Thursday, January 4, 2018

#Brrrrrr!

It's safe to say that my Outdoor Running Mojo has left the building...but I, on the other hand, have been staying inside all week.

That's right. This Iowa gal, who ran outdoors for 40 consecutive days, has been hibernating indoors ever since New Year's Day. And, I'm quite content with that.

We have had three solid weeks of sub-freezing temps, and most days the "feels like" temps were sub-ZERO. Granted, Iowa is usually a cold month in the winter, but this is the coldest (and longest) stretch I can remember.


Things were downright Arctic-like on Monday, New Year's Day. For the past several years, a few locals and myself  have been getting together at "the lake" and running a few miles to kick-start the new year. Also, New Year's Day was the grand finale of the Runner's World winter streak. Four of us showed up and we ran three miles (three laps around the lake). About 2/3 of the trail around the lake is unpaved, and there were several inches of new snow to trudge through, making for a simulated quicksand-like excursion in our running shoes.  In case anyone's wondering...YES, you can sweat in -20F weather...and your hair wispies may turn to ice as a result.
The few, the proud, the cold....
What was so significant about Tuesday? Well, it was Day #1 of my off-season! The temps weren't quite as cold as Monday, but still in the low single digits. I had ZERO plans of running, but I dusted off  'Milly and her and I walked two miles together.
Don't adjust your screens...that IS 'Milly
On Wednesday, I had the afternoon off from work and decided to shake things up a bit. One of my goals for January is to do 20-minutes of cardio everyday, and another is to focus a little more on strength-training. Why not take care of both of these goals in a single workout?

Let me introduce my latest at-home-workout creation: The 10 X 10 X 10's Lower Body Buster:

*10 flights of stairs
*10 (weighted) forward lunges (each leg)
*10 reps of hammer curls (both arms)
**10 flights of stairs
**10 (weighted) reverse lunges (each leg)
**10 reps of bicep curls (both arms)
*10 flights of stairs
*1-minute wall sit
*10 reps upright rows (both arms)
**10 flights of stairs
**10 (weighted) sumo squats
**10 reps triceps extensions
*10 flights of stairs
*10 (weighted) walking lunges (each leg)
*10 reps shoulder presses (both arms)
*****repeat*****
I wanted to focus on lower-body, so I kept the arm moves pretty light (and used them more as a recovery set between each lower body circuit). Doing all five circuits ((twice)) gave me 100 total flights of stairs, 100 total lower body moves, and 100 total upper body reps. Total workout time was just over 45 minutes. Whew!

In anticipation of some potential DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) arriving as a result of the prior day's Lower Body Buster, I fired up 'Milly (again) Thursday afternoon. I didn't want to run far or fast (ugh, certainly NOT with 'Milly anyways), so I ran a couple easy-paced miles. Then, things got ugly...like, burpee-ugly. 30 burpees then followed....they were not easy and they were not the least bit pretty, but I got them done (more on this further down).
another sweat session with 'Milly....
More cold weather on Friday! I realize it's crazy cold everywhere right now, but this extreme stuff has been such a buzz kill. Funny how I was so committed to my running streak (just a few days prior) and got outside no matter what. Well, I totally did an about-face this week. No outside action, but I did some extra planking minutes for the Burpees, Planks, and Push-ups Challenge. 
Yes, you can do planks in your work clothes #NoExcuses
Always on the quest to violate that comfort zone, I tagged along with the hubby to the gym on Saturday morning. Ugh. I respect that a lot of people LOVE their gym time, but it's just not my gig. I think it goes way back to memories of my ever-clumsy, uncoordinated, awkward self trying to survive PE classes in grade school. Well, Saturday's rowing circuit class was reminiscent of those childhood experiences.  Rowing in slow motion was much tougher than when we were doing the speed rounds. My form must have been off, because I didn't feel much resistance (though my heart rate certainly was elevated). After class, I opted to do three miles on one the gym's treadmills....not the greatest experience because the room felt so hot (or was that just me, in my post-rowing glow?) and the treadmill was very confusing with all the unfamiliar settings and numerous buttons to navigate. Finally, I wrapped up with 30 push-ups...yep, right there in the middle of the gym. There was a break in the action (between classes), so I don't think many people got to witness me in all my sweaty glory, but still. I think I much prefer the confines of my own house for "indoor" exercise activities.   
Comfort zone violations all over the place!
Momma N must have taken the day off, because Sunday blessed us with "warm" temps! Granted these temps were still sub-freezing, but they felt like a heat wave in comparison to the past three weeks. I didn't have my watch with me, but those three miles felt pretty fast....a caged bird set free, right?
Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing
YaY!!! Back outside never felt so good!
So that's a wrap on the start of 2018 and the first week of my off-season. Obviously, my off-season is not a time for total rest and relaxation, but a time of rejuvenation (and less running). My mileage clocked in at a mere 11 (running) miles...and that's just where it needs to be for the next few weeks.
  
