Thursday, January 4, 2018

Welcome To My Off-Season


Welcome to 2018! Welcome to January! And, welcome to my off-season!

First of all, I'd like to invite you to pull up a chair (or stretch out on a yoga mat) and join me for some chatter. There's a few things I'd like to discuss...


Let's start with  2018 Goals. It's a brand new year and most people use this time to make positive changes and set some new, year-long goals for themselves. I respect that rhetoric, but I'm of a different train of thought. An entire year is simply too long for me to be focused on one thing.

Instead, I'm (again) going to focus on monthly goals/challenges. I do much better with a shorter time frame when it comes to goals or challenges. Since my monthly goals are only for a short period, I can be a little more aggressive with what I want to accomplish. Also, there's much less risk of burnout because I know the end is in sight (more detailed thoughts on this HERE).

For example, January. One focus is daily cardio (a minimum of 20 minutes), whether it's walking, running, stair-climbing, or even basic calisthenics. I will still be running, but not very far or fast, and certainly NOT daily. Another big focus will be to rejuvenate my strength training.

I'm still basking in the 40 Days of Awesome Running Streak afterglow. I ran (outside!) everyday from Thanksgiving through New Years Day. Ironically, this was the easiest streak I have ever done. There were no dreaded "just gotta get outside and get it done" runs. It also was the coldest streak I can remember...the final 10 days or so we had single digit temps (most days) with "feels like" temps below ZERO. Although I never hesitated in getting the daily runs done, it felt pretty euphoric to run those final three miles on what wound up being the coldest day of all. Knowing I was able to persevere and finish the streak rewarded me with a tiny semblance of runner's high.

Since the Running Streak was my final hurrah of the year, my (running) off-season began promptly as I climbed into my car following that frigid run on New Year's Day. My off-season is not really a time of total rest and relaxation, but more of regrouping. I still try to run 3-4 times each week, but (as mentioned above) I don't obsess over the mileage or the pace. Also, the off-season is a perfect time to recharge my strength-training. Even though I do strength work year-round, it tends to taper off a little towards the end of the year (usually when I'm saving the bulk of my energy for my streak runs).

This week, I wrote a new lower-body circuit session, and it was tougher than I anticipated! Take a look:

This workout involved 10 circuits. Each circuit had 10 flights of stairs, 10 reps of lower body moves (weighted forward lunges or weighted reverse lunges or a 1-minute wall sit or sumo squats or walking lunges), and 10 sets of upper body moves (hammer curls or bicep curls or upright rows or triceps extensions or shoulder presses). I went through the total rotation twice...which meant 100 total flights of stairs were climbed, 100 lower body maneuvers (on each leg) were executed, and 100 upper body moves were done as well. It took me 45 minutes and I was an exhausted mess when I finished. And, there may have been some DOMS entering the picture about 28 hours later....just saying.

Lastly, I do have a word in mind for 2018...Reality. How's that sound? I have learned, no matter how lofty any goals are, there will be some unforeseen challenges and roadblocks thrown at me. There may be undesirable weather, unfortunate injuries, or the influx of too many other commitments that take precedence. That's not all bad, but it's reality.  Instead of dwelling on the stress that may arise, I am hoping to cope with whatever I'm dealt...and then move on.

Anyways, that is what's happening in my little world as I enjoy my (running) off-season. How has your new year been so far? Is 2018 off to a great start for you?

***By the way...are you following me on social media? You can find me at these various platforms:
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I'm linking this with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0. 

And, since it's the first weekend of the month, I'm also linking with Deborah and Coco for the Ultimate Coffee Date. What would you share, if we were having coffee and chatting about life?

77 comments:

  1. I'm excited that I've already run twice in the first five days of the new year. Enjoy your off season. I hope the frigid temps don't stick around too much longer for all of you in the states. Crazy weather going on there!

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    1. I think it's gonna be in the 30's on Sunday! That's gonna feel like a heat wave!

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  2. Sounds like a good plan for January! Its a good time for a little break from running. I am so over the cold already. My treadmill comes Tuesday but Im not sure if I will be able to handle running outside this weekend, at least not more than a few miles,

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    1. We're going on three solid weeks of this arctic crap in Iowa...UGH.

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  3. Everyone has been choosing words for 2018, and I have to tell you that your word, "Reality" is my favorite, on SO MANY LEVELS.

