Sunday, March 4. 2012
I think winter is having a little fun with us. Between Sunday and Friday, we had two storms that dumped 18-ish” of heavy, wet snow on us. Schools were closed and even MTU shut down early on Wednesday. Granted it was during the peak of the storm when visibility was next to nothing when they sent everybody out on the roads, but it’s the thought that counts, right?
I snapped this photo Sunday morning, just before SNOWPOCALYPSE 2012 began.
Just a few hours later, when SNOWPOCALYPSE 2012 was raging, I took this photo of Josh plowing snow.
Nasty. Thank goodness for the tractor, though. It saved our backs from having to deal with that mess using the snowblower/shovel. Except that on Monday morning it broke, so after work I scooped while Josh took apart the entire engine and attempted to get it running. And then he had to order parts that weren’t going to come in until Wednesday, and that’s the day we got another nasty storm. Long story short, the parts came in, Josh did his magic to get it running, and when the storm died down around 9pm on Wednesday night, we joined the rest of the people in the neighborhood for a snow removal party. Fun! I got my exercise by digging a path to the street for the tractor. My back was not happy about that.
I lucked out with running this week. The storms were on Monday/Wednesday and I had runs scheduled for Tuesday/Thursday, so I didn’t have to take any weather-related skips. I did my hill route on Tuesday and dropped 30 seconds per loop from last time. Thanks to all the scooping & shoveling on Wednesday, my legs were feeling especially tight and heavy when I headed out on Thursday. It wasn’t one of my better runs. I felt a little better on Saturday after a rest day on Friday, but not as good as I was hoping. My eight miler was just okay. Oh well, what can you do, shit happens. Next week is a cut-back week so I’ll end up with around 11 miles. They will be easy miles, for sure.
Anyway, to summarize, Tuesday 4 @ 10:12; Thursday 4 @ 10:31 and Saturday 8 @ 11:27.
Here’s some pictures of some graffiti I spotted under the bridge on Saturday. Some folks have been busy.
And some final pics from the Copper Dog 150. I wasn’t able to get more than a few photos because I was too busy
These guys were drumming up support for the snow bike race on Saturday. Check out their tires. Fat.
Here’s the first team getting ready to head out. The dogs are built like marathon runners, tall and lean. Much different than the fluffy husky types that you usually expect to be pulling a sled. And, fast! When they took off, they took off. It was really impressive.
They’re also holy cow loud. They’re excited to run and they bark and whine and howl and make all sorts of weird noises in anticipation of taking off. One dog is bad enough, but most teams had eight dogs in their team and when they were all making noise together, the sheer volume of it was mind blowing. I have a video of one particularly noisy team, but it’s stuck on my new fancy phone which I have yet to figure out how to work properly. And I’m supposedly an IT person. Yeah, right.
Sunday, February 12. 2012
Earlier in the winter, after the first snow, Josh and I went on a short run where we both took some pretty good diggers slipping on the ice. I landed on my left knee, which ended up swollen and bruised. I’ve been wearing Yak Trax for the past few winters. They work great if you’re totally on packed snow, but once you hit pavement, they’re really uncomfortable. So, I was looking for traction alternatives. I was thinking about getting another pair of Yak Trax-ish things, but meh, they’re so expensive. This year, I decided to go the cheap route and shoot screws my shoes.
After a little bit of intertube research, I decided that for my current winter shoe (Brooks Cascadia), the best screw would be a hex head 3/8” sheet metal screw. $2.99 for a box of 100. CHEAP.
I put 10 screws in each shoe, so my total cost per shoe is a whopping $0.30. These thing work great. My footing feels secure on all sorts of winter terrain with zero slipping or sliding around, and when I do hit pavement it doesn’t feel any different than if I were running screwless. They are noisy though, which I was self conscious about at first, but then I noticed that people heard me coming and got out of my way, so bonus for that.
After about 50 miles, I was starting to notice I was doing a little more sliding than usual. I took a look at my screws and what do you know, I wore the dang things right down to the nub. Ha!