In case you missed them, here's what else was posted this past week:
In other news:
Did you catch my #FridayFashionFlair post on Instagram? I featured a popular winter color, burgundy, but I paired it with a subtle camo-patterned pair of leggings...and the color totally popped! Also, it's no secret I'm a strong believer in silver jewelry, and lipstick!  If you'd like to play along, share a favorite pic, hashtag it #FridayFashionFlair, and give me a tag (@Runningonthefly). Don't be shy, show us what you're wearing!
Although I have whined a great deal about the unusually cold weather, there are a few perks. Wednesday morning, I was greeted by this awesome display of sundogs on my drive to work. Sun dogs appear when it's really cold, and are caused by the reflection of ice crystals in the atmosphere. This pic does not do it justice...the "dogs" were much bigger and brighter than they appear, and looked like tall rainbows. 
There is beauty in the #brrrrr
As mentioned above, I'm doing a Burpees, Planks, and Push-ups challenge (hosted by Rachel) this month. Every day, we have an allotted number of the day's featured move and a group to report back to for encouragement and support. I am all on board with the planks, and I can do push-ups when summoned to...but the burpees? They're another comfort zone violation, but this challenge fits nicely in with  my January goals. Bring it!
Lastly, anyone notice I've added a new page, #NotJustARunnerWorkouts, to the blog? This little project has been in the works for awhile, but I finally got it ready for the world to see just this past week. I have written several workouts for my own "in-home" use, and I thought it would be nice to have them all in one place for reference. Check it out! It's along the navigation bar above or you can find it HERE.

So, how did your 2018 start out? Cold weather? Inside workouts? How do you feel about going to a gym?

I'm linking up with Holly and Wendy for the Weekly Wrap. This weekly check-in is such a great place to connect with fellow fitness-minded peeps. Please join us! 

61 comments:

  1. I think I hit my breaking point with running in the cold this week too. It's just not worth being miserable day after day. We are supposed to have some snow/ice tomorrow and then it is should warm up later in the week. Running in anything over 20 degrees sounds really warm right now!

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    1. I have had no desire to head outdoors this week...it's a good thing my Streak is over and I don't have any mileage goals hanging over me.

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  2. I found today's weather to be much more challenging than the bitter cold of earlier this week. That biting wind really made for some tough miles. My mantra was the faster you run, the faster you're done! Thanks for linking up!

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    1. We definitely had a strong south wind, but it must not have been as severe as yours was. "Faster run-faster done" is a great mantra!

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  3. We needed a winter this year (kills those southern critters) and we got one! I know you'll use your creativity and have all sorts of fun workouts going on while you are "hibernating" indoors. Oddly, I'd never heard the term sun dogs. Cool pic! Thanks for linking!

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    1. Ha ha...it's probably too warm for sundogs to ever be in your weather vocabulary ;-) I'm really surprised we have not seen them more than just that one day last week because it's been SO cold, but it probably has to do with the dew point as well as the frigid temps (and, of course, the sun is a major player...sundogs do not make an appearance on cloudy days).

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  4. WOW! You call this your Off Season? You are always finding ways to be active, thats for sure!

    I have never heard of Sundogs before but now I will be looking for them (or is that just a midwest thing?)

