Boston Week 2: The Arctic Vortex

15 weeks to go…

The week started with a cancelled business trip and frigid temps. The funny thing was that I was dreading going to Prince Edward Island in January, but it ended up that it was 50* warmer there than in Chicago on Monday! It was a bit of a relief that I wasn’t going to miss a complete day of training due to travel, but I was looking forward to starting a new project and work getting ramped back up again. The rest of the week was kind of a mish-mash of treadmill runs, slush and ice. Overall it was a solid week with some good workouts.


If you watched the news, saw Twitter feeds or were exposed to any other media outlets on Monday, you probably heard that there was some sort of arctic vortex over the entire Midwest and beyond. The resulting -14* temps (-40* windchill) forced me to the treadmill for my tempo run.

arctic vortex

Obligatory Weather App Screenshot

The faster miles were mostly just mentally challenging. To keep my brain occupied, I alternated between watching an old Sex and the City episode(s) and listening to my music {during commercials}. It was interesting that increasing the pace didn’t make it feel that much harder…but the time draaagged during the tempo portion: 7:14, 7:09, 7:04. 

After the run, I went to the weights area and did Jenny’s strength training workout. It was good to mix it up a bit, but she was right when she said you will walk out of the gym like a grandma. Being at the gym increases my motivation to follow my run with strength by ten-fold, rather than wanting to jump in a hot shower to warm-up when I get home from an outdoor run.


  • Run: 50 min Easy: 6M, 8:25 avg.
  • Strength: Upper Body Strength

I was still fighting a bit of a head cold (my FIL had to get a z-pack!) and I spent the morning in a NyQuil induced haze from the night before (which just reinforced why I don’t like to take meds). It was one of the few times I wished that I drank coffee because I needed a strong rope to pull me out of the fog. Luckily caffeinated Nuun Cherry Limeade did the trick. I finally hit the gym around 3 after a series of phone calls and meetings throughout the day. It was the first time that I have been on a treadmill this winter that I haven’t had some sort of workout to keep my brain occupied. I tried to cover the screen and just watch TV, but the time seemed to drag by incredibly slowly.

I was planning to do Hunger Games Legs after the run, but after Monday’s tough strength session, I decided to focus on upper body instead. I was surprised not be sore in my upper body the next day.


  • Workout: 30-45 min Easy Bike: Spin
  • Strength: Yoga

Thanks to a slow morning with work, I went to the 9:30 a.m. spin class. This instructor is starting to grow on me, especially because he is a cyclist, so it feels more like a true bike ride than an indoor  spin class. It got me thinking a little about getting back out on my bike on the roads again 🙂

After Brad got home from work, we had dinner then went to the 7:30 yoga class together. We decided that we both love nighttime yoga because it leaves you so relaxed and ready to sleep afterward. Highlight from yoga: I finally nailed crow pose TWICE.


  • Run: Speed: 2×1 mi @ sub-6:50: 6.2M, 8:02 avg
  • Strength: Runner’s World Workout x 2 + 2×15 Single Leg Squat (as warm-up)

After my morning meetings, I drove over to the track for some lunchtime speedwork. Unfortunately I was greeted by this:

photo (90)


So 45 minutes of driving later, I still hadn’t gotten my run in and unfortunately I left some of my motivation at that snow covered track. I got back home, did some more work, procrastinated a bit then finally did my strength training warm-up and headed out. It was snowing a little and the roads getting to the path were annoyingly slushy and slick. After slipping and sliding around, I was happy to get on the salted path. Repeats were 6:36 & 6:41. Unfortunately I didn’t realize I had the wind at my back on the first one, which is why it felt so smooth and comfortable at that pace. Then I struggled to keep a solid pace on the 2nd one. Needless to say, I was really, really happy to get this workout over with.


  • Workout: Spin
  • Strength: Yoga

Thanks to the cancelled business trip, work was still slow. I took advantage of a free morning and went to a yoga class in the morning followed by spin with Jenny at noon. It was one of the harder, but most awesome yoga classes I have been to in a while, with a TON of ab work. Spin with Jenny is always one of the highlights of my week, especially when we get to chat over lunch afterward.


  • Run: 1:30 hills: 11M, 8:17 avg.
  • Strength: none

Chanthana, Jenny and I headed out to Morton Arboretum in search of some hills. We got a little lost on the way there but laughed our way through it. When we got there, the lady at the entrance told us to “be careful, it’s icy”. It was well above freezing out so we kind of laughed and dismissed her warning. By the time we were 2 miles into the first loop, we realized that she was very right. They had done their best to sand the path, but there were some spots where there was a 1/4 inch sheet of ice. You would stop and just slide for a couple of feet before stopping. Between the ice and the hills, it made the first 4ish miles pretty tough. My legs were burning and all the slowing down and speeding up was taking its toll. Fortunately the west side of the loop was better than the east side and we were able to do 2 loops over there then some out backs to each get our respective miles. I was proud of everyone for reaching their time/mileage goals for the day because when we were only a few miles in, we all had lowered the expectations tremendously because of the conditions. After the run, we warmed up with hot chocolate inside and then found all the bacon at IHOP (apparently no other places serve “breakfast” after 3 p.m. in the ‘burbs).


  • Workout: OFF
  • Strength: None

Errands, cleaning and a true rest day.

Miles: 30

Treadmill runs: 2

Total Runs on the ‘mill this winter: 3

(I thought it would be fun to keep track of this, as I was pretty proud that I hadn’t been driven inside by the weather until the first week of January)

About Corey

I am a 30-something swim, bike, run addict married to my best friend and in love with my two schnoodle doggies.
This entry was posted in Chicago, family, friends, parties, running, training, weekly recap, workout clothes. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Boston Week 2: The Arctic Vortex

  1. ErinAMG says:

    yea, girl! what a great week of training in some tough conditions. glad you got to play at Morton, too; that’s one of my fav places in the burbs to run 🙂 Boston doesn’t know what’s coming its way! xo

  2. Jenny says:

    wahoooo, grandma hips! Dude, it gets me every time, BUT each week that I commit to it 2-3x, I feel better. Also, I think those hills are going to be solid work for our form. Can’t power up those bad boys without it. Looking forward to more bacon, white hot chocolate, and smelly car rides with you this spring. 🙂

  3. Impressed that you’d get out there in that bitter cold! Living in Nashville for 5 years has stripped me of any coldness tolerance that I had once developed (and NYC/NJ cold has nothing on Chicago!). Looks like you’re off to a great start with Boston training!

  4. chanthana says:

    You are doing so well with your first winter training here! Last week was a good test of patience, tenacity and motivation. You passed with flying colors!

  5. We are finally getting some warmer temps and I just got outside again for the first time in awhile this past week! And yay for getting crow pose!

  6. oddly i do my tempo better on the treadmill! Way to go on getting it all in no matter the weather!!!

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