Sunday, February 19, 2017

Yay for the sunshine!


Can I just say, "Yay for more sunshine!!!!"

February, at least in Iowa, has been well worth all the crap we endured in January. Of course, I make that grandiose proclamation knowing full well that these spring-like weather conditions most likely will not usher us into an early summer. I'm in Iowa, after all, and Momma N probably has at least one more "real" winter hurrah that she will dump on us if we pack away our parkas too soon.

We entertained another week of pleasantly warm temps and daily sunshine. I was able to get outside every day (in some capacity), and 'Milly (my treadmill) saw ZERO action. 

Monday had me situated at work most of the day, but I met up with my friend, Barb, after getting home. I am certainly enjoying the extended daylight. We ran our 5-mile route and there still was some daylight (though diminishing) when we finished. 

Five miles in the late afternoon/early evening daylight
Tuesday was a dedicated cross-training day. As most people know, I have the Fight for Air Climb (Des Moines venue) happening in April, so I'm doing weekly stair-training. There are many things I love about stair-training, the big one being that it does not take long to get the heart rate going and virtually every muscle from the glutes-down gets some action.

Back on the stairs on Valentine's Day
I created a new stair workout this week, and added a new move...sideways steps. These incorporate some balance work because it's a natural tendency to lean in the opposite direction (thus, towards the downward direction LOL) as you raise your leg upwards from a sideways stance. I can't do them as fast as the "forward" steps (yet!), but they did add a nice variation to my usual forward steps.  This workout was over and done in less than 20 minutes,but it would be easy to do another repeat (or more) if you wanted a longer cardio session.

Give it a try!
Wednesday is usually an active recovery/rest day for me. No running, and very little anything else. I did get outside for a brisk 20-minute walk through the 'hood and did some planking and push-ups.

Thursday, we had a family dinner with the Pennsylvania daughter (who was back in Iowa this week, doing some work at her company's HQ); my parents and sister also joined the celebration. I met up with Barb around 6:30 for another 5-mile run. Although we had ZERO daylight, the temps were still pleasant and we ran a decent pace.


Friday, nothing to report in terms of running (rest day), but the usual planks, push-ups, and walking happened. Also, I played around with my hair and tried a new variation on the "beachy wave" look. Believe it or not, I created these waves with a straight iron!

#wavyhairposer
Saturday, there was glorious sunshine with a forecasted high of 70-degree temps in the afternoon! We needed to get the daughter to the Des Moines airport (an hour away) by noon, and I didn't know how long we'd stick around the big city...so I did my run in the (somewhat) early morning. 

(sigh) back at the airport....
But about that run. Oh my. Ever heard of the struggle bus? Ever been a passenger? I had a beautiful route, albeit a bit hilly, and near-perfect temps...but my body's mojo was MIA. It was one of those runs where it felt like I was going in extreme slow motion. When my watch beeped at the 5-mile mark (and I still had about a half mile to my house), I threw up the white flag (figuratively) and walked the rest of the way to my driveway. Imagine my surprise when all of my splits were in the 9:39-9:45 range (except for the final mile...10:24), and my net pace was sub-10!

Granted, this run was not meant to be a fast run. It was intended to be a simple run-for-fun outing, but it really proved to be one of those runs we all dread. The legs did not want to move, my breathing felt labored, and I had to fight the constant urge to stop. Finishing with a much faster pace (than what it felt like) was a welcome ego boost.
  
Now, that was a tough run....
Sunday was another day of beautiful warm and sunny weather (seriously, I could get used to this!). Barb and I met at our usual spot and did our 5-mile loop, this time in the reverse direction. I left my watch at home, and just ran. This run was totally the yin to the previous day's yang. I even wore the new Brooks Ravenna's for their longest run to date...and everything felt great. It was another reminder that every bad run usually has a great run coming up next.

