because I don’t have debate on what to wear, I just pull on what I packed!!

37 Sarah @ Yogi in Action June 12, 2013 at 9:27 am

That is an early, early start to your day! I can barely drag myself out of bed at 6:30!

Do you find your naturally a morning person? Or have you really had to work at it? I’m naturally a night person, so morning workouts just don’t work for me typically.
Sarah @ Yogi in Action recently posted..How to order healthy foods at restaurants

38 kayla June 13, 2013 at 3:31 am

love the backpack reminds me of my old speedo swimteam bag. where can you get one like that??

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