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    1. Thanks!! I wanted something that just made sense...it's all about responding to what's in front of me rather than reacting (in a negative manner) to it.

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  4. This is a great time of the year to focus on strength training and cardio. I love your word "reality" and it pairs nicely with my balance word. Thanks for joining for coffee

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    1. I love your word, too...balance is something we all should strive towards, in all aspects of our lives.

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  5. I'm in an off season too. A very long one, most likely. And I'd really like to focus more on ST too, except I'm still going back & forth with feeling eh, so I'm still resting more than normal.

    Winter always seems like the best time to get in shape, and yet it never seems to happen.

    You are really good at dealing with reality -- and I hope that 2018 doesn't deal you quite a big a dose as 2017 did!

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    1. Well, after what 2017 handed me in terms of reality, I think I can handle most anything else ;-)

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  6. So many words to choose from and I cannot pick one. I thought about kindness but I like yours too.

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    1. It's hard to find that one perfect word....Reality just jumped out at me, and seemed ever-so-obvious after what all went down in 2017

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  7. Congrats on the smooth and successful running streak! That is so awesome. Nice stair workout too!

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    1. It's nice to have the Streak behind me. I'm especially glad that I don't have any reason to be outside right now LOL

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  8. I love your goals AND your word! I did do goals but I will still break things up throughout each week and month. I have a one week at a time FOCUS.

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    1. I think FOCUSing on one week at a time is a slam dunk ;-)

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  9. Love your word for the year! I am facing reality right now and this really is my "off season". I have no reason to be out there running in the cold right now (no big goals ahead), so for now I'm enjoying the comforts of the couch,,,haha. Seriously though, I wish I could be as motivated as you Kim! -M

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    1. My motivation is to simply not be sitting idle LOL I believe in staying active, but within reason. We all benefit from down time ;-)

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  10. It's great to have an off-season! I was just talking with my running partner about how we're looking forward to shaking things up and trying different activities once the marathon is done :)

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    1. As much as I love running, I know (for me) if I did it all the time, with no break in the action, I would burn out and possibly come to resent it.

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  11. I like your word for 2018. You've got some great goals for the month!

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    1. I'm looking forward to working a few different muscles this month!

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  12. Re-grouping is a good term. My off season isn't rest either, and I do focus a lot on strength training since I have to split time between that and running once training starts. It's hard to balance it all.

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    1. It's really hard to balance everything. Since I did so much running in the final two months of the year, my January off-season is kind of a welcome reward.

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  13. I've yet to confirm my 2018 goals but I did enjoy setting monthly goals as well last year. Reality is a great word - feel like I need something like that!

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    1. I like focusing on monthly goals. Granted a lot of them morph into year-long habits, having that end-of-the-month deadline gives me a sense of accomplishment.

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  14. Congrats on completing the streak! I like your word choice - I picked Brave.

    Enjoy your off-season!

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    1. Brave is good! We all need to tap into that now and then!

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  15. I'm in the middle of my ON season haha. Since winter is the best time to run in Texas, I have three half marathons in the next three months!

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    1. I'd love to have your weather to run in right now!!

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  16. I know you'll return rejuvenated after your off season. Enjoy!

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    1. Thanks, dear Holly ;-) I'm already feeling renewed ;-)

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  17. All I can say is that it is COLD!!!!!

    Keep inspiring me and others to be active. Whenever (which is rare) I do a plank or run up the stairs, I think of you!

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  18. OMG look at your icy hair!! I am totally NOT jealous of that. :)

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    1. Doesn't the icy hair resemble diamond earrings? ;-)

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  19. I love your monthly goals! Enjoy your off season... it's nice to not have to worry about paces or miles.

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    1. I LOVE not having to worry about paces or miles ;-)

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  20. Monthly goals are such a better, easier to rap your mind around, attainable thing! Enjoy

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    1. Monthly goals work best for me. I need those short "finish lines" each month LOL

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  21. LOve your word! We try so hard for things and sometimes it does work out....rwality for sure. I am going to take some time off from running after Naples, I have been training for half marathons for 8 months, time for a break aka off season before I pick up BQ training!

