My Week in Workouts

Another week down! Sadly, I had zero runs on the trails. My calves were feeling super tight from all the runs with Microspikes lately so a break was needed. Runs were interesting thanks to winter and Max got a lot of miles to celebrate his big week.

Here’s the rundown of my week in workouts.

Monday

10 min ARC trainer warm up

30 min Stepmill Intervals

Strength training

Tuesday

5 mile run with Max

With the NH Primary Election being held today, my kids didn’t have school so my only option to run was in the morning before Ron left for work. It was rather warm Monday and overnight which led to some black ice on the roads and refreeze on the sidewalks. I tried to stick to the sections that had been sanded but some sections were nothing but ice. Running turned to skating.

I originally had a plan to hit a residential area of town that doesn’t see as much traffic in the morning. Plans changed when a car pulled over up the road from me as I was running toward it (I was facing traffic on the left side of the road). My spidey sense fired up even though I had Max with me. We crossed the road and as we were running past the stopped car, they took off and it wasn’t in a slow controlled manner. As they drove away, I turned to look back and the car had stopped once again farther up the road. Maybe they were taking a phone call or something else. Whatever the case, I didn’t like it so I aborted my run plan and headed in the direction of where there would be more traffic. Not ideal but at least I felt better with more cars around just in case.

I hate that someone made me feel uncomfortable like that. I hate that I can’t run wherever and whenever I feel like it without feeling compromised by some asshole.

Wednesday

10 min Stepmill warm up

3.26 mile treadmill hill climb (1109 ft elevation gain)

Strength training

I know everyone likes to bag on the treadmill (myself included) but it really, really is a good training too. It sucks the life out of you but sometimes you need to do things that you don’t want to do especially when you can’t get to the mountains to run sustained climbs. 30 minutes of running with over 1100 ft of elevation gained? Not bad. My sincere apologies to the peeps on the treadmills next to me. There was sweat flying everywhere!

Thursday

7.1 mile run with Kyle and Charles

It seems like every Thursday morning lately it’s either super cold or snowing. Well, it wasn’t super cold Thursday, but the snow was flying. Just like last week, we got the phone call mid run that school was cancelled because of the snow. However, this time, we knew and could run longer. I call that a win.

For those keeping record, that’s the second day of the week my kids were out of school and I got to spend the day with them instead of doing all the freelance work that I needed to get down. Good times…

Friday

Rest day

Saturday

7 mile run with Max

3.7 miles ice skating

I knew the temps and wind chills were going to be brutal Saturday morning. I slept in a bit and took my time getting ready. By the time I was ready to run, it was a balmy 3 degrees. The good news was that the wind died down a bit so the wind chills weren’t as bad. The only time I felt cold was about the first 1/4 mile. It felt like I had an ice cream headache from eating ice cream too fast. But then I warmed up and things were all good.

The saving grace was that it was a perfect bluebird day with blazing sun. My favorite kind of winter day! FYI – I just realized that the pic at the top looks very similar to the same one I posted last week. That must be my single digit run outfit. Lol!

Later that day, we decided to go ice skating. I hadn’t been in probably three years and before that it was probably 20+ years. My skating skills on a scale of 1-10 are a solid 2. However, after yesterday’s session, I’d say I moved up to at least a 4.

Sunday

10.5 mile run split up between Kyle and Max

It’s amazing how drastic the temps can change in 24 hours. When I set out for my Sunday morning run, it was almost 30 degrees. But the odd thing was that it kind of felt colder. It was lovely not to have ALL the layers on.

I met up with Kyle for about 4+ miles and then ran by my house to pick up Max for the remainder (and he still had energy to play stick afterwards). We had to celebrate how far we’ve come in 1 year – it was Max’s Gotcha Day after all! It’s crazy to think that one year, we could barely walk him on a leash and now he’s walking and running on leash like a champ. Hard work, patience and love goes a long way!

How was your week in workouts?

