Thursday, February 16, 2017

What's there to rant about???


To say this winter has been a crazy one would be the most grandiose of understatements.


How's that for a play on words.


It's true that I'm more of an outdoor enthusiast than indoor inhabitant. I crave the fresh air and love the warmth of sunshine on my face. I am also a glass-half-full kind of gal. This particular winter, though, has given me plenty to rant about.

For example:

1 - We have had the cold temps, but barely any snow. This is Iowa, after all. I believe if we're gonna have the teeth-chattering temps, we ought to have something to show for it. But, this unpredictable winter (with its crazy extreme temps and wind) really did happen at convenient time for me...because it was my off-season. My body (and mind) needed a dose of downtime to recover, rest, and rebuild from my late season marathon. In short...it was the optimal time for me to stay inside.

What was so great about my off-season? Plain and simple, it was a time to take things easy (more info about my off-season HERE). There was no pressure to train for any upcoming events. No long training runs to schedule on my weekends. I made myself have at least three non-running days each week, no exceptions. And, most importantly, I focused on doing other things to stay active without jeopardizing my "running parts."

Walking was a great way to stay active while in recovery from my marathon
2 - More time inside usually means more time on the treadmill...which usually translates to UGH. Somehow, I managed to "embrace the suck." And, because I was spending so much time inside with the treadmill, I decided to finally give her a name...'Milly. (You can read more about that HERE)

How's that for a post-treadmill glow?
3 - Daily cardio can be tough to find when you aren't relying on running for all of it. For example, one of my January challenges was to do 30 minutes of cardio everyday. Without the "luxury" of daily running, I was forced to get creative inside my house (and not just on the treadmill).

What's a gal to do? Answer : stair work!  If there's one piece of "equipment" that strengthens the lower body and gets the heart pumping, it's the stairway! I do a lot of drills on the stairway...simply going up and down (usually taking the stairs "by two's," but also going "by three's" as well).

Here's a few workouts that I have created:
The Stella vs. 'Milly Interval Extravaganza Workout (more specific details HERE ). As mentioned above, my treadmill now has a name ('Milly), so I thought it only fitting that my beloved stairway have a name as well....so, I named her Stella. I created this workout to intermix 1/4 mile segments on the 'mill with increasing (then decreasing) sets of stairs.

This is a fun one!
The Fast & Effective Stair Workout involves intervals of double-steps and triple-steps:

ready for some "jello" legs?
How about adding some "sideways" steps to the mix? The Strength-Based Balance Burner Workout is great if you're short on time but want to get the sweat flowing:




4 - Being stuck inside is usually so boring!  Guess what? It's a lot easier to do planks inside than outside (at least in the winter). I have been doing daily planks for several years, but this winter I decided to up the ante and do more than just that 2:30 morning forearm plank. I added some short planks throughout the day, and did a lot of planking before bedtime. The best thing to come out of this? I got some fellow fitness-minded friends to join me!

Care to plank along with me? 
5 - It wasn't until February that I was ready to ease back into a base-building running routine. But guess what? February has been pretty kind to me (thus far) in terms of weather. We're had a couple days with cold temps and windy conditions, but most of February has been entertaining unseasonably warm temps...like in the 40's-50's! I have been enjoying lots of outdoor mileage in capri's or shorts, and simple light layers (without the need for the much-loved puffer vests).

Capri's and "no gloves!"
SO, any rants about the winter (or weather) you need to share? How has your February been so far? 

I'm linking up with the ever-awesome gals (Lacey and Meranda and Rachel) for the Friday Five 2.0...and the theme for today is "cold weather rants." 


35 comments:

  1. I can't rant much about this winter! I've enjoyed the mostly perfect running conditions. Sure, we've had a few bone chilling days, but they've been overshadowed by the warmth of the sun! I hear March may be snowy, so hang on...

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    1. March always has a few glitches up its sleeve....

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  2. No complaints about the weather here - just about the weather forecasting! I keep getting caught in the rain.

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    1. yuck! I do not like rain (unless it's warmer than 80-degrees...

