Over it

Meteorologists always claim that ‘this time last year we had…..’. Well as far as I’m concerned with the weather it is now just look outside, and dress appropriately or you’ll pay the price.

However you look at it there will always be room for vanity, and with ear muffs what does a little heat loss from the head mean anyway? There has been, and always will be narcissists in our realm so let them do what they do, and the rest of us dress to go from place to place warm and covered.

Speaking of clothing I love wearing my Icebreaker’s wool long sleeve half-zip a windbreaker or vest or just a fleece sweater for the top. For the bottoms today I wore my Kuhl nylon pants along with my Altra superiors 3.0.

Workout clothing has come a very long way from cotton sweats, and cotton socks to nylon, spandex, Lycra, and very good wool apparel to pick from. With hundreds of styles, and brands you can find everything you need that is also expensive or affordable. Shop wisely.

Running/workout pants that you’d see in the seventies (aging myself) dancing on the tv to get people at home to exercise are replaced with same attire wearing individuals in a regular gym class, running outside, and even in the grocery store.

Now, if only we can get the other spandex/Lycra wearing individuals to start working out maybe we can make the attire look less “stressed” when they wear it so as to not be mistaken for a Mucinex character in real life.

Today was a great day working out at the park. Rucked and carried extra load to the park, and en route we saw the beginning of a beautiful sunrise which was the color of red wine all over the sky.

That motivated us a little more and we dig deep for this one workout which included ruck sit-ups with a press, sandbag man makers, sb tosses, flutter kicks, and a ruck loaded up hill bear crawl to finish.

This weather isn’t bad as long as you’re moving around, and enjoying the company that suffers along with you.

This is how we looked post workout this morning. Happy crew, and hope to see you with us.

A bit of a climb

We looked at the sky, and at 18F said in unison “this feels warm”. Yes, out loud and it didn’t even phase us. Getting up to head outside and get our workout in has made it being in colder temps and make statements like that common between us RuFF regulars.

I mean how often do you really make it outside in below freezing weather while wearing one or two layers to get on icy covered ground for a workout? Turn around the next day and do it again. It is challenging to begin a process as physically demanding as getting up that early (0400) for the general population.

Once you have step one covered then getting yourself outside with us is Huge! You’ll find yourself in the company of others that refuse to do regular things and be okay with it. You will be challenged to do things that inside the gym are uncomfortable.

Today one of the consistent hints was a 200m run between exercises on an icy hill. Like run up there hill, lunges (2 laps) up the hill, burpees, goblet squats, push ups, bear crawl up the hill.

Oh, I also forgot to mention that we were not able to take off our rucksacks for the entire time we rucked to the park, worked out, and rucked back to our starting point CF Spero.

Today the rucks needed to be on the heavier side than usual which meant that ladies had to put extra weight inside them while the guys put extra-extra weight to get this done.

A little confession- my butt cheeks almost cramped while doing the lunges up the hill! Those are tougher than they look. Especially with the extra weight added.

These are pics of Selene getting the last exercise in

Ever wonder

I’ve been sitting on my couch typing, reading, and trying to wrap my mind around the national debt of over two trillion dollars.

Here I’m wondering what it needs to happen for me to be fiscally fit and finally debt free this year.

Slow process, but a defined and steady grind to get it done. It is doable! With that mindset has me marching forward into March while closing up February, and we are going to have a grinder of a Monday workout.

Using sandbags, were lugging them a quarter of a mile then slinging them all over the place, and in the ice on the ground it’s gonna be good. At least I think it’s gonna be icy.

I hope so, or we’re all going to be muddy, and a tad smelly. Not to say what those sandbags will probably look like when we’re done with the workout. I mean, if you’re gonna go and sweat why not get a little muddy in the process?

I’m a kid at heart and love the outdoors more than anything else. So, if you’re like me and willing to give it your all while in the company of others with the same mindset and will to get it done then join us.

We meet at CrossFit Spero in Oak Park, IL

We’re moving outdoors right after a warmup inside the gym so be there!

Hope you make it. 🙂

That breathing

This morning heading out for our workout in the park I didn’t feel much of a wind to start with, then while working out I noticed something very interesting. My beard began to freeze while working out as I was breathing a little heavier and mouth breathing.

Not a big fan of mouth breathing to start off with but I noticed my nose was having nothing to do with me while working out much less waking to the park.