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    1. You definitely should take a little time off and start that BQ training with fresh legs ;-)

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  22. Congratulations on your awesome run streak girl!!! Those are no joke!! I love the idea of adding in daily cardio too!! Nothing beats a good mid-day walk on your "off" running day!!

    Have a great weekend!!!!

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    1. I like doing the cardio first thing in the morning most days...but that hasn't happened this week LOL

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  23. I am also much better at setting several short-therm rather than one big long-term goal. Enjoy your 'off' season!!!

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    1. The short-term goals work best for me. I need the bite-size pieces of accomplishment ;-)

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  24. Your word is similar to mine. Mine is "grace" which basically means I know this is gonna be a tough year and it's time to just let it be hard and not beat myself up!

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  25. These sound like great goals for January! Best of luck to you on em'! I'm definitely on an off season of sorts as well--it's super cold and the gyms have been calling snow days lately, haha. I like your word for the year! :]

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    1. Wow...the gyms have been closing?

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    2. The one affiliated with the college near me has been mostly closed because students haven't quite come back for class yet, but the other one I have a membership to closed because of the storm. :[ I think it's open again now though!

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  26. I too have trouble just focusing on the big picture goals. Even though I do set yearly goals for myself, I also set monthly goals that are more manageable and help me to stay focused on reaching those bigger goals.

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    1. The yearly goals frustrate me because there are just too many variables. I agree, the monthly goals are great stepping stones towards bigger endeavors.

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  27. Hmm. Why does “reality” strike me as a bleak word? You did great with that run streak! I haven’t run outside since Christmas!

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    1. I have not been outside since New Year's Day...heading out after church for some outdoor miles today, though!!

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  28. I'm with you on breaking big goals up into small chunks! 12 months out is daunting to me. Four to six weeks is about all I can manage!

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    1. 12 month IS daunting...too many variables and opportunities for other roadblocks to mess with the finish line LOL

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  29. Monthly goals instead of a year-long resolution is brilliant! I love it. I'm going to adopt that this year. I think the "reality" is an inspired choice for a word. It makes me think of being grounded in reality (easier said than done).

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    1. Being grounded is an on-going battle for a lot of us!

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  30. Kudos to you for all the outside runs! I've been focusing on weight training, so I've done a lot of treadmill runs right after I finish lifting (or because I'm not a single digit running kind of girl).

    Monthly goals are a great idea!

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    1. Well, the single digit thing totally kept me inside this past week..

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  31. I like the monthly goals idea as well ...it's so much easier to focus and achieve things taken on a 30 day basis! Congratulations on your run streak ...as always, you crushed it!!

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    1. The run streak is always a fun challenge, and ALWAYS a fun thing to finish.

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  32. I need to make monthly goals to stay in check! I am actually gearing up Ironman Training now, so my off season is over!!

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    1. I can't imagine much of an off-season when tri season is looming ;-)

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  33. I, unfortunately, had a a few days this week where I felt a bit lost and overwhelmed. Then I took a little time to pause, regroup, and get organized! Your 10x10x10 workout sounds intense. Great job!

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    1. The 10 X 10 X 10 workout was crazy! I barely finished the the first round and thought there was no way I could repeat the entire sequence...but I sucked it up. The arm sets really help with a brief "recovery" period in between all the leg work.

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  34. I agree with you! A year is too long a period to commit to anything. My 2018 goals extend until May 31 and then re-assess my plans. I've never tried run streaking. May 2018 will be the year. Happy New Year Kim!!!

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    1. Streaking is not for everyone...I only do it once a year from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day. And, I only do it for the mental "toughness" to stick with it at a time when I have nothing else on my calendar (and, usually, nothing else coming up when the streak ends). But give it a go! It just might be a perfect fit ;-)

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  35. Yes...I'm not opposed to long-term goals, but in many ways a year is just too long to realistically plan for. I like your focus on reality.

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    1. Even breaking down the year into 12 smaller goals, it's still an entire year LOL It works well for a lot of people, but I need smaller "here & now" goals

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  36. Great job getting out there in sub-zero weather! Since it's my off season, I basically hibernated through that craziness!

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    1. Well, you certainly have had optimal "staying inside"weather ;-) I am ready for summer...like now.

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  37. I like your idea of monthly goals. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by long term ones!

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    1. Long term goals can really be overwhelming! I have to go the shorter, more attainable, route when it comes to goals or challenges.

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