Sunday, December 13, 2015

Off-season Recap: Week Four

What amazing weather we had this week! It was in the 50's and 60's every day, and I tried to enjoy every moment outside as much as possible. It's supposed to cool down to more seasonable temperatures this week, and I know it will be a long time until standing outside is enjoyable again.

We've also made some progress on wedding planning: (I promised I wouldn't turn this into a wedding blog - but I feel much less stressed now.) I finally ordered The Dress, which gave me a giant stress headache, but I'm really excited to get like two months.

We also finally got a roofer to come do an estimate for us on a few things, namely a missing apex shingle. He was awesome and actually noted a few other problems, including an old bee hive that had pushed out part of our siding. I swear, after knowing about that plus the giant hornet's nest this summer, I might just wear a beekeeper's suit outside next year come spring.

Sunday, December 6
Winter Warm-up Hike (CVNP), 6.7 mi

It was actually cold in the morning when we started this hike, even though it warmed up later in the day to the high 50's. The hike combined three trails on a really enjoyable (and easy to remember/follow) loop I definitely want to do again on my own! The first trail was the cross-country trail, and a lot of it went through open fields covered in heavy frost. Since it wasn't horrifically cold, it was magical.

Monday, December 7
Zombies, Run Season One, Mission Four, 3.1 mi easy

My legs were pretty tired from the longer hike the day before, but the story of the app kept me engaged and the run enjoyable.

Tuesday, December 8
NTC: Wipeout, 30 mins

This was a repeat of the first NTC workout I ever did, and it felt a lot better than the first time, even though it still killed me. I get a lot of anxiety when doing a new workout where I don't know exactly what to expect, so having a better idea of the sequence this time around, I felt more in control.

Wednesday, December 9
Zombies, Run Season One, Mission Five, 2.9 mi easy

I set out for the run with hat and gloves, and took the gloves off halfway and could've easily lost the hat too, except I hadn't bothered to put my hair up. I'm doing a pretty good job about not over-dressing, at least based on the few other people I've seen out there, but it's still weird to go out uncovered in December!

Thursday, December 10
NTC: Body Buffer, 45 mins

This workout was so hard! It was long enough that it could really hit upper body, lower body, and core until all three were spent. I feel like this workout buffered me right into the ground.

Friday, December 11
Zombies, Run Season One, Mission Six, 2.7 mi easy

The weather was gorgeous out! My legs were pretty stiff from the day before, and the gentle run really helped loosen them up.

Saturday, December 12
Extreme Hiking (Brecksville Reservation), 8.1 mi

I'm not sure what classified this hike as "extreme," other than the length, but it was awesome! The ranger led us on a circuit of the large reservation, and I'm bummed I didn't pay enough attention to be able to recreate it on my own. I wore my MSU shorts (and a t-shirt!) because it was in the 60's, and a naturalist with the Metroparks noticed, and it turns out she was a Spartan too! I spent a lot of the hike with her, and hearing all about her work was so interesting. (Which is always fun to follow up with being an accountant!)

Run Miles: 8.7 mi
Hike Miles: 14.8 mi
Weights Time: 1:15
Total Time: 8:16

I'm really pleased with how active I was this week again, even with only three days of running! I know most people keep up a long-ish run in the off-season, but the hiking so far has been a great substitute. All the hikes have had at least 600 feet of elevation gain, and they force me to work lots of different muscles, so I'm getting awesome time on my feet without as much impact. Plus, hiking is just so much fun! I'm almost a bit sad we're going back to Michigan for Christmas and New Year's, because I'm missing out on several awesome hikes!

I might just have to drag my family out on some trails there!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Off-season Recap: Week Three

I know it's not related to running, but I would be remiss if I didn't start this post with the highlight of my week - Michigan State made it into the College Football Playoffs! 8 PM New Year's Eve with face off with Alabama, and I couldn't be more excited!

But back to my own sports (if you can call it that). This week went really well. I busted out the Zombies, Run and Nike Training Club apps to give myself a bit of structure. Zombies, Run is super fun! I'm always looking forward to my runs to find out the next part of the story. Are there any other immersive story apps like this? Because I want them all.

On the other hand, Nike Training Club totally kicked my butt! I wasn't expecting it to be easy, but I usually lay on the basement floor for a couple minutes after each one trying to catch my breath. Michael did a couple with me, and he agreed they were tough! I think it would be hard to do these during marathon training because they make me so sore, but they're great to build some strength for the off-season!

Sunday, November 29
Turkey Burner (South Chagrin Reservation), 5.3 mi

I drove about a half hour to the east side for this post-Thanksgiving hike. It was a beautiful day, and we hiked several different loops around the park, using the bridle trail to connect as needed. The only bummer was we didn't cover as much mileage as I hoped because of some pretty out-of-shape people that slowed down the hike. (I'm not trying to say at all they shouldn't have come out - I just wish they would've stayed in back with the sweeper volunteer, instead of hiking with the ranger and forcing her to slow down.)

Monday, November 30
Zombies, Run Season One, Mission One, 3.2 mi easy

What an action-packed intro! I was hooked on the app immediately.

Tuesday, December 1
NTC: Wipeout, 30 mins

This workout had a ton of arms, and mine felt like jelly at the end! I have to do this again this upcoming week, and I am scared!

Wednesday, December 2
Zombies, Run Season One, Mission Two, 2.9 mi easy

My legs were really sore from the day before, so it was nice to run for time instead of distance. (I know - who am I?!)

Thursday, December 3
NTC: Mean Machine, 45 mins

I roped Michael into doing this one with me, and I think we both felt liked Broken Machines at the end.

Friday, December 4
Zombies, Run Season One, Mission Three, 2.6 mi easy

I had a close encounter with some deer on this run. There is a long, narrow field that cuts through our subdivision where the power lines run, and a huge buck likes to hang out there with his two ladies. He's cantankerous at the best of times, and it's the tail end of rut right now. Luckily, my head lamp picked up their eye shine when they came bounding up, but I still waited almost a whole minute for the buck to cross. I'm glad I saw them, otherwise we would've been only a foot or two apart - scary!

Saturday, December 5
NTC: Circuit Challenge, 30 mins

This workout felt like the easiest out of all three I've tried so far, but it still got my HR way up! It was a good distraction waiting for the football game, however.

Run Miles: 8.7 mi
Hike Miles: 5.3 mi
Weights Time: 1:45
Total Time: 5:49

My total time was down a lot this week because I only devoted 30 minutes to being active each day, instead of 60, since I'm moving back to higher impact activities. I also hiked less, which makes up a lot of the total!

I'm really, really enjoying this break. It's also helped me discover how much cool hiking there is within 30 minutes of my house! Without even trying, I'm able to do a group hike for fitness at least once a weekend - and it's the winter season for programs! I love hiking, so I plan to incorporate it into my next training cycle. Everything I can find on the Internet says not to, but it makes me so happy, I'm going to find a way! (If you have any tips or ideas on how to do this, please let me know!)

We've also signed up for three marathons for 2016 - the Coastal Delaware Running Festival in April, Shires of Vermont in May, and Route 66 in November. We are planning to do White River in November as well, as a double with Route 66. It will be our first, and we're looking forward to it!

Northeast Ohio has also really lucked out with some very mild weather as of late, and it should continue. The lake isn't supposed to freeze for a long time because of El Nino, so once it gets below freezing, we're going to get more snow than normal, so I plan to enjoy this as long as I can!