Thursday, February 23, 2017

Warm Weather...So, what's there to Runfess?



We've had some amazing weather in Iowa recently. February certainly was the polar opposite to January in terms of outdoor temps and sunshine. I have been outside everyday in some capacity, and it's been wonderful!

So, what's there to runfess? Well, although the recent weather has been fantastic, there are a few things I do not like about it...


1 - I must runfess that outdoor stairway workout was tough! Although I was SOOO excited to discover an outdoor stairway near my house, Holy High-Stepping, Batman! That stairway workout was tough! Let me explain....this stairway has 18 steps and they are  "elongated." The steps are deep, wide, and not in the least bit steep. So, what's so bad about that? Well, single-stepping these steps was the equivalent of taking my regular stairs (on my 12-step indoor stairway) by two's. And taking these elongated steps by two's was about equal effort to taking the regular steps by quadruples. My long legs were extended at their maximum and I had to rely on the railings (thankfully, there were railings on BOTH sides of the steps) to keep in motion. Bottom line, don't be fooled by a stairway that appears less challenging just because the elevation isn't quite as steep as you're accustomed to climbing.  #humbled #again

70 flights up (and down) ...
2 - I must runfess that all this warm weather has endangered the well-being of our magnolia tree. Usually, we don't see buds appear until mid-March (when the temps are consistently a tad bit warmer). And, typically, as soon as the buds begin blooming, we get a crazy thunder storm or a surprise late-season frost.....and all the beautiful blooms abruptly turn brown and hit the ground. This past week, with the unseasonably warm temps (mid-70's, none the less), all of these buds started appearing....and as I type this, the (February) temps have returned to their "normal" borderline-freezing status. We're forecasted to get snow, which could be a small disaster. The good news is this cold spell is supposed to be short-lived. Hopefully all of these magnolia buds can make it through the weekend if Momma N chooses to play nice...#fingerscrossed

I'm crossing all of my fingers and toes that our magnolia tree can make it through the weekend
3 - I must runfess that I hate mud. It's been warm, and with the exception to a damp Monday (almost two weeks ago) and Thursday's afternoon rain, there has been ZERO precipitation lately. But, for some mysterious reason, the ground is still a muddy mess. The microscopic amount of snow we've had  this winter has long since  left the premises...so I don't know why all of this mud is still hanging around. #mudfest

Look closely...can you see the mud?
4 - I must runfess that I have forgotten how to dress for the weather (again). Seriously! It's one thing to have a gradual warming trend as the daylight increases, but when it literally happens overnight, it gets a little tricky. Of course, the temps are still chilly in the early morning and don't reach their peak until mid-afternoon. I find myself either under-dressing (thinking it will be warmer than it actually is) or over-dressing for the exact opposite reason. As always, the wind (or lack thereof) and the sunshine (or absence thereof) are major deal breakers. #guessinggame

To fleece or not to fleece?
5 - I must runfess, it's been awhile since I've done any early morning miles. Remember when I rocked those 4:15AM wake-ups and was dressed, laced-up, and out the door by 4:55? Well, my Route 66 training runs came to a crashing halt after I crossed the Route 66 finish line (back in November). I've had several morning runs since then, but none of them required rising before the sun. Thursday's early morning run felt awesome, physically and emotionally. It reaffirmed that my mind, body, and soul are ready to get back to a training routine. Grandma's Marathon, I'm coming for you!#gmas17

Yes! back outside in the pre-dawn hours
***I usually do a #bonus Runfession, so here it is:

I was interested in knowing what my cumulative distance would be from my stair workout. Remember, this outdoor stairway was a different scenario from the traditional stairway inside my house. The outdoor stairway has 18 steps (my indoor stairway has 12), and these steps were much bigger steps requiring long "strides." Also, due to the reduced incline, I ran them faster than usual (because the elevation gain wasn't as steep). However, I didn't go too fast going down the steps (that would be a face-plant just waiting to happen). I did (2) intervals of 20 flights of single steps / 10 flights of doubles and ended with an extra 10 flights of singles (70 total flights). My total distance was just over a mile, and it took me less than 30 minutes. I felt like a total beast when I finished, and my entire body (from the glutes-down) had been thoroughly worked. But, I gotta runfess I was beyond disappointed to see my Garmin only acknowledging  87 calories burned for all of that effort. #sayWHAT


Wow. 
SO, talk to me...do you have any recent runfessions that need to be aired? Have you had unseasonably warm weather? Have you ever tackled a challenging stairway workout?

I'm linking up with Marcia for the monthly Runfessions 
and with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0.