Josh reloaded my shoes and now I’m good for another 50 miles.
Onward with this week’s running recap. This was a cut-back week, so my total weekly mileage was just under 10. Tuesday & Thursday were uneventful, but Saturday was really unpleasant. Cold and HOLY COW windy, which made it even colder. I ended up having to wearing my face mask, but it made my glasses fog up, so I had to take them off. Without the glasses, the wind made my eyes water and my tears froze on my eyelashes so I couldn’t see. So, off came the facemask but then I ended up with wind burned cheeks. I was looking like a hot mess, so of course I had to stop and take a picture:
Some lady complimented me on the “cute shade of green” of my jacket. I was mostly going for the most obnoxious color I could find but score one for me for picking one that’s cute and practical.
Next week my mileage jumps up to 12-13 with a long run of 6.5. Hopefully next Saturday will not be as icky as this Saturday.
Check out Pippen, he’s getting so big!
He’s certainly looking less like a kitten and more like an adult cat now that he finally grew into his head & ears. He still has a ways go to before he grows into his feet and tail. Seriously, he has the longest tail I’ve ever seen on a cat. As big as he is, he can still wrap it entirely around him when he sits.
He has all his adult teeth finally and I was able to save one of his baby teeth. I actually ended up having to pull it out for him because we were playing and he snagged it on my shirt and it ended up sideways in his mouth. There was a lot of blood and it was gross, but he seemed rather unfazed by the whole thing and was back to playing about two minutes after it was all over. I was definitely more traumatized than he was.
He and Scout are sort of getting along. Sometimes they play, but he tends to play too rough and she’s not that sort of lady so she growls, hisses and swats at him and that’s the end of that. I did catch them sharing the tree a few weeks ago. I’m not sure Scout was so happy, but Pippen was thrilled.
There wasn’t much room for him except on the very edge, she has a very womanly figure. She stared/glared at him for quite a while, he just fell asleep. Typical male.
Then she started to fall
And then she finally curled up all the way. Aww, they’re BFFS!
But not really. Notice how she’s still glaring at him while pretending to sleep.
That was the last time I’ve seen them share the tree. Pippen has pretty much taken over the tree and Josh felt bad for her, so now she has her very own kitty shelf on the front windows.
Not spoiled or anything. Nope.
Saturday, January 22. 2011
Here’s me in my cold weather gear about to head out for a run in 6 degree weather.
Add sunglasses to that outfit and I’m completely incognito! A good thing, because most people who saw me out running probably thought I was completely nuts.
Anyhoo, it might have been pretty frigid outside, but I ended up being a little too warm in all my layers. Thermal capris, thermal tights, thermal running pants, thermal turtleneck, thermal long sleeve shirt, wind jacket, and thermal ski gloves turned out to be too many thermals. One mile into my run, I was trying to figure out what layers I could shed but I didn’t dare stop to take anything off so I suffered in my sweaty gear. The worst part was that my mask got soaked from all my heavy breathing and wearing a wet mask is just so gross. Oh, and the inside layer of my hat was soaked, but the outside layer was covered in ice. That was pretty neat.
I debated all morning whether to go or not, and I was glad I finally decided to head out. Despite being cold (have I mentioned that it was cold?), it was also really sunny with gorgeous blue skies and no wind. I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen the sun, so I was able to get a nice dose of vitamin D and I felt really good when I got home.
I’m closing in on a month back to running now, and I’m feeling pretty good. My shins are doing okay. I don’t have any pain, but I do have a very low grade discomfort in my posterior tendon area which seems to be well managed by Ibuprofen, stretching, rolling and massage. I’ve been also doing exercises to strengthen my arches and my tibialis posterior muscles since I’m thinking I may have some muscle imbalances going on. Well, that’s what the results of my eternal quest for self-diagnosis tells me today.
I have until the end of this month to noodle around with my running and then I pick up an official training plan for a half marathon in May. If I make it through the end of February without anything flaring up, meaning I can make it through the first month of training, I think I’ll be okay. Fingers crossed.