As the temps start to drop here in the Michigan tundra, some of us tend to hibernate. Sure, we dig our winter gear out of the bottom of the closet or drawers and still make most of our runs outside. But there are days when it’s genuinely too cold or too icy for even the craziest most-dedicated of us to run outside.

So it’s a perfect time to pretend to be concerned with our cross training because it’s typically something we can do inside. And that’s the topic of today’s Tuesdays on the Run link-up hosted by runner bloggers MCM Mama RunsMy No Guilt Life and Marcia’s Healthy Slice: our cross-training plans for the next few months.


When I genuinely can’t run outside, I turn to:

  • Yoga. It’s typically too slow for my taste, but I do the Runner’s World Yoga for Runners videos by Rebecca Pacheco. They’re short (about half an hour long), relatively easy to do and work on most of our trouble spots. Oh, and they’re free.
  • Walking. When it’s just too icy to run outside, sometimes I bundle up in snow boots, snow pants, a heavy parka, hat, gloves and a scarf. Think Ralphie’s brother in A Christmas Story. Or the Michelin Man. When that’s not do-able, I turn to the used treadmill el husbando got for me last year and walk while I watch TV shows the rest of la familia just don’t like. Justified is a favorite. Timothy Olyphant. Swoon.
  • Videos. If I’m feeling remotely ambitious, I pop in a Jillian Michaels DVD and sweat for 30 minutes. This is another great, quick option for getting in some much-needed cross training without having to leave the house or taking too much time.

The list is short, but realistic. I used to practice my tae kwon do forms in the hopes someday I would get to go back to the dojang and take my black belt test. It’s not looking like I’ll be doing that anytime soon, but I may pull out that DVD this winter just for variety’s sake.

Thankfully, it’s still relatively mild (if cold) outside, so I won’t have to give up outdoor running quite yet. But when I do, I have a plan so that I can continue to be active in the months to come.


What’s your go-to activity for cross training? How good are you at doing cross training in the first place?

I like to think of myself as someone who likes to try new things, but this week’s Tuesdays on the Run topic — whether you run races once and done or do repeats — has convinced me that I may be more of a creature of habit than I thought. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course.not that there's anything wrong with that



As a very new runner, I did Ele’s Race in Okemos, Mich., by myself. The yearly race iss well organized, has a flat course and supports an awesome organization that helps grieving children. But I didn’t know anyone else at the race and was surprisingly lonely. I may try it again, but only if I can do it with runner friends.

The other onesies were all novelty runs: the Color Run and a couple of virtual races hosted by Skirt Sports. I encourage brand-new runners or people who like to walk to do the Color Run. It certainly had a party vibe and I can see why newbies would enjoy it. It was anything but a race, so I just don’t see myself doing it again.

What I really liked about the virtual races was having the goal on the calendar plus the flexibility to run the miles over a certain period of time and still get the race swag. I especially enjoyed the 261 Fearless virtual race and I would consider doing it again.

Yes, someone makes these.

Yes, someone makes these.

Then there are the races that were better than Cats and I want to do them again and again.

Capital City River Run was both my first half and my first full marathon, and certainly a race I plan to run in the coming years. It’s a well-run, fun race with lots of spectators right in my hometown. I loved sleeping in my own bed, getting up at a reasonable hour and still making it to the starting line with time to spare.

Another repeat is the Lansing Turkeyman Trot on Thanksgiving morning, my first 5K ever and one that my favorite 16-year-old and I have done for the past three years. I have visions of doing this one every November, even if said daughter has to wheel me down Michigan Avenue in a wheelchair many moons from now.

Because I obviously like to run races with runner friends, I have also signed up for the Lake Lansing Team Marathon the past few years. If you like festive (read: with lots of food), then this is the race for you. Teams of up to five people sign up to run 5.2 mile legs that begin and end in the same spot so you get to hang out with friends while one person runs around Lake Lansing at a time.

I recently did the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon in Grand Rapids, Mich., and enjoyed it so much that I’m adding it to next year’s race schedule. The gorgeous blue-sky and warm temps didn’t hurt and neither did knowing a dozen amazing women who were also running that morning.

That all said, there are so very many races to be run that I’m not sure how many races I’ll repeat each year. I’m fortunate to get to scratch three new races off my wish list this year: the Two Hearted Trail Half (next month!), Run Woodstock 50K (September) and the Labor Day Bridge Run over the gorgeous Mackinac Bridge (September).

But there’s no way to tell which of those, if any, will make the short list for years to come.

Please make sure to visit the TOTR link-up hosts runner bloggers MCM Mama Runs, My No Guilt Life and Marcia’s Healthy Slice!

What races have you run once? Any repeats? Why?