Saturday, January 10, 2009

Old Man Winter

The coldest week in 100 years or so they say. Now I know this is not Illinois cold where I grew up but when it get's this cold another 5,10 or 20 degrees doesn't seem to make a difference. So how cold was it this week? Wake-up temperatures seemed to be stuck on -17 C which is 1 F. Daytime temperatures generally got up to -10 C but not much warmer. So with this cold weather I have some things I observed.

Too Many Canadian Friends

Somehow through my life I have established too many Canadian friends. Mostly through the sport of triathlon and guess where they live, San Diego. But there are still some who live in Canada. On Thursday I sat at my computer early in the morning with -17 C on the screen debating my bike commute. Mary had already said "I can take you." The thought came to my mind "what would the Canadians do?" Done deal, the Canadians would laugh at -17C and call it a warm day. So I road and froze my toes. One note, air vents is cycling shoes are good on hot days only.

Druel Freezes

Poor little Scoutie, the dog. She hesitates to go outside right now. We took her sledding one day (no, she can't sled). We were there for just over and hour and she was really cold. So cold in fact, she slept the rest of the day to recover. All dogs do that but this time it was in the same place, same position. She would look up every so often but then go right back down. One morning I put her out to eat. She was out in the yard looking at something through the fence when I opened the door to let her in. She came too the door like a 95 year old women, slow and unsteady. But there are times she really likes to go out and that is to run. As long as she is moving fast she is warm. So this week we have kept up with our 30 minute runs. By the end of each run, Scout has these really long strands of Ice hanging off her chin and whiskers. Who knew, Drool Freezes. She looks like old man winter in the picture above.

Mary the Trooper

Ok, so we all know that Mary prefers warm to cold. Given the option of the Beach or the Snow she will always take the Beach. Mary would get cold in San Diego! First let's go back to the trip to Slovenia. The Beach was an option but quite a bit more expensive. Mary thought of Marco and I and chose the snow. She knows how much Marco loves the snow and I love the Mountains. Now fast forward to this week. Mary is on a running plan that we set up. Her goal is a 1/2 marathon in March or April. She followed the plan all week and there was not a treadmill run involved. She dressed up each day and braved the cold. Heck, even on her running day off, she dressed up and went nordic walking with a neighbor. Maybe she's begining to like that cold feeling on her face?


Earlier in the week I signed up with a new coach. I needed a kick in the rear end and also I just needed to get organized. I can always do the work but when the plan is coming from someone else there is a sense of duty and I don't have to make it up. So I have been searching all winter for the coaching that would work for me and I found it at with one of my favorite bloggers, Gordo Byrn. For the next 12 - 15 weeks we'll be working on base building. His moto is just do the workouts. I'm good about that and if the goal is just finish them, that's when I'm at my best. So this week had a swim focus. 4 days of swimming this week. I haven't swum 4 days in a week in two years. So I knew I would have to do something new to be able to execute this. The best thing all week is I braved a different pool. I went in with the expectation that I'd find fat guys in G - Strings hogging the lanes. What I found was swimmers and almost exclusively swimmers. I found lanes blocked off and lots of them. Finally I found 50 meters. That's right, squint to see the other end of the pool 50 meters. I found swimming nirvana! Yesterday as I was rolling through my swim set I took a glance outside. It was -17C and there is lots of snow. The pool walls are essentailly all glass giving you the feeling you are outside. I had this strange sence that as I sit at the wall I should be cold but I wasn't, I was hot. One final note on Swimming I learned that I rarely completely dry myself. Usually my head is still dripping 10 minutes after I get in the car. Not a good thing, when it's bitterly cold and I have a 5 minute walk to the car. I now dry myself off extra good. I even use a hair dryer.

It may be cold but it's still a good life.....


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