Sunday, April 10, 2016

Windy, Chilly, and Worn-out





Another crazy week with wind, only this week also had chilly temps as well. This week's theme? Windy, chilly, and worn-out, Oh My!

Monday started out with pleasant temps (and lots of sunshine)....but that %&$# wind was ever present. Fortunately, I had the afternoon off from work, so I headed out and did six laps (yes, six laps...that was not a typo) around the "little block across the street." I call it the "little block" because it takes three laps to get to a mile in total distance (the "big" block, that I live on, only needs two laps).

This pic does not do justice to the little hill on the little block
The thing is, though, this "little block" is situated on the side of a hill. The hill is short (it is, after all a little block), but it's steep. And, here's the kicker, you get to climb this little hill twice on each lap around that little block. So, if you do the math: 6 laps = 2 miles = 12 hills. Not a bad workout, eh?

Tuesday brought us some cold, windy (again!) and rainy weather. With the Fight for Air Climb looming only a few days away, I decided to get in one last stair-training session. As mentioned in several recent posts, I do some of my stair-training in an office building downtown. It's a 5-story building (including the basement), and I always climb the steps two-at-a-time. I did 10 sets (of the five flights of stairs), for a total of 50 flights climbed...and I was done within 20 minutes.

Climbing and smiling!
Wednesday was somewhat of a rest/recovery day. I had run 8 miles on Sunday (also in the wind), and with the two hilly miles on Monday and the stair-training on Tuesday I had no guilt in taking it easy. I try to do at least 20 minutes of daily aerobic activity, and most days that involves power-walking around the little, hilly block. Momma N also gifted me with some light sprinkles as I was finishing up (she's such a nice, caring gal!).

Thursday was another windy day!  There was mixed sun and angry-looking clouds all day. I headed out for a quick 5K after work. Surprisingly, the wind wasn't as bad as it has been, so the run didn't feel like a constant battle to stay vertical.
Another run in the wind

More angry clouds.....
Friday was another day of rest. I had a 5K on tap for Saturday morning, and was also planning to do some extra miles afterwards. I have been upping my weekly long runs in recent weeks, and with more rain in the forecast for Sunday (and the Climb in the morning), I thought it in my best interest to get in all my miles on Saturday. I'm not a big advocate for splitting up long runs, but sometimes it just has to be done. And, I also know it's better to get in a split-run than no long run at all.

Anyways, the 5K went pretty well! There was a time when 5K's were SO hard for me. I remember getting nervous about being able to run the entire distance. Now days, the 5K distance is a no-brainer...it's the speed that challenges me. I'm not naturally gifted with speed, and even after almost 11 years of running, I still struggle with getting the correct pace. That first mile is usually the deal-breaker if I go out too fast....but on Saturday, I was able to avoid the "crash & burn" from a too-fast start. It wasn't a PR, but still a decent finish time for me (26:19). Anything under a 9-minute pace makes me smile, especially when the second two miles have to be carefully managed to make up for the foolishly fast first mile. It wasn't a huge field a competitors, but I was able to land a first place age group honor. I was happy with my finish time, so I'll gladly take it!

Swag included the t-shirt, medal, and cookbook. The insulated bottle was the AG award.
My friend, Barb, met me after we'd finished the 5K. The temps were chilly (upper 20's) and even though the wind was minimal, we both wanted a change of clothes (in other words, DRY clothes) before heading out for more mileage. We set out to do five easy miles, but wound up doing six miles instead. I wasn't sure if I'd regret that on the 86 flights of stairways the next morning or not.

Sunday morning arrives, and although my back was a bit stiff (I forgot to mention that I also did a couple hours of yard work on Saturday afternoon...raking, digging, and transferring several {20?} clumps of daylilies), everything else was in working order. This was my fifth Fight for Air Climb event (I've done the Des Moines venue also in 2013, 2014 and 2015; and I did the Chicago venue in 2014). Spoiler alert: All went well! I managed a 19:13 finish time, a PR over the 20:21 from a year ago (stay tuned...the full recap is coming!). When I returned home, though, my entire body was ready for some down time.