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  3. What a great idea to use the stairs for your workouts!! I also love the Stella name for it! :D

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    1. ha ha! Stella and I spend a lot of time together LOL

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  4. I don't really have any complaints about winter this year except that we have not even had one snow storm! You seem to have adapted well to your forces treadmill runs this winter. Have a great weekend

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    1. the treadmill certainly was not my first choice....but it worked out

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  5. I have no winter rants about the weather this year, that's for sure! The weather has been mild but we did have one snow which I didn't mind at all. I always love an excuse to stay indoors and that was just what I needed for that one day! We are in the 60's this weekend so I m hoping this is a sign that spring is on the way!

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    1. We have 60's on tap for the weekend, too. ;-)

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  6. I have no rants about this winter! Other than the ice that I slipped and pratfalled on...

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  7. My rant is not about the weather but about getting sick. I hate when that happens esp at peak half marathon training.

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    1. getting sick is tough...hope you're feeling better

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  8. We've had similiar weather here as well. Barely any snow but cold temps!

    I think my biggest rant about winter running is all the extra laundry lol

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    1. oh gosh....yes! the laundry is a nightmare LOL

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  9. I've already blocked out the "winter" we did have back in....was it December?? I've resigned myself to thinking we're not going to really get winter here this year. AOK with me.

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    1. It was such a weird winter....I have a feeling it's not completely done, though....

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  10. February has been a pretty good month for me fitness-wise. I've gotten in most of my workouts, but I want to get back to my morning routine. Right now I'm going after work, which is ok, but I feel best when I sweat it out first thing.

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    1. I need to get back to my early morning routine, too. Hoping to do that when the temps get a bit more consistently warmer, and the daylight is better in the wee hours ;-)

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  11. Like I said in my own post, I'm in Florida, so I can't be too vent-y about the weather. Yes, the cold makes it rough to get out there, and pollen and humidity are always annoying, but it's nothing like what the rest of the country deals with.

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    1. I'm used to the cold, but it does get to be a drag. I don't love snow, either, but at least it looks "seasonal."

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  12. Lady, you crushed your winter workouts. I am seriously in awe of you with these stair workouts and 37 minute planks. Killing it!

    I hope I'm half as dedicated as you in my off season. :)

    BRING ON SUMMER!

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    1. YES! bring on summer! We have marathons to run!!

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  13. You ranting about the weather here this week! February has been nice. You are super dedicated to that 30 minutes- awesome job!

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    1. We have almost late-spring-like temps currently....you might see me in a tank top tomorrow...

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  14. We've had unusually warm weather in Chicago much of this winter, and in fact broke a 130 year old record today! We haven't had much snow here either, but some of the ice cold temps definitely kept me inside!

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  15. This really has been a weird winter but you definitely made the most of it! You always impressed me with your treadmill runs and stair workouts.

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  16. We didn't have winter this winter. It was so strange. I don't like a LOT of cold and snow, but at least one snow day each winter is nice. Instead, I've been outside *in capris* most of the winter.

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  17. I'm with you, if its going to be cold let's at least see some snow!

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  18. I think all the snow got stuck in Montana and Idaho. We are having a great melting week though and am sad to see a return to cold next week. Our winter has been so cold so unrelenting until now. Great stair workout! My kids think I am crazy when I do stair workouts.

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  19. YOu sure are motivated to do stair workouts in your house! I absolutely hate when it is just freezing with no snow, we thankfully have plenty of the gorgeous white stuff!

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  20. I am so happy I am not training for anything at the moment ... this winter has been COLD here in France and lots more rain compared to last year. I have spent my off season doing lots of weight training and slimming down. I really needed the time off after 2 marathons last year. I am starting to get my mojo back... today is my second race of the year and I have started stalking races to decide which ones I want to do.

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  21. Sometimes it feels like we were the only ones that got snow . . . granted, we didn't get a whole lot of snow this winter, but we really got socked last week (and it wasn't the only snow of the season, either. And no 70 degree days for us, either. :(

    Ok, it's weird though -- I think an "easy" winter is the perfect time to train -- like last winter, for instance.

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  22. Looks like you are making the best of winter, me I hate winter and moved to Florida because of it.

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