53 comments:

  1. oh man Kimberly, I'd have been PISSED that that stair workout was "only" 87 cals burned!!!

    we have totally psychotic weather here at the moment. I runfess that I really am cranky running in crap weather. It's not like I don't know it's crappy here... it's the same, year after year... yet, I spend the entire winter being grumpy waiting for spring, in which I'm grumpy because it's raining... maybe I'm just grumpy?

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    1. Well, I do realize the Garmin thinks I was running a very s.l.o.w. mile (it did take me almost 27 minutes LOL), and I know I did, indeed, burn a lot more than those itty bitty 87 calories...but still. It would have been nice to see it on the screen ;-)

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  2. So you know that calorie count was for running, right? You should find a stair climbing calorie calculator--I'm sure there's something on the internet!

    I had that same thought about the mud this week. Why is it still here?

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    1. Ha ha ha....oh yes, I know the Garmin thinks I was putzing along at a near-30-minute pace for that "mile" of stairwork....

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  3. I have those exact same Mizuno sneakers in your photo under #3 - Don't you just love them!

    I runfess that I hate summer running, but I am really appreciating these new milder temperatures. It's a nice change!

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    1. These Mizunos are partially-retired (I also have the mint green ones). They were good, but I preferred the 9's much more to these ;-( They are comfy, though!

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  4. I will probably be going up & down stairs again at my parents house tomorrow. Nice way to prep for a long run, right?

    Our weather was really bipolar this month. Yes, half was warmer than usual (but nowhere near as warm as the midwest, apparently). But the other half we were clobbered with snow. I shoveled almost every week in February (except this one).

    And yes, dressing is really difficult! My IG post this morning shows how I was dressed yesterday morning -- by afternoon I was running in a skirt & tee (and probably should've been a tank!).

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    1. I was glad to see some of the warm weather finally made it up your way!

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  5. I don't like mud. That's why I'll never do one of those mud races. Plus, your pink Mizunos are so pretty- why muddy them up! One reason I use my fitbit for more of a watch than anything else is that it doesn't give me credit for everything!

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    1. Yes, I figured that the Garmin was working off my mileage and not effort or heart rate LOL Like I said, I was mainly curious what the mileage would be...but when I saw the calorie count, I was like, "Really???"

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  6. Yes, I agree with you! I for the life of me can't figure out how to dress. On monday, I took my shirt off and ran in a sports bra! Wows. And, like you... I do absolutely HATE mud - actually, other than the return of warm temperatures, I would say Spring is one of my least favorite times of the year - it's a time when we get to see all the ugly about winter - the dirty streets, the muddy grass, all the trash people throw out of their vehicles.. I mean COME ON POEPLE - have a little respect for our planet! * off my soap box now.

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    1. I agree....I hate seeing all the hidden junk that surfaces when the snow disappears. We have not had much snow...so we've seen the junk all winter LOL

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  7. I agree all of this up and down with the weather is hard to dress for runs #runnerproblems indeed but I am loving these warmer temps.

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    1. The temps are hard to dress for when they're so inconsistent...but I'll gladly take the warmer temps to the frigid ones we had in January.

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  8. I'm always dressed wrong these days. Always.

    We got like 5 days of random winter weather this year. That's it. So weird.

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  9. every time I see stairs, I think of you LOL

    They're so hard!!!

    Yes, I overdressed one day and then the next, it was windy and I was underdressed. Though, I hate overdressing...so hard to run when you are hot.

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    1. You should do the stairs, too! Are you doing any planking?

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  10. It is always so difficult to not under or over dress when the weather is constantly changing. While I certainly enjoy the spring like weather, it has made it difficult to estimate how warm or cold I'll get during a run.

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    1. Just when I think I"mover-dressed, I"ll turn a corner and have that wind hit me in the face....or vice/versa.

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  11. I RUNFESS I HATE MUD TOO!!!! Is this why I haven't become a dedicated trail runner?! Perhaps...

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    1. I love trails...but there are not many in my area, and I wouldn't be "enjoying" them this time of year anyways #toomuchmud

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  12. with the constant changes to the weather here, I find myself over dress/under dressing mostly on my week night runs since I pack a bag the night before and change at work.

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  13. That just CANNOT be right! No way you climbed stairs for 30 minutes and burned so little. I guess your Garmin is going on HR? I have this same issue at my spin class. The bike tells me I'm pushing all kinds of power and riding 20+ mph. BUT Garmin Connect, based on my HR, says I rode "leisurely" under 10 mph. WTH??