Linking up with the Weekly Run Down.

How My Fitness Has Changed Over the Past 20 Years

You know the 10 year challenge that’s been floating around? Personally, I don’t really get it. I think everyone should look different than what they did 10 years ago. It’s called aging, people. We are meant to do that! Anyway, the 10 year challenge had me start thinking about how my fitness has changed over the past 20+ years. Some of it is the same but my perspective towards it has seen the biggest change.

Let’s start at the beginning.

I really started working out in my teens. I had an amazing PE Teacher who was also a Competitive Figure Bodybuilder. She was tiny (maybe 5’2″?) but so strong. She wasn’t bulky but you could tell she had muscles. It’s pretty common to see that in women now but in the early to mid 90s, that was unheard of. I mean, Kate Moss and the heroin chic was the thing. My teacher had us in the weight room lifting heavy and teaching step aerobics. No one was sitting still. We had to move! I fell in love with strength training but was more likely to brush it off for time on the stairmaster, treadmill or an aerobics class because those were the things that were going to help me lose weight and “tone up” according to all the fitness magazines.

When I was in college, even though I was an Exercise Science major, I still gravitated toward the cardio side of fitness at the gym with weight training thrown in for good measure. I’m proud to say I never fell into the “Barbie weights” trap even though a lot of my friends swore that you’d get big muscles from lifting more than 5 pound dumbbells. I knew that wasn’t true and stuck with my heavy weights. But still, to me, exercise was only for weight loss/maintenance and aesthetics. I liked it but it felt more like something I had to do because if I didn’t I’d gain 10,000 pounds in 1 day. Which is totally and completely false, by the way.

After college graduation, it was more of the same for the rest of my 20s. I was a regular gym goer. I would hit the gym at least 6-7 times a week after work and on the weekends. Some weekends were spent hiking for our workout. My 20 something year old self didn’t even think about waking up before 6 a.m. to exercise. Hahahaha! I still was fixated on how many calories I could burn with cardio equipment. I didn’t have any goals other than to keep my weight in check. I was kind of on autopilot going through the motions – 45-60 minutes of cardio, strength training, done.

When I was in my late 20s, I came up with the dream that I wanted to run a half marathon before I was 30. It seemed like it was a crazy far off idea since I’d only run here and there for no more than 3 miles at a time. When I was 29, I trained and ran my first half marathon…my first race ever. I got the running bug but still made the gym and cardio a priority over running.

My 30s came along and Ron and I were ready to start a family. I was regularly running a couple days a week, going to the gym and had found I really liked yoga. I soon found out I was pregnant but then miscarried around 11 weeks. I started spotting after a run. Even though the doctors reassured me and I knew that running had nothing to do with it, I stopped running for 2 years. I toned down my cardio and strength workouts and focused on lower intensity walks and yoga. I didn’t run again till after my twins were born.

Postpartum running became my everything. I signed up for my second half marathon (Seacoast Half – same as my first!) as motivation to get back into shape. I didn’t have a gym membership so walking, initially, became my thing. My two little babes, our dog Cooper, and I would spend lots of outside time walking during my maternity leave.

When I was cleared, walking turned to running. I’d wait till Ron came home from work to leave for my run. There were some days, where I didn’t want to run. I wanted to hang out with my little family and not miss out on anything. On those days, Ron would tell me to go for a run because it was not only good for me but good for him to spend the time with the kiddos. But there was also days that I would thrust a babe in Ron’s arms and then hit the door running. I needed some me time!

That training period was anything but easy. I can’t say that I loved running but I think it was an important time for me to remember that I was more than a mom. I still had my own thoughts, ideas and dreams. Running was a place for me to think about that.

After my second half marathon, I was hooked on running. It became a regular part of my routine. I also found a regular yoga practice. I started strength training at home, lifting heavy weights. Things were shifting.

