Thursday, February 28, 2019

Let's March Onward!

All good things must come to an end.

Too bad that isn't the case for terms of it being good, that is. As far as it ending, though, I am over-the-moon ecstatic. With the record-breaking low temps, non-stop wind, and ever-present ice, I have been stuck inside far more than ever before.

But, alas, Spring isn't too far away. We made it through the winter solstice, the days are markedly longer (and brighter), and there's all sorts of great things on the horizon. Shall we gather and chat about it? You grab your coffee (or tea) of choice, and I'll grab mine.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Let It Be

It was an interesting week.

The winter temps did their thing. More snow fell. The ice remained in scattered places. We even got rain! And I was alright with everything. It's not that I'm (all of a sudden) loving this crazy 2019 winter season, nor am I giving up on my longing for summer to return. I simply came to a catharsis of sorts this week.

Would you like to hear what it is?? This catharsis is pretty earth-shattering....

(drum roll....)

It is what it is, and I'm just gonna let it be.

As tempting as it is to continue to whine about how cold it is, or how much Milly time I've had to endure, or the record snowfall we've received ... I'm choosing to focus on what I am able to control. I cannot make the sun shine brighter, the temps remain above-freezing or the wind cease to blow, but I can smile at the fact that spring is less than four weeks from arriving. Even this unrelenting winter seems less formidable knowing it has to eventually end. Glass half full, right?

Anyways, here's what happened in my little world of fitness this past week...

Cold temps, again!  My legs were feeling a touch of the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Sorenes), probably from the race two days prior. Not feeling another treadmill run, I opted for 25 easy flights of stairs and postponed the run until after work Although the temps had remained cold all day, the sunshine was blindingly beautiful. Later, I was able to get a short 2-mile run, outside, and felt like a caged bird set free (at least until the next snow storm arrived)! The 4F feels-like temps never felt so fine!
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling
Never miss a Monday...outside!
Rest day was on tap. I  did a 1-mile power walk (on the 'mill) before work, and 25 flights of stairs later. And that was it. Even on a rest day, I try to get in a little bit of early morning cardio (nothing more than 20-30 minutes). I don't have a lifestyle (or a job) that allows me to sit much. If I'm not walking the dog (2-3 times each day), I'm up and down my stairway multiple times (mostly due to absentmindedness) or taking early morning (or evening) walks. While I don't totally "rest" or sit idle, I do scale back the intensity of everything. That's what I have found works best for me and keeps my muscles (and my mind) quite content.
Image may contain: one or more people, shoes and outdoor
post-morning power walk
As forecast, more snow started falling Tuesday evening and was still coming down in the early hours on Wednesday. Big surprise. Another early morning 5-miler with Milly and another #winterrebel post-indoor-workout-outside-selfie to document it. You gotta laugh about it, right? I think we've gotten well over 20 inches of snow, just in February.
Image may contain: 2 people, shoes
... 5 indoor miles at 5:00 a.m....again
Up and at 'em, quite literally! I did 50 flights of stairs, numerous upper-body reps and push-ups before work...because why not? More importantly, because I could. Fitness is a choice, after all. With another impending winter storm in the forecast (I kid you not), I decided to do a short run after work, as well, and bank a couple outdoor miles in anticipation of more Milly time over the weekend.
Image may contain: one or more people and indoor

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoor
early morning inside + late afternoon outside = total satisfaction
With another rest day on the schedule, I did 25 flights of stairs in the early morning. Look closely, I also did them barefoot and in (somewhat) slow motion. Doing the stairs barefoot is a great way to stretch your calf muscles and your arches because there's much more range of motion.
No photo description available.
...and the nail polish matches...
With rain in the forecast, there was potential for slick streets. I wanted to get in seven miles, and had a small window of opportunity to head outside before the rain hit. With all the treadmill miles as of late, I was hoping to run a few miles outside so I would NOT have to run the entire seven miles inside. It wasn't yet raining, but there was mist in the air and numerous puddles to navigate around (along the slush-laden streets and sidewalks). After 3.5 miles, I white-flagged the outdoor run, and made it home just as the real rain started to fall. I changed into dry shoes and socks, and did the remaining 3.5 miles on the treadmill. It's quite amazing how easy those 3.5 treadmill miles felt, probably because I had already "warmed up" with my run outside. Too bad I don't have that option for every run with Milly.
Image may contain: one or more people, shoes and outdoor
Ever so grateful that I have outdoor AND indoor options for running
Well, with the previous day's rain (and freezing temps), the roads were not just layered in a nice ice/snow mix, we also had crazy wind gusts! All I wanted was a simple mini-cardio fix, via a walk, before church.  So it happened with Milly ((again)). Not a big deal, but I really miss getting that fresh air fix in the mornings. I also did some stairs and stepped outside for another #winterrebel selfie. Really, these outdoor pics are such a small thing, but they are quite empowering for this outdoor gal who has been stuck inside far too much.
Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, sky, shoes, outdoor and nature
Lunging into Sunday morning

In case you missed them, here's my posts from last week:
A Winter Rebel...with a cause
Freezefest 5K Race Recap
Well played, Momma N...Runfessions for February

In other news:
Did you catch my Friday Fashion Flair post on Insta? Even though Valentines Day is over & done, I’m still wearing red. Hey, it’s a favorite color, so why not! Even though, it was a bright & sunny day, the temps were flirting with the sub-freezing zone ((again))... so the puffer vest was the perfect layer of warmth over my cold shoulder top (can you just see the irony?) "Fashion before function” is my mantra. Anyways, these Friday Fashion Flair posts have been going on for a few years, and they kind of serve as a gallery of outfits when I have moments of "What Can I Wear Today???" As always, I invite my followers to play a pic of a featured outfit, grab the hashtag (#FridayFashionFlair) and give me a tag (@runningonthefly).