#redemptionrun for the win! And check out that sunrise!
This week's mileage (Monday-Sunday) came in at 22 miles (I also headed out for a couple easy miles with the husband later that afternoon!). I feel like my base is back where it needs to be, so the mileage will be gradually increasing as I get ready for Grandma's Marathon (June 17). I have started scribbling out a potential training plan, but it needs a few more details (with the weekly workouts) and the long runs need some fine-tuning.  

yes, it's a very "rough" rough draft at the moment...

In other news:
I am an avid planker (shocker, I know). I do daily 2:30 planks every morning, and additional "short" planks throughout the day and in the evening. I don't do "long" planks very often, but last Sunday evening, I decided to attempt a 5-minute forearm plank. Guess what? All of these "short" planks have done their job! The five minutes went pretty quickly, and were not much of a struggle at all (usually, I'm shaking in that final minute). 

YOU can fo a 5-minute forearm plank, too!
My #Fridayfashion post on my Instagram and my Pinterest was well-received. All of my favorite things...denim jacket, dragonfly brooch, white skinny jeans, a touch of teal, cheetah flats, and the required lipstick and jewelry. And, of course, the warm temps felt great!

these are a few of my favorite things....
The husband surprised me with a cute candy arrangement for Valentine's Day, only it arrived after I'd left work for the day (and no one called to tell me to come back LOL). The bonus to receiving a "late" gift? It gave me an additional day to celebrate the holiday. I'd call that a win-win. 


As mentioned, I'm taking on the stairs again on behalf of the American Lung Association. If you have any interest in donating to the cause, here's the link to my donor page HERE . Thanks!!



And, in case you missed them, here's my posts from last week:
Back Outside...it never felt so good!

Red Flannel Run - A Race I LOVE

What's there to rant about???

So, enough about me....tell me about your week! Outside miles? Any sunshine? Seasonal temps? Do you have a marathon (or a big race) happening in 2017?

As usual, I'm linking up with some awesome gals (and their awesome blogs):

Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap link-up
Ilka and Angela for the Sunday Fitness & Food link-up




52 comments:

  1. I had to stop myself from heading in the attic today to pull our y sumer dresses. Like...reality check Dawn...it's only mid-February. Lol

    You inspired me to do a stair workout tonight instead of using the stepmill at the gym.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was outside this afternoon in a tank top and shorts! Crazy!!

      Delete
  2. Hooray for sunshine. I always run outside.

    I've been sick so my runs suck but I'm hoping for better things to come.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I did not know you did your own hair-very impressive! Looks great. The weather was absolutely gorgeous all weekend it was fantastic to get out in it. Hope it stays nice and warmish the next month. Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This weekend has given us temps in the 70's! It's gonna bite when this little spring interlude ends LOL

      Delete
  4. Today was my struggle bus run. My RA is flaring and it's back to the high dose steroids again...I'll be running like the wind on Tuesday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. UGH to the flares...but YAY to the "wind" running ;-) Those struggle runs really blind-side us, don't they! My Saturday struggle bus experience came from out of nowhere (and I'm glad it did't stick around for Sunday).

      Delete
  5. I swear sunshine is a game changer. That and the mild temps were sooooo fantastic this week! I've been outside as much as possible soaking up the awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The sunshine has been awesome! We had little-to-no wind this morning, but there definitely was wind in the air when I headed out with the hubby this afternoon. Why, oh why, does wind exist? I mean, does it really serve a purpose???

      Delete
  6. Hasn't the weather been wonderful?! It makes me crazy that I haven't been able to run.

    All of your planking is certainly paying off! I'm doing 5 mins/day, but not all at once! WTG!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I do not do the 5-minutes all-at-once planks very often LOL It's nice to know I can, though ;-)

      Delete
  7. It's been quite warm here too, and all the birds have been singing, it really feels like spring. But, like you, I'm waiting for another cold snap!

