Sunday, February 15, 2015

New England is the New Alaska

Just about everyone in the Boston area is losing their minds over the sheer volume of snow being dumped on us lately, and I'm no exception.  Look, I hate snow.  I hate everything about it.  I wish it never snowed.  At best, it's just a cold, wet nuisance.  At worst, it shuts down the whole state and life becomes a full time job of shoveling, raking, chipping ice, repeat.  We're in the "worst" column right now.  I don't understand people that think it's pretty.  How is this pretty, when all of nature is covered in white?  A Monet painting is pretty.  If someone took a can of white paint and dumped it over one of his haystack paintings, would you think it was still pretty?  I don't think so.  You know what's pretty?  Florida.  The Caribbean.  You know, places that have colors, like blue skies and green grass and pink flamingos.

Years ago I had decided that since I hated snow so much, and yet I continue to live in New England, I had to find a way to hate it less.  I took up snowshoeing, which I honestly do enjoy.  It's a great workout, a safe way to get outdoors in the winter, and gives me a chance to be in the woods experiencing nature, even if it is just monochromatic.  A few weeks ago, it was still fun to snowshoe.  Back when we thought we were dealing with "the big snowstorm of the winter".  How foolish we were!  Three weeks and seven feet of snow later, and the honeymoon is over!  Snowshoeing isn't just for fun anymore.  It's an honest-to-God regular mode of transportation just to get from Point A to Point B around the property!  I had to snowshoe all throughout Rocco's paddock just to give him some room to walk around.  Rocco actually loved this and followed me all over the place.

Rocco and I are master selfie-takers, wouldn't you agree?  We even have the same smile
 I did manage to get down to the park a couple times, and I'll admit, the scenery was actually pretty nice.

Like I said though, this was back after the first major storm, when it was still kind of cool to have just two feet of snow on the ground.  I have shoveled, raked, and ice picked so much in the last three weeks, I'm going to have the most outstanding arms come Spring.

Shovel the deck, to rake the roof, then shovel the deck again.  Repeat.

Might be easier to install a zipline to the barn at this point.

"I'm up to my ears in snow!"
Oh you're wondering if it gets worse?  Well of course it does!  What horrendous "unprecedented" winter would it be without historic temperatures?  This was yesterday morning:

In case you haven't figured this out yet, I'm so glad I'm not training for a spring marathon!  If I had even the slightest bit of regret not signing up for Boston this year, trust me I'm over that!  I feel bad for all the runners trying so hard to stick to their training plans right now.  The roads are downright treacherous and the treadmill is pure torture for anything more than a few miles.  I have to hand it to people like Dale and Sarah, who are logging 16+ mile runs on the treadmill right now!  Well I might not be accumulating that kind of mileage, but my treadmill and bike are definitely getting lots of use this winter.

The sweat zone
Have I mentioned that last year's impulse purchase of the treadmill was the best shopping decision I've ever made in my whole life?  Treadmills might get boring and they're certainly no match for a nice country road, but they have some seriously great advantages:

  • Climate controlled - I can play "Mother Nature", set the temperature to my liking, add a fan or two, and run comfortably in shorts year round
  • No traffic
  • Nearby toilet (very nice bonus for me)
  • I can watch TV or listen to music without headphones
  • I never have to worry about bonking so bad that I need a ride home
  • No need to carry a fuel belt on a long run
  • Building up mental toughness

Even still, I'm getting a bit tired of the treadmill and I'm finding it harder and harder to get motivated, especially when I'm already tired from shoveling and my back is so sore.  I usually play some sort of game.  Like, run the 1st 2 miles without music, then add music.  Or, stop every 2 miles and do some crunches or planks.  Or, continually switching up the pace.  Yesterday for the first time I tried running based on "time", versus "miles", with a goal to just run for 30 minutes.  Turns out I hated that, so we'll scratch that off the list.  Sometimes I just like to run in silence and day dream about things.  Like Florida, for example.

All of this solo indoor working out can get boring, so I'm happy that Joe put together a semi-weekly indoor cycling get together at his studio.  The biggest challenge is sometimes getting there, especially with all the extra work this time of year around the house and barn.  I've been a few times, and it's been a great experience.  Amazing how much longer I'm willing to ride the trainer when we have a good group of people to suffer with and some entertainment to watch!

For the record, these beers were props only, a toast to Rori who was too busy at a beer tasting to ride with us

In other news, my mother and I brainstormed and created a new hearty vegetarian soup that has become my new favorite.  This is a kale, sweet potato and white bean soup.  Only 199 calories per serving!

Well, the Hyannis race is fast approaching.  It's scheduled for next Sunday, and a bunch of us booked rooms to stay there for the weekend.  Originally I wasn't going to run it because of my ankle injury, but I emailed the race director and was fortunate enough to switch to the 10k!  The only issue now is that there is another snowstorm, possibly two, coming between now and then, so it's very possible the race could get cancelled.

While we wait to hear the final word on Hyannis, I will continue to get my runs in on the treadmill, daydreaming about burning books with Jake Gyllenhaal and getting rescued by Dennis Quaid.

In the meantime, here is my current view out the window.

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