The rest of my 30s were a continuation of that shift. Exercise was no longer something I “had” to do for weight loss/maintenance. It wasn’t something I “had” to do for the illusive 6 pack abs. It was something that I wanted to do. It made me feel good. It made me a happier person. It made me feel strong, not just physically, but mentally too. Running made up a big chunk of my exercise time but I still made time for strength training, yoga, hiking, biking, snowboarding and other forms of movement to fuel that feel good feeling.

And now that I’m in my early 40s, I have zero intentions of stopping that feeling. My workouts are about gaining strength, running faster (hopefully), staying injury free, and to keep the body moving because it feels GOOOOOOD. Gone are the days when I think a workout isn’t good enough unless it’s 60 minutes or longer. I know that short and sweet workouts can give me the same feel good feeling.

I’m sure my fitness journey will continue to evolve with every decade. That’s normal. I hope to be doing yoga, running, biking, snowboarding and whatever else I feel like doing for the rest of my life.

Exercise isn’t a bad word. It shouldn’t be looked at as something you “have ” to do. Find what you love and you’ll feel the difference.

My Week in Workouts

My week in workouts saw the return of snowy and downright cold runs later in the week. And it saw the return of searching for vert on the treadmill. It’s climbing season once again!

Monday

10 min ARC trainer hills warm up

30 min Stepmill intervals

Strength training/core/mobility

I’m back up to 30 minutes of Stepmill time and I also increased my “anything but running” time workouts to 40 minutes total. 30k training starts in a few weeks so I’m still building a solid base.

Tuesday

65 minute trail run with Jen

The mild weather melted a ton more snow. Jen and I weighed our options if we’d need spikes or not but ultimately decided to start without and put on as needed. We kind of didn’t listen to ourselves because we needed them at the beginning of the run and when we returned back to the trail head. That’s where all the ice was. The middle part was all dirt. We slipped our way through the first few miles of ice (carrying our spikes, mind you), enjoyed the dirt and then smartly, put on our spikes for the last few icy miles. No falls were had so it’s all good!

Wednesday

20 min Stepmill intervals

25 min Treadmill hill climb (666 ft elevation gained)

Strength training/core/mobility

Thursday

61 min run with Kyle

I woke up to fresh snow coming down hot….errrr, cold? The plows had not been out yet so I laced up my trail shoes in hopes for some traction. As soon as I started out, I was sucking wind thanks to the wind blowing the snow right in my face. I had my buff over my nose but that wasn’t helping much. Neither was the snow blinding me. If it had been daylight hours, goggles would have been a good idea.

Kyle and I trudged along in the snow as best we could. Thankfully, it wasn’t slippery. Of course, we both got a phone call at the end of the run that school was cancelled for the day. If only we’d known so we could have slept in a little bit! Oh well.

Friday

Rest day!

Saturday

6 mile run

Even though I had a short window of time for a run in the morning, I still procrastinated. The temp was in the upper teens but with the wind chill in the single digits, it felt a lot colder (real feel, 6 degrees). Despite the cold, it was a gorgeous bluebird morning. My favorite thing after a storm when thy sky is ridiculously blue. It was also super slippery out thanks to our wacky winter weather of snow on Thursday and heavy rain that turned to snow and wind on Friday. The roads and sidewalks were like a skating rink. I slowed things down and managed to find decent footing with no falls.

Sunday

10 mile trail run with the crew

I’m glad I had a crew to meet up with for a trail run Sunday. The temp was 3 degrees. Three degrees. I would have definitely procrastinated if I was running solo. The good news was that there was no wind. The bad news was that the snow/rain/ice storm from Friday left the trails a crunchy mess. The crust on the snow made for some difficult running and very loud running. Nobody was talking because we couldn’t hear a thing over the crunchy snow/ice.

We were so excited that we could put together ROY G BIV! ๐Ÿ™‚

I had to work super hard for that run. It was “only” 10 miles but if felt like an effort of at least 15. Winter running makes for strong spring running, right?

How was your week in workouts?

Linking up with the Weekly Run Down.