    I did a tower climb a couple of years ago with Women's Running magazine. We had a training day and one great tip I got fro that was to practice turning. So burpees with a half turn when you jump, squat jumps with a half turn, in fact any turns are good as you'll be doing a lot of turns running up the stairs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This will be my 6th Climb...you're correct, the turning is a tough thing to master, and utilizing the hand rails is key!

      Delete
  8. Do you enjoy living in Iowa? Glad you are experiencing some warm days, you deserve it.

    Even though the weather was perfect this week, I struggled on my long run. Now, last week when the weather was so so I did awesome, go figure.

    Yay for being able to see the PA daughter. Does she like living in PA? I bet she was glad to visit home for a little bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Enjoy Iowa? Well, for the most part, yes ;-) It's pretty much all I've known (other than a 7-year stint in East Lansing, which was similar in terms of weather). The daughter seems to like PA...also similar weather to Iowa, and it's actually been pretty mild where she's living (she's in Hanover).

      Delete
  9. Daaaamn Felicia!!! Lol!!! A 5 minute plank?!?!? Wow girl you are awesome! My Grandma's jacket is a tad snug. :( I'm a bit bummed. It leaves nothing to the imagination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My jacket fits near perfect, though it's a bit long (like, it hangs below my bum....but it's "fitted" enough it stays in place when I hike it up LOL)

      Delete
  10. Love your beach hair! I tried using my straitener to put in curls and I am never happy with it, but I can make my daughter's hair look amazing with it. We had so much beautiful sunshine this week! I even got to run in a tank and a skirt one day. It was the best thing ever!
    Love your candy bouquet! My husband got me a bag of Starbursts and I am not sharing it with the kids!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha ha....I did the honorable thing with my candy and shared it at work (after I picked out a couple of my favorites). WHat works for me (with the straightener) is to make little "pinwheel" curls (about 2-inches wide) and press the straightener on them for a few seconds. It works best on a "non-shampoo" days (when there's some residual hairspray from the previous day)

      Delete
  11. Love your wavy hair! So pretty. We had some great weather last week. It was 32F during my run Saturday morning and 72F in the afternoon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was in the 40's Sunday morning for my run, then in the 70's (though windy) when I went back out with the husband. Isn't it crazy!

      Delete
  12. I think you need to experience the glory that is upstate NY weather -- and then you might not complain about Iowa weather so much. :) No 70s for us, still snow on the ground. It just might get to 60, though, if we're really lucky this week (although the forecast for my long run next week is a high in the high 30s).

    Anyhoo . . . Saturday was spent going up & down stairs at my parents' house (bringing the clothes in the closet from upstairs, downstairs -- so they don't have to go upstairs). I didn't even think of you until after the fact! And yes, I had my long run the next day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha ha....I'm usually experiencing what you're experiencing in terms of weather LOL Iowa has been so weird this year, though. Extreme cold (with no snow), and now unseasonably warm (like 3 months early). I just keep waiting for the "real" winter to arrive...

      Delete
  13. Hooray for sunny days, indeed! We've been hitting temps near 70 over the weekend and it has been simply glorious! I still fear March will come in like a lion, but I'll take what I can get!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes...I know the real winter will eventually arrive....

      Delete
  14. My weekend was extreme: cloudy and gray on Sat and gorgeous on Sun! You had a great week of training and enjoying the outdoors. I haven't scratched out any real plans yet as I'm waiting to get the all clear from my podiatrist (hopefully this week). Then I'll be in planning frenzy mode, I'm sure. Gorgeous Friday Fashion post! Thanks for linking, Kim!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Holly! My training plans are still very much "in the works." This is the first time (in a LONG time) that I've been injury-free, so I'm really gonna play it safe and not rush into anything crazy

      Delete
  15. Ohhhhh... so that's why you're doing all those stair workouts!! Duh.

    I've had a bunch of struggle bus runs lately. Mostly on the treadmill but a few outside as well. I think I need more sleep.