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    1. I don't think sundogs are just a Midwest thing...but it definitely has to be COLD, and have a lot of moisture in the air for the ice crystals to be present. I tend to see them more often in the early morning hours (this was at 8:00, and they were gone by 9:30 or so, as the sun got higher in the sky) or late afternoon.

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  5. I like your at home workout! You are always so creative with your stair mixing in. WE are not used to the crazy cold here but we have been braving the temps and getting out. It's doable but I am kind of over running with so many layers on.

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    1. I'm used to crazy cold winters, but it's weird that it's been so cold for so long with no "warmer" days mixed in. Of course, the plus side is that there has not been any ice LOL because nothing has melted.

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  6. I agree with you about the long stretch of cold weather. I feel like we've had about 2 weeks straight of just brutally cold weather, but a warm front is coming soon!

    I'm really loving your home workout! I need to get more creative about my workouts at home so that they don't get boring, especially on the treadmill!

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    1. I tend to do a lot of the same moves, but I have to mix up the sequence of them and rotate in different lower body moves and/or stair climbing or else I'd go bonkers. Also, mixing up the different moves helps to stave off plateauing and burnout.

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  7. Great start to the off season for you! And in such cold temperatures too.

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    1. Yes, it's been crazy cold! I totally want my summer back!

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  8. Your new workout looks awesome - I miss having our basement for my at-home workouts. Our fitness center does not have space set aside for floor exercises, so people have to just do it wherever they can. It's awkward, but what can you do?

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    1. It's awkward enough doing your own floor exercises in a gum...having limited space would really make it tough.

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  9. I love your at-home workouts! Those look great. I may have to try some. I can't even imagine how cold it must be there. We've had insane cold (and snow), too, with temps in the teens and 20s, but sub-zero is just nuts. Stay warm!

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    1. Fortunately, although it's been extremely cold, we have not had much for snow. And, when it stays so cold, none of the snow melts...so ice has not been a factor ((yet)).

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  10. Day after day cold isn't fun at all. I had to be outside for college pre-season, which probably explains why I head inside at any hint of cold. The winter and spring weather here is unpredictable, so I need my treadmill.

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    1. The non-stop cold is really getting painful. At least we have slightly "warmer" temps on the agenda for this week.

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  11. I applaud you for all of the work that you have done even with the temps! I have taken to full on hibernation mode lately and almost no workouts. Thanks to the warmup rolling in, I plan on getting back on the wagon this week!

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    1. We're supposed to get slightly warmer weather as well this week. I seriously will not know how to act LOL

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  12. My Outdoor Mojo is also gone. But today felt like a heat wave! That Body Buster looks intense! Nice work

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    1. Today's temps did feel like a heat wave! There was a steady breeze, but when I had the wind at my back, I was downright HOT.

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  13. Great week! Going to check out those non-running workouts now... you are always so creative with your workouts!

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    1. Thanks! I get bored easily, so I have to be creative to "fool" my mind and body into thinking I'm doing something new LOL

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  14. You know I love my Orange Theory, but when I’m doing my own thing I’d much rather be at home than at a gym. I don’t like taking turns sharing equipment or being watched. :-P. Your workouts always impress!

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    1. Fortunately, I didn't have to wait or share any equipment, or that would have been ANOTHER comfort zone thing to deal with. I'd just rather do my thing at home since I have enough of the basic stuff there (as well as my stairway) ;-)

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  15. Well, after 40 days of running outdoors for your streak, I'd say you deserve a little 'hibernating'!! Burpees...ugh! I'm right there with you on those!!!

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    1. Well, I can assure you, I was playing that "Off-Season Card" as much as possible, especially this past week!

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  16. Burpees and I do not get along. I can't jump back into them and have to step back and forward..otherwise I inevitably end up with a very mad lower back, after several years of dealing with it I have accepted that we just don't agree. I was so happy when our temps got back above zero!! It feels pretty amazing to run in the 20s now

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    1. I can "jump forward" but have a hard time doing the jump-back, too. It's SO not a graceful maneuver for me LOL

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  17. I'm with you: I've been inside more than out lately too and that's fine with me. Now that it's warmed up, we got freezing rain last night so everything here is iced over. Thankfully it's a rest day. A much needed one...except for those 40 burpees...