The stair climb challenge at work continues. As of last weekend, I have surpassed the challenge's goal of 562 flights, and am working my way towards my goal of 1,000. As this post goes live, I'm just under 800 total flights, so I'm well on track for reaching 1,000 by March 2nd. Onward and upward!

Finally, I have to give a mention to my dear friend, Barb. She's not only a great friend, but my main running companion, especially on the early morning 5-milers and long weekend training runs. She's had some knee issues in recent months, and had a meniscus tear repaired this week. The prognosis looks great, but it will be awhile before she laces up and joins me on the road. Thankfully, it happened at an optimal time with the nutzo weather we've had. Glass half full (have I said that already?).

All in all, it was a decent week in terms of running and all things fitness. Total running miles came to 16, several miles walked (with Milly), a great upper-body session and all kinds of stairs climbed. I'm thankful I was able to get outside three times (three times!) last week for some running, which gives me hope the end of winter is (somewhat) in sight.   

How was your week? Your weather? Snow? Rain? Wind? Ice? Any races coming up? 

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

Are you following me on social media?
Let's connect : Facebook Instagram  Pinterest Twitter

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Well played, Momma N...Runfessions for February

Well played, Momma N. Well played.

The weather has been rather undesirable in recent weeks (like, the past six weeks, but who's counting?) Seriously, winter was pretty mild up until mid-January. We hadn't really had much for snow. The temps were cold (this is the Midwest, and it is the winter season, after all), but nothing extreme.

Once the temps plummeted, though, they pretty much elected to set up camp and stay awhile. The Polar Vortex of 2019 came barreling in the following week, and it's been a continuous onslaught of single digit (and colder) feels-like temps, more than average amounts of snowfall, and unrelenting ice.

And it's been a serious battle for this glass-half-full gal to keep her steaming mug(s) of chai latte' from running out. None the less, Momma N is not gonna win this battle. I have a few runfessions in my arsenal, and airing said runfessions makes everything better, even the weather conditions.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Freezefest 5K Race Recap

There's a first time for everything, right?

How about a new-to-me race (my first race of 2019, none the less)?  On a cold (though quite sunny) February morning? Even though it was only a 5K, how about we do the majority of our pre-race running indoors in preparation for this outdoor endeavor? Oh, and just to make it interesting, maybe we could forget our Ipod and Garmin back at home?

Would you be game?

Such was the case for the 2019 Corridor Racing Freezefest 5K.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Winter Rebel...with a cause

Call me a rebel.

I have found that laughter is (almost always) the best medicine in curing an attitude problem, especially in terms of dealing with the weather. We can't change the weather, after all, but we can control how if affects us.

Recently, in light of my repeated treadmill runs (BTW, current count is at 11 in the past 30 days), I decided a small act of rebellion was in order. If I wasn't able to run outside (due to ice or extreme cold), I could at least snap a quick post-treadmill-run selfie outside. Not only were the numerous sweaty treadmill selfies getting rather b.o.r.i.n.g., but that small act of stepping outside was rather empowering.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Running...Be Still My H.E.A.R.T.

What happens when your heart (figuratively) just ain't feeling the run?

How do you know when to call it quits, turn around and head for home?  Or, if  you're pounding out some miles on the treadmill, how do you know when to pull the power?

Let me set the scene...
Winter has really turned on me. Granted, I'm a self-professed summer gal who much prefers the heat (and subsequent humidity) to the frozen tundra of winter. I've lived in the Midwest all of my life, though, so I know how to deal with the cold (even when it gets extreme).

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Going with the (cold) Flow

Well, it's been cold in Iowa.

This is February, after all, and the Midwest is not exactly known for warm (or mild) winters. Although the Polar Vortex has moved on, the frigidly cold temps have remained. What's a runner to do? This runner tries to keep her glass half full and go with the flow, no matter what Momma N throws at her.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

The Treadmill - Five Recent Reality Revelations

The treadmill.

That indoor apparatus that allows one to walk or run when the great outdoors aren't so great.

How do you feel about the treadmill? Do you love it? Hate it? Love to hate it (or vice-versa)?

Monday, February 4, 2019

Stuck inside? A few non-running fitness options to consider

The temps have been chilly (polar vortex chilly for some of us).

Being stuck inside can be a tough setting for some runners. Granted, rest/recovery days are warranted, but what if you're stuck inside for several days at a time?  Not every runner has an in-house treadmill or access to an indoor track, after all. Many don't have the space for a home gym either.

Have you ever been at a loss for indoor fitness options? Ever wanted to do something "active" that didn't involve the actual act of running, but would benefit your running none the less? 

Here are a few suggestions for indoor fitness when running isn't an option. Most of these don't even require the expense of equipment, nor do they demand a lot of space. 

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Victory over the Vortex

Ahhhh, the sweet taste of Victory!

The polar vortex of 2019 has come and gone, and I'm feeling ever-so-victorious. I've lived in the Midwest all of my life, so cold winters have always been part of my reality. That said, the extreme temps (-25F, with a feels-like of -50F) of late are not an everyday norm during the winter season. 

Being forced to stay inside is not desirable, but it's also not the end of the world (at least as I know it). Thankfully, a severe cold spell such as this is a great time to reflect on the big picture (geesh, I've been saying that a lot lately LOL). It's an opportunity to be grateful for having a warm inside place to hibernate as one awaits for the more desirable weather conditions to return.