    Great week for you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I do stair workouts year round, but I do them very consistently (and somewhat hardcore) in Feb/March in prep for the Climb (which is usually in April). care to join me? ;-)

      Delete
  16. I am all about the sunshine lately too. CANNOT get enough!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yay for sunshine is right! I remember how much you were waiting for this! The pics of your stair workouts keep inspiring me. I don't think I can ever walk stairs again without turning them into a workout after all your IG pics Kimberly!! Love it! The white pants with the short denim jacket and leopard print flats looks super cute! It's funny to see runner girls in regular clothes...right? :)
    The 5 minute plank is pretty impressive!!
    Great training week as usual!
    Hope the weather stays like this in Iowa for a bit longer! Have a great week Kimberly! Now I need to get my planking on....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, regarding the weather.....we're due for dropping temps and snow on Thursday....

      Delete
  18. I am so with you on the sunshine, it's been amazing!! And that five minute plank- wow! I worked up to a 5 minute plank a few years ago but I'm not sure I could do it now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet you could do a 5-minute plank (or at least come close)! You might surprise yourself ;-)

      Delete
  19. Awesome that you didnt have to use the treadmill at all last week! The spring-like weather this weekend was amazing. Hopefully the nice weather sticks around (but that is doubtful!) Nice job with the 5 minute plank!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it was nice being outside so much! We're expecting snow on Thursday.....

      Delete
  20. It's amazing what a difference a little sunshine makes, huh? I love your beachy hair, too :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hooray for sunshine and running outdoors!! Glad you're having some great weather up there! The weather has been pretty good for us just warmer. My son and I came down with strep throat on Friday so I missed a half marathon I signed up for last minute. They said they would "give" me a free entry for next year when I emailed them and told them what happened. Isn't that awesome? Hope you have another great week outside!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, that's great the race was so cooperative!

      Delete
  22. Great week! So glad your weather is cooperating for you!

    Things here have been off and on. It was warm on my Tuesday run, but then freezing on my Thursday one. Boo.

    Your hair and outfit are both absolutely adorable! I'm so glad you had that nice visit with your daughter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well....so much about our weather...I knew I was probably jinxing everything in talking about the warm temps (snow expected on Thursday) UGH.

      Delete
  23. I like the idea of the runs with sun and decent weather a lot more than the 6:30 cold and dark run! But go you for getting out there. The 2:30 daily planks– let alone the 5:00 challenge plank– are very impressive!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! The cold and dark runs are tough...I've done a few of them in my time LOL

      Delete
  24. "Yay for sunshine" is right! It was so nice to have as many sunny days last week as we did. I really hope that the sun and warm temperatures continue. I'm not about winter, especially when its just cold and there isn't any snow.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I little sunshine goes a very long way! I had a struggle run myself this week, it just happens, there is always another could one coming our way! Cute Friday fashion posts as always, check smiling and enjoy the sun!

    ReplyDelete
  26. What what??? An EASY 5 minute plank?? You go girl! You're inspiring me to get back to regularly scheduled planking ;)

    I have at least one crappy run per week but they do make the next great run feel so much better!

    Glad you got to spend a little time with your oldest daughter even if it was short lived. Oh and the dragonfly pin ...very cute!

    ReplyDelete
  27. How in the world do you say easy 5 minute plank? But hey you are the plank queen so if anyone can say it you can my friend!
    Glad to see your enjoying outside runs more and stair climbing, I still need to get to the dam where I can make a workout of 103 steps up one way! It does get the heart rate up. But you know what I find it does so much more? It sure lets you know the weaker muscles used coming down!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wow! I am super impressed with the planking!! I am good for a minute. The weather has been crazy here in Maine too!! Thanks so much for linking up at Sunday Fitness & Food :-)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Your planking is so impressive! I can barely do 45 seconds. I need to do more, and I even have a reminder on my phone to do one every day, but I tend to ignore it and get sucked into something else and never end up doing one. :-(

    ReplyDelete