I've never been a fan of Winter.
This particular winter has really been a piece of work. It's kept me inside far more than ever before, but you know what? It has not broken me or my spirit.
Welcome to the first edition of the Weekly Run Down! I am so excited to host this new link-up with Deborah (from Confessions of a Mother Runner). If you write a fitness-based blog, you're invited to join the party. The link-up opens at 1:00 (EST) on Sundays and remains open through Monday. Please share your weekly fitness endeavors, training highlights and race recaps. We ask that you link back to both hosts, and we encourage you to read/comment on the other linked blogs as well.
This past week, saw the end of February (one of the l.o.n.g.e.s.t. Februaries I can remember, in terms of nutzo weather), but also the start of March. We have Daylight Savings Time happening very soon, so things can only get better, right?
Here's what went down this past week...
Tired and somewhat achy muscles warranted a low-key morning. Thirty minutes on the elliptical (and some stair work) gave me my morning boost of mojo and all was well.
After work, it was Milly time (again). Three progressive miles (with 400m surges) and the #nevermissaMonday run was in the bank. Honestly, I don't know what felt better...stepping outside afterwards, into the 10F temps, or tossing the snow into the air. Both felt pretty empowering.
Not much on tap for Tuesday...After a brisk early morning walk (inside) and 40 quick flights of stairs (also inside), a short stretch (outside) was in store. Besides, the hubby was out of town and someone had to haul the recycling bin down to the curb.
Time to get real, and keep it real. Not all of my early morning runs are phenomenally euphoric. See that chick in the window (below, upper right)? She's good entertainment for maybe one mile and then I get bored looking at her. My 18ish year-old treadmill is loud, so I can barely hear my music. And, there are no tv screens to distract me from the monotony of running in place. That said, it feels pretty badass to conquer a treadmill run. Even when I cut it short (which happened for this particular run), I'm always thankful for the opportunity to move, breathe and sweat. Four miles at 5:00 a.m. (instead of the usual five)...and you can see the steam rising off of me in the 14F early morning air. I also did an upper-body strength workout in the evening.
I had not HIIT'd for awhile, so it was time.
~5 moves x 10 reps x 5 circuits~
Doing the math, there were 50 total reps of every move. The stair climbs took the longest of each to complete, but they also acted as a bit of a rest period because I didn't do them especially fast. Total time commitment was just over 30 minutes, which included maybe 15 seconds between each circuit.
The temps didn't feel too bad when I took the dog out for his morning business. There was more frigid weather in the forecast, with more crazy wind (right? big shocker!). What's an outdoor runner to do when she's been stuck inside too much? I bailed on the rest day, and got out for a couple of miles before work. There were some icy patches, but since I had daylight, I was able to avoid any slipping, sliding or face-planting. I knew I'd also be running on Saturday, but I wanted to take advantage and "bank" some outdoor miles. It happens. Sorry, not sorry.
Recently, I have been treating myself to the gift of sleeping-in on Saturdays, so when I finally crawled out of bed (yes, 8:00 a.m. is late in my world LOL), I had full daylight and all kinds of sunshine. I was hoping to knock out seven miles but was not looking forward to doing all of it on the treadmill. I made the command decision to layer up, lace up and head outside with the theory that even just a couple outdoor miles would mean fewer inside miles. Amazingly, the freezing cold temps didn't feel too bad....until I had a headwind. After four miles, and a near-frozen face, I headed back home. I don't know if I dawdled too long in shimmying out of the tights (and losing all of the layers of clothing), but my feet felt like lead and my legs didn't want to move once I climbed onto the treadmill. I was hoping for three Milly miles, but pulled the plug after two. My Ipod kept giving me the "low battery" warning (all morning, from the 1-mile mark), so I also felt like it was a race against the clock. So, six total miles (instead of seven), but I finished before my music did. I'm calling that a win! Glass half full.
Although I knew the temps would be cold, I awoke with the urge to go for an outdoor walk. Then I checked my weather app...and quickly changed my plan of early-morning-cardio action. I have been neglecting the elliptical a lot (in exchange for all the stair-climbing I'd been doing), so I spent 30 minutes with Ellie and got an awesome sweat session done. After that, I deemed it a designated rest day (and stayed inside after church).
All in all, I'm satisfied with my week. The running mileage wasn't stellar (15), but at least some of it was outside. There was a little bit of walking (5ish miles), a cumulative hour of elliptical, and 250 flights of stairs. Wednesday's upper-body workout left me feeling strong, and Thursday's HIIT really got the heart pumping. I'm continuing to love my early morning fasted-cardio routine.
In case you missed them, here's my posts from last week:
Let It Be
Let's March Onward
In other news:
Friday Fashion Flair...did you see it on Instagram? Cold temps are still the norm. Ironically, the 30F temps don't feel so frigid in comparison to what we've had...not that I want them to stick around. So, I'm still wearing sweaters and scarves (and thick socks), but I am choosing to smile anyways. As always, you're invited to play along...post a pic of a featured outfit, grab the hashtag (#Fridayfashionflair) and give me a tag (@runningonthefly).
Here's a running gear hack. I'm a big fan of compression sleeves. I don't wear them for every run, but often times I wear them for long training runs. I also wear them for recovery after long runs or races. I have some full compression socks, but am not fond of the way they fit my narrow feet. Compression makes them even more skinny so it feels like there's extra "room" inside my shoes. I don't know how I have not thought of this before, but wearing an extra pair of socks over the compression socks solves the problem (#duh). Compression seems to have a cooling effect on me, so I don't think there will be an issue of my feet being too warm (even in warm weather).
The stair-climbing challenge at work officially came to a conclusion this weekend. The challenge entailed the participants climbing 562 flights of stairs from February 3rd through March 2nd. Since I do a lot of stair climbing anyways, I upped my goal to 1,000 flights...and was able to surpass it. I treated all of that stair-climbing as my main lower-body work for February. It involved daily climbing (usually 20-30 flights at the minimum), so my legs and glutes saw plenty of action. Although I will continue with regular stair work, I have no plans of doing it on the daily (other than the random trips up and down for routine household stuff). I'm moving on to more focused ab/core work for March. Stay tuned.
So, that's the latest and greatest in my little corner of the universe. As I said, winter is not my favorite time of year, but it is what it is. And, it will not be here forever.
How was your week? Any great workouts? Crazy and/or cold weather? Are you as eager for Spring (or Summer!) as I am?