In other news:

Even with the nasty wind, there are plentiful signs of spring:

The daffodils are in bloom!

And the magnolias are about to burst into color!
I am an avid planker. I do a 2:30 plank every morning while my chai is heating, and I sometimes do additional planking in the evening. I don't do especially "long" planks very often, though (I've heard planks are most effective when you vary the "holding time," so I sprinkle in a long hold only occasionally). I got down and assumed the position, and was able to hold a plank for five continuous minutes! (but I was NOT smiling the entire time #truthinplanking)


And with the cold temps this past week, I reluctantly pulled some of my boots back out of the closet (as well as some of my winter wardrobe favorites). You do what you gotta do.
Ponchos, and long sleeves, and boots...oh my!
So, this week kept me busy and active...total miles in my running shoes: 22; and total flights climbed:136. WHEW! (where's that foam roller?)

How was your week? Ever done a Fight for Air Climb? Have you ever done back-to-back events in one weekend (and actually did well at both of them)? Are your spring flowers and bulbs starting to bloom?

As usual, I'm linking up for the Weekly Wrap. A huge shout out to Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin  for this weekly endeavor they host for all of us. Do head over and check it out!!



41 comments:

  1. Congrats on first place in the 5K! All of the stair-climbing is great prep for Fight for Air Climb and inspiring, too. I started wondering if there was a tall building nearby! Flower planting for me on Saturday, too!

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    1. We have a lot in common!! Depending on where you live, even if there are tall buildings, they may not be available to the general public. We (a few co-workers and myself) had to get special permission to have access to this particular building. We all had to sign waivers (releasing the property management from any liability), and we had limited hours of availability. That said, it still was a much better set-up than going up & down numerous on my stairway at home ;-)

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  2. Wow, busy week. Between the race and the climb, and all those miles, I would have been wiped. I hope that this coming week is less windy.
    I have been travelling so my workout schedule is completely off but I am doing something everyday as part of my marathon recovery.

    Getting the blood flowing to my muscles.
    Have a great week !

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    1. I think our weather is supposed to be nicer this week. I don't especially love wind, but I can handle it in small increments (and preferably in warmer weather than what we had last week). Keeping the blood flowing and the muscles active is wise....a lot of people do a big event (like a marathon) and take an entire week completely off. I think the body needs recovery, but it needs a little bit of action...kind of like a reverse-taper to work out the kinks ;-)

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  3. Congrats on the first place AG award! Somehow I missed that! But just reading your recap made me tired. Time for a little break?

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    1. I'm gonna scale it back a bit this week, but still keep active. I'll definitely ease up on the stair-climbing this week! I have a half on May 1, and I'm on schedule to get my long run distance up to 10 miles this next weekend. I can then scale back for a week, do another semi-long run, then taper (some) for the race. At least that's my plan on paper.....

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  4. 5ks hurt like heck from step one until the finish. I much prefer the half distance. But, I somehow feel like they are good for me. It's the only way to force me to run that kind of pace! Like you, I'm pretty happy with sub 9 miles. Congratulations on your first place AG award! That plank is killer! You rock. And how about that stair climb PR too! Inspirational! Thanks for linking with us Kimberly.

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    1. I agree. I used to really detest 5K's for the non-stop speed aspect, but have come to appreciate them for that very reason. I need to figure out a way to get my body to start out "moderately" fast and not "all-out-sprinting" so I'll have a bit left in the tank for the finish. #stilllearning

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  5. a 5 minute plank. You must be wonder woman. That is outrageous! Go kim. Congrats on your age group finish. Sub 9 is a solid 5K for sure!

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    1. Ha! Thanks ;-) I do like planking (mainly because I hate doing ab work...and planks don't "feel" like ab work to me).

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  6. Congratulations on your first place Age Award. That is some great swag for a 5k.-L

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    1. Thanks! I'm not too crazy for the cotton t-shirt, but the bottle is legit ;-)

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  7. That's so cool that you won your race!! Great job. Just looking at those stairs hurts my knees but good for you! It's funny, my knees don't hurt when I run but stairs kills me. 28 degrees?! Yikes!! Cute warm outfit though. I am always bummed out that I don't get to wear all my black boots enough. You are definitely a champion planker- 5 minutes!!!

