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.
Here's what went down in my world of fitness this past week...
Never miss a Monday
I started the new week with a brisk morning walk (outdoors!), and then 40 flights of stairs before heading to the office. Later, after work, I ran a couple miles around the college campus. Holy Brrr, Batman! The wind was a tad bit brutal, but the extended daylight (and late afternoon sunshine) made the run enjoyable. Besides, I'll never pass up an opportunity to run outside!
More cold outside temps kept me inside (again). I got my fasted-cardio going with 20 minutes on the elliptical and 25 flights of stairs. And that's all she wrote.
|more time with Ellie|
As I posted on Insta and my FB running page, it would be a pretty boring journey if every run was euphoric and/or effortless. Another #5at5 done, but this particular one took more grit and determination than I knew I had in me. This run had me especially sweaty, and I had to stop at the 2-mile mark to find a towel. I also had to stop at the 3.5 mile mark for a potty break. When I finally made it to the 5-mile mark, I was so done...but felt pretty badazz in successfully finishing what I'd started. Stronger for the fight, right?
|A tough early morning 5-miler with Milly|
I kept things pretty low-key for Thursday...some stairs in the morning (30 flights), some elliptical in the evening (20 minutes) and a whole lotta of stretching and core work.
With all the stair-training I'm doing this month (see below), I'm trying to keep my early morning cardio at the minimum (most days). Since it was too cold to take Max out for a walk, I opted for 20 minutes on the treadmill (approx. 1.5 mile), and 20 flights of stairs. I love waking up to some sweat equity; it's like a caffeine fix for me.
|And those post-run stretches? Total bliss!|
All I could say about Saturday morning's workout was, "ShaZaMMM!" Sometimes you just gotta be the boss of your workout and do it YOUR way to make it bearable. It's no secret my treadmill has seen a lot of action in recent weeks (hello? this was the eighth run in the past 22 days, not that I've kept count). I decided to make it an interval workout and incorporate some stair climbing to make it more interesting & challenging (and save my sanity).
*10 flights of single steps (kind of a warm-up), then:
**1-mile with Milly (increased pace every 1/2 mile)
**10 flights of double steps
**5 flights of triple steps
*****repeat three more times****
*1 final mile with Milly (almost at tempo pace)
*10 flights of double steps (for a cool-down)
All told, I knocked out five total (progressive) miles, and 80 total flights of stairs...all within an hour from start to finish. This workout was a total 180-turnaround from Wednesday's treadmill run. As I upped the speed on each 1/2-mile, the running actually felt easier (maybe I've been doing my treadmill runs too slow???). There was a major sweat flow happening, as you can see from my saturated headband. Stepping outside briefly, when all was done, felt pretty refreshing in the frigid winter air. If every run with Milly felt this great, I'd certainly have a lot more respect for her.
|I love it when Milly and I actually have a great time in each other's company|
After Saturday's intense stair/speed interval workout, I knew it was in my best interest to take things easy, especially first thing in the morning. The temps were cold (I know, BIG surprise), but weren't as cold as in previous days/weeks. I got out for a 2-mile power walk, and it felt amazing to be back outside. The streets were still slick, though, with globs of thick slush everywhere. The sidewalks on the college campus were clean, though, and I mentally made a note to drive over later and run a couple miles around the campus. That said, the heavens opened up, and the snow started falling during the last mile with no signs of letting up anytime soon.
|More snow. In Iowa. Imagine that happening in February.|
|Back outside never felt so fine!|
In case you missed them, here's my posts from this past week:
Victory over the Vortex
Stuck Inside? A few non-running fitness options to consider
The Treadmill - Five Recent Reality Revelations
In other news:
Did you catch my #FridayFashionFlair post on Instagram ? Even with the Vortex outta here, the cold temps are still my reality. I'm just glad there's been plenty of sunshine, and a bright fuchsia sweater certainly brightened my day. Look a little closer, there's some cheetah print going on as well. And, yes, I am still wearing the favorite white skinny jeans because I have never embraced the "winter white" options out there. As always, you're welcome to join me...post a pic, grab the hashtag (#fridayfashionflair) and tag me (@runningonthefly) so I can check out your featured outfit.
As mentioned last week, I'm currently taking part in a stair climb challenge at work. The challenge encompasses a total of 562 flights of stairs to be climbed (from February 3rd to March 2nd). My goal, though, is to surpass 1,000. Since I routinely do stair-training, I wanted to UP the challenge a bit (see what I did there?). As this goes to press (early Sunday afternoon...eight days into the challenge), I have 330 flights done. Although this may seem like I'm over-doing it on the stairway, my body is used to on-going stair training. In addition to cardio, stair-training also works the legs and glutes, especially while doing the 3-step climbs (which are basically step-ups, but at an exaggerated incline). Let's just say, these are sufficing as my lower-body strength work for the duration of this challenge. Not everyone's workout of choice, but it's working great for me.
How's your weather been? More snow? Crazy wind? Any signs of spring? Are you eager for spring and/or summer?