I started to notice the effort to nasal breath increase en route to the lark, and a little chill hit my face. No sweat I said to myself while starting the workout with had us using loaded rucks either on our backs or overhead for OH squats.

Lunges, burpees, and one arm over head squats will have you panting in no time. At the Box (gym) they had a 7 min AMRAP (as many reps as possible) of Burpees!!! Yes! I can relate, but I would not have taken those even minutes over our loaded ruck workout. We worked our butts off on frozen ground, and Eleni is getting used to being outdoors with us.

Scott, joined in our event today and he worked for he first finisher time which was around four minutes faster than the last person. Regardless of time finished, we had Fun!

Barries park is frozen! Our knees and hands can attest to it since we were slipping and dinging our knees on the ground on the lunges and burpees. No breakdancing was performed by anyone today so we’re good to go.

We are going to be sore though. Maybe more so than Wednesday, but those pull ups with a ruck do catch up. Not complaining just highlighting the obvious when strict pull ups with a heavy ruck are required for the workout.

Hope to see you soon with us.

Heavy loaded

Wednesday morning loaded workout lead me to rethink endurance while trying to breath through a straw. At least that’s what I felt like in the early morning hours.

I enjoy working out in different locations, and have really learned to appreciate there outdoors. Why? I feel like I can go a little harder, and longer when suffering. I believe it has to do with me not looking for a clock per se, or feeling a tad parched while working out while sucking wind.

I can lift, and get a great wod indoors as much as I can outdoors. The difference for me is what an outdoors workout does to me. No artificial light since it’s pretty dark way early in the morning when I do workout, but it is fantasy watching the sunrise while suffering.

It brings a great sense of accomplishment when you’re finished and you watched light come up to start he rest of your day. I dig that many people enjoy the indoors more than outdoors, but for me even when cold and very chilly mornings come upon us it really reinforces the go getter attitude that drives like minded people. Both, indoors and outdoors they’re challenging themselves to find their mental endurance getting better, and a mental tenacity the leads it for the long run.

Come join us at CFSpero in Oak Park, IL. Mon/Wed/Fri @0600

See you soon.

Trails, ice, and cold wind

Trail running has been my go to for over two decades, and never stops challenging me in obstacles from logs, deer, and today ice… everywhere I wanted to speed up there was…. you get the picture.

Universal Sole Trail running series has been Chicago’s premiere running series event host for over a decade. I was involved with Universal Sole when they were a small running shoe store in Chicago’s Lakeview area run by Paul Peters, Jessica, and partners. A welcoming, and family type atmosphere where yes, everyone knew your name, running style, and speed on some of the city’s, and national races. It was that type of store.

Equipment to gear you up for training, and racing were stocked. If not they bent over backwards to get it for you quickly. I was honored to run, and train with the U-Sole team. I have to say that these guys were, and still are wickedly fast runners. I trained with some of them in the mid nineties, and proud to have them lead me to some personal bests, and coach me for some adventure races also.

They supported me when I could no longer run, and helped me recover from a major life altering event that stopped my running career altogether. So, getting back to running, and now racing a trail race that they sponsor is heartwarming, and brings me great joy. A challenge met, and looking forward to once again run in the U-Sole sponsored race series.

I hope one day you can enjoy the family atmosphere wherever it may be of a local shop that knows how you run, what your best and not so best times are, and what they can in turn help you grow to become a better runner.

Feels more like…..

The forecast last. Igbo made it sound like everyone should be wearing more than usual because the weather turned downward and things were frozen quickly.

Well it is Chicago after all. Today after a thorough warm up, we tucked up and briskly walked fast to Barrie Park once more. Not feeling the cold since we were warm to begin with, but beginning to breath a little heavier since the rucks a few of us wore were on the heavy side.

We had the soccer field lapped then began a pyramid up and down worth of exercises to contend with so we were not going to feel the cold.

Ever been outside when it’s so cold everything coming out of your nose or mouth steams up? Well with my beard, it did just that plus froze on my face. I was wondering why my beard felt stiff during the Bear crawl ruck drag.

We had a chance to teach the loaded crab walk, loaded Cossack and we ran with the rucks also. Pretty darn fun, except them tri’s were burning up a storm!Today felt like this:

Cold? What’s that?

We had fun, and our new inductees Eleni, and Sarah had a blast. They learned a few new things today and they’re coming back for more.

Hope to see you out there with us soon.