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    1. My "warm" outfit actually had me sweating a lot in those cool temps.....so I had to change clothes and ditch the puffer vest for the remaining six miles. #crazyweather

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  8. I also ran 22 miles, but other than going up & down the one flight in my home, no 126 flights for me! So why am I so tired?

    I've never done back to back events. Ever.

    5ks are hard! Pacing them is a real challenge. Actually, I think ANY race is hard -- all distances have their challenges.

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    1. You are SO correct...every race distance has its own challenges

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  9. You had a busy week! Congrats on snagging the AG win! 5ks are brutal but I think they definitely have their benefits.

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    1. I certainly have a new respect for 5K's now that I'm doing mostly distance stuff. They definitely keep me humble!

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  10. Its great when we become more and more comfortable with race distances and can go out and run them effortlessly. You're quite the speed demon!

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    1. Well..."speed demon" is a bit of an exaggeration, but thanks ;-)

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  11. Congrats on the AG award and the PR! What a great race weekend for you! The wind has been crazy here, as well. I'm so ready for sun and warm and spring!

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    1. WE finally have a week of warm weather happening (after the "expected lows of 29-degrees overnight). Now if that darn wind would just cooperate...

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  12. Great job this week, I am so ready for the wind to leave Iowa! Awesome job on the 5k!!!

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  13. Yay! Congrats on the AG win. That is a great 5K time :)
    We have had quite the wind streak here as well, Saturday was big gusts for my trail run.
    A five minute plank is great!

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    1. I keep hearing about the wind ALL OVER the country...it's been non-stop crazy!

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  14. Wow that is a super speedy 5k time congrats! That photo you have up top is exactly how I felt at Cherry Blossom last week the wind has been crazy here!

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    1. Yeah, I am about over & done with the wind. I can handle it now and then...but every day for the past three weeks is just TOO much.

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  15. I've never thought to plank while my iced coffee brews. Genius idea! Thanks :)

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  16. Congratulations on your AG win and your awesome PR!

    We have had some wind here, as well. Granted, it's a little warmer, so it's not such a huge deal, but it does make cycling pretty challenging. Spring will be here soon! I hope!

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    1. I haven't gotten my bike out of storage yet....I'm not an avid cyclist...at least not avid enough to want to conquer the wind while mounted LOL

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  17. There are so many wow's in this post! All that math...yea I'm glad you did it for me. Great job on the Monday run! That plank, just wow, oh wait I already said that. It is awesome, I can just do 1.5 minutes and start to shake. But I use to shake at 45 seconds so it is progress.
    Wonderful job on your stair run and I can't wait to hear the recap! Sweet on the AG award in the 5k! I hate doing them too because even though it's only 3.1 miles it is a hard run. :)

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    1. You are absolutely right with planking...progress is progress! Going from 45 seconds to 90 seconds is DOUBLING your time! (I'd hope there would be a little bit of effort involved LOL). Fortunately the 5K was on a pretty flat course, and the weather was ideal. But a 3.1 mile "sprint" is just not my thing....give me a half marathon ANYDAY ;-)

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  18. 1st place, you are amazing!! #GOALS!

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    1. Thanks! Like I said, it wasn't a big field of competition, but my finish time was what made me happy ;-)

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    1. I always say "go bright or go home," so those tights are perfect. I use the hashtag #gobrightorgohome frequently on Instagram and Twitter.

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  20. Congrats on the age group win and the PR in the flights! Sounds like a great weekend for you.

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    1. It was a busy weekend! I woke up Monday morning feeling good, so all the aches and pains were a no-show ;-)

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  21. Weather seems to be the theme this week for all of these weekly recaps! Congrats on a strong 5K Saturday and the PR on Sunday!! Our daffodils bloomed the week before last, and then we had a hard freeze and now they are dead. Then this past weekend we had high winds and snow and all of the buds seems to have blown off of the trees. There goes spring.

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