Pure Michigan & A Week in Workouts

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One of the benefits of spending time in Western Michigan is how naturally beautiful it is. In the summertime, it is a gorgeous paradise of crystal clear water and white sand beaches, gorgeous skies and boats dotting the water. It is a time for boat rides and swimming, for brunch on the patio with a view of the water, for a picnic dinner at the dunes.

In the wintertime, the natural dunes and forests are covered in a pristine white blanket of snow that stretches out onto the lake, and all around, the landscape is covered in glitter and winter light. It is a time for hiking and snow shoeing, for skiing and snow boarding.

This weekend, my husband took advantage of that natural beauty to convince me to ditch the gym for an active rest day. It was totally needed, and ended up being an awesome four-hour hike through the snowy Saugatuck dunes along Lake Michigan.

I have to say, it was a great workout. Some of the areas we traveled through had not been walked yet, and there were areas where we were falling through 3 or 4 FEET of snow. I was practically doing lunges just to get through those spots, and it was definitely a leg and abs workout.

The trail is so hard to see, but apparently it was once marked by split trees. My husband alleges that this was a Native American tradition long ago, to mark the path by splitting trees as they grew. Obviously, these are not the same trees, but it is neat that nature marks the path instead of big metal signs.

It took us over two hours to hike up, over, and around (I couldn't keep track!), but eventually, we made it to the water. It was amazing to see how much of the lake is frozen over. A lot of the white in the image below is actually frozen water covered in snow.

Since we brought our dog, it was hilarious to watch her sprinting around the natural land, and I managed to get a few great pictures. This one makes her look a little insane, which is why I am sharing it with you, because... why not, right?

For those of you who are planning a workout schedule, here is what I managed last week.

Wednesday: Skip (Thursday is my big day now, so I wanted to be ready)

Thursday: Total Conditioning Class (60 Minutes of pulling sleds and resistance sprints), 15 minute Abs class. 
This class was totally insane, and I loved every minute of it. We did resistance sprints, where someone holds you back with a rubberized band as you try to sprint, and we also did a lot of drills that included random bodyweight exercises and burpees. 

Friday: 4 mile jog
After Thursday's ass kicking, I was very, very sore. The entire back side of my body, from calves to lower back, felt like it had seriously gotten worked. I decided to do a light jog, just to get the blood flowing, in hopes that I would loosen up. It didn't really work out that way, but at least I got a good sweat in.

Saturday: 60 minute weights workout
Another intentional ass kicking. 

Sunday: 4 hour hike

Monday: 8 mile run

Tuesday: Body By Science

Today: who knows?!?
I don't have much of a goal today other than not pushing it too hard, because God knows being sore for my Thursday class would be agonizing!

  • What kind of active rest days do you do? Any suggestions?
  • Do you do your own self-guided weights workouts? Do you find it hard to push yourself?

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