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    1. I don't have the heart rate settings activated (?). I'm guessing the Garmin just went on the distance....and it appeared that I ran that one mile rather slow LOL

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  14. No stair workouts for me due to my knees not being the best in the world, but great job to you!! Our weather has been unseasonably warm all year. We didn't have much of a fall and I winter. I dread the heat that's coming but what can you do?

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    1. I actually am looking forward to the heat! Although the Iowa heat is not as extreme as in the south, we do get some crazy humidity.

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  15. Guessing there will never be one of those muddy obstacle races in your future? :)

    Yes, I seriously miss the stairs I used to run in my old town. It was 103 steps climbing up the side of a dam at a reservoir. Seriously intense but I loved it!

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    1. WoW! 103 steps! That would be fun (in a crazy, painful kind of way LOL) And, you're correct....I'd love to do another obstacle course race someday (I did one on a military base last August), but it would have to be one that didn't have all the extreme mud/water stuff

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  16. Though I'm loving winter sports right now, I'm looking forward to running the stairs this spring on my lunch time runs (and I can't believe I just said that, ha ha!)

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    1. Well, good for you! Not many people admit to looking forward to doing stair work!

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  17. I'm worried about the plants as well--I hope they can make it through! You are the stair MASTER

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    1. I love doing stairs! It's quick (well, somewhat LOL) and effective

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  18. So stair master, 87 calories, huh? No way! That is not inspiring to go run some steps :) Enjoy that weather!

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    1. Ha ha....obviously, the Garmin was going on total mileage and NOT heart rate or effort LOL

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  19. Nature doesn't even know how to react to this weather. :( The yellow jackets were out here in PA in Feb. This can't be good.

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    1. That's scary! I take it this is early for them? Yikes...

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  20. We just had a new stair case put in our house today so maybe I should start your stair workout.

    We've HD extremely warm weather here too. I didn't even look to check our Magnolia tree. If the buds freeze does that mean it won't bloom again when "real" spring comes?

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    1. I have no idea on the fate of our tree....we got snow and it was 15-degrees this morning! It's supposed to be int he 40's tomorrow, so hopefully that will take the chill out of the air. I don't know if the buds would "re-bud" if these first ones freeze (?)

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  21. Great way to end the month!

    The weather here is all over the place. It was in the 80s yesterday and is going to drop into the 40s tonight. I have no idea what's going on.

    I, too, loathe mud.

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  22. Wow! You had quite a month!! The weather has been totally crazy in Maine. Last week we had 3 huge snow storms and this week, it's like Spring out!

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    1. February has been pretty mild....and then the warm weather was almost show-stopping!

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  23. Running today in this warm weather was one of the first times since December that I've gotten to run without coldgear. It was amazing running with short sleeves. My general rule for dress is to dress for 20 degrees warmer than it is outside. The first mile is sometimes cold but after that if I dress to warm, I'm striping down on the run and tying clothes around my waist. I hope this weather is here to stay!

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    1. It feels so liberating not having to wear all the cold weather gear...but disheartening to have to dig it back out a few days later ;-(

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  24. Yep, we had unseasonably warm weather until yesterday afternoon's storms rolled through and the temps dropped twenty degrees in short order.

    All those stairs and only 87 calories? Come on!

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    1. ha ha ha ....I think the Garmin was going on distance and not hear rate or effort LOL

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  25. If you are ever in Chicago, you have to go to Swallow Cliff in Palos Hills and do the stairs. Google the pictures of Swallow Cliff. Do you know of any awesome stairs in Iowa that I can add to my blog post Free Stair Parks? The weather has been awesome in Chicago too but not now LOL.

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    1. I think some of my Chicago pals have mentioned those stairs! I'm actually gonna be in Chicago in a couple weeks for the Wintrust 10-miler....but probably won't be doing the stairs (or the 10-miler would be a slow-motion adventure as a result). I honestly do not know of any free stair parks in Iowa, but I'm gonna have to do a little research! I do the Fight for Air Climb every spring (for the American Lung Association), so I do a lot of stair-training this time of year. I actually did the Climb at the Presidential Towers in 2014...that was tough!!

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  26. Glad your weather has been great, that stair workout looks rough. I runfess that I Have been not running dontona stupid injury.

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    1. Injuries totally suck ;-( I hope things heal up quickly for you.

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  27. I've been thrown off by this winter too when it comes to how to dress! And it's so weird to see flowers blooming all over my neighborhood...it's too soon!

    I need to follow your lead and do some stair climbing workouts. You worked hard for that 87 calorie burn!

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