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    1. It's supposed to stay "warm" until Thursday, but then revert back to the seasonal stuff...I'm worried about ice, too. We haven't had any ice (yet).

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  18. You 10 x 10 x 10 workout is intense girl!! Good for you. I've been hibernating inside since Thursday. We had a massive storm (snow, freezing rain, hurricane winds), then another 10cm of snow and more snow last night/today. My kids have had three snow days....let's just say, I'm glad I could make it into work today!!

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    1. Knock on wood, we have only had a couple of snow falls, no ice or blizzards of any kind so far. This is Iowa LOL, so I know the real stuff is coming eventually ;-)

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  19. I think these temps have a lot of us indoors more than we'd like. We're suppose to get a "warm up" to the 30s so I'm looking forward to stepping out of the gym cave! LOL! Burpees are I are just not friends - good luck with the challenge!

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    1. Burpees are tough for me...I am very coordination-challenged, and it's awkward trying to make my feet "jump back" in sync.

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  20. I was hibernating too! 0 degrees or so all week in the mornings and a few negative 0 too...I like to knock my push ups in the gym and just get all my sweating done in one place so I can shower and relax at home. lol Trust me, I relate... I am not coordinated and when I do classes I am always the person who is offbeat LOL but I try.
    Great job getting creative and knocking out those sets!
    I like the wine color, it is one my favorite shades :)
    I don't think I've seen a sun dog before...beautiful!

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    1. "the person who is offbeat" yes, that would be me! One time, a race I did had a zumba gal lead us in a warm-up routine, and it was almost a circus act performance for me.

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  21. I hibernated this week because it was sooo cold here in Florida, I know not your cold but cold for us Floridians. I think an off season is a good thing!

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    1. I have seen where it is SO cold everywhere right now....crazy!

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  22. I hibernated too. We were on vacation in NC and it was snowing and subzero. I wanted to bring my running shoes, but I was vetoed, and quite frankly, the ice and altitude wouldn't have been fabulous for me. I needed the break, I'm sure.

    It's good to be back in the Sunshine State, even if we are still in the 30s and 40s. Rumor has it that it snowed here while we were gone!

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    1. I think there's more snow in Florida and Virginia than in Iowa...not complaining LOL

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    1. Oh, the workout WAS intense! It produced a good sweat session.

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  24. I sucked it up and ran every run outside last week. The sub zero temps and windchills suck so bad. Today was the first day above freezing in a month. IT felt AMAZING!!!

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    1. Monday felt almost tropical in comparison to the sub-freezing stuff we've had ;-)

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  25. I haven't worked out in a gym in a couple of years. I can relate to the way you felt. :)

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    1. The gym is just not for me. I can do it need be, but I honestly have enough of my own stuff at home. I can be as clumsy as I want to be with no one to see it LOL

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  26. I do most of my hibernating in the summer, but I also like the gym (as long as it's not the treadmill). My "home gym" will never be as well-equipped as a real one!

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    1. I don't really have a home gym, but I have some hand weights and my good old trusty stairway. Well, I have a treadmill...but I seldom use it.

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  27. Beauty in the Brrr. Love that. And I love seeing the sun dogs. We get a ton in Colorado.

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    1. It's been extremely cold for over three weeks, and this was the first set of sundogs I've seen this season. I was really surprised they hadn't appeared earlier!

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  28. So funny! You are hibernating because it's freezing out there, and I am hibernating because it's boiling! We have been advised to stay indoors because of a major heat wave! I must say I don't enjoy the treadmill but it really does come in handy on days of extreme weather (hot or cold!)

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    1. I'd gladly trade places with you! I much prefer the heat to the cold ;-)

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  29. It has been way too cold out there and sadly its resulted in a lot of treadmill runs for me as well lately. Is is spring yet?!?

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  30. GREAT week Kim! I will also definitely check out your new page!

    I walked, ran, spun (spinned? hahaha! ), did a circuit training and started the burpees, planks and pushups challenge. It was a good week :)

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  31. It's been so brutally cold this past week. What great timing for you to be taking a break from running! I've never heard the term 'sun dogs'. Very cool!

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