December 8 -- 6:00 PM
It started to snow. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!
We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world? Moving here was the best idea I've ever had! Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks.
This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life!
The sun has melted all our lovely snow. Such a disappointment! My neighbor tells me not to worry-we'll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we'll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I'll never want to see snow again. I don't think that's possible. Bob is such a nice man, I'm glad he's our neighbor.
Snow, lovely snow! 8 inches last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again. I didn't realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I'll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn't huff and puff so.
20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4x4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife's car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that's silly. We aren't in Alaska , after all.
Ice storm this morning. Fell on my ass on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.
Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should've bought a wood stove, but won't admit it to her. God I hate it when she's right. I can't believe I'm freezing to death in my own livingroom.
Electricity is back on, but had another 14 inches of the damn stuff last night. More shoveling! Took all day. The damn snowplow came by twice. Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they're too busy playing hockey. I think they're lying.
Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they're out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they're lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he's lying.
Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white shit fell today, and it's so cold, it probably won't melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and dressed again. I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter, but he says he's too busy. I think the asshole is lying.
Only 2 inches of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she, nuts?!! Why didn't she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she's lying.
6 inches - Snow packed so hard by snowplow, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son of a bitch who drives that snow plow, I'll drag him through the snow by his balls and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I've just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching for the damn snowplow.
Merry f---ing Christmas! 20 more inches of the damn slop tonight - Snowed in The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. God, I hate the snow! Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she's a fricking idiot. If I have to watch "It's A Wonderful Life" one more time, I'm going to stuff her into the microwave.
Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She's really getting on my nerves.
Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze; plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him, he only charged me $1,400 to replace all my pipes.
Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. The BITCH is driving me crazy!!!
10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That's the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?
Roof caved in. I beat up the snow plow driver, and now he is suing me for a million dollars, not only for the beating I gave him, but also for trying to shove the broken snow shovel up his ass. The wife went home to her mother. Nine more inches predicted.
I set fire to what's left of the house. No more shoveling.
Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?
Sunshine is delicious,
Rain is refreshing,
Wind braces us up,
Snow is exhilarating,
There's really no such thing as bad weather,
Only different kinds of good weather.
I just got back from one of those runs that reminded me that I am enjoying what all the wimps who wuss-out and resign themselves to endless hours on the dreadmill miss. Just ran in 29º airtemps with 17º windchill and whiteout conditions...it was awesome! I saw only a handfull of cars and one snowmobile (who looked at me in utter disbelief), as well as an old guy leaning on the shovel and watching while his wife pushed the snowblower (I about booted him in the rear...lazy old fart--no wonder we gals outlive the guys).
I also saw the neighbor dachshund (same one that tried to bite me on the calf last Spring, but my compression tights and sizable calves were more than his teeth could apparently get through *rolls eyes*)...he came running out yapping, crossed the street, slammed into me, and continued to bark at me "ferociously." I stopped, yelled at him to stop and go home and told him sternly that the next time he came at me he'd be getting a shoe in his obnoxious f*cking head. Seriously...I was having such an utterly kickass run that he had the nerve to interrupt. He's lucky he didn't take my foot in his yapping windpipe today.
Aside from the dumb canine "attack," this will definitely be one of those runs that sticks with me all Winter...every time I try to come up with excuses to stay indoors I'll call this one up to get me out the door. :D
I am still pretty bummed that the 5k prediction trail race scheduled tonite (on the state park's illuminated XC ski trail) was cancelled was converted to a prediction XC ski race. Bummer. Apparently I'm more hard-core than some... ;)
Prediction Run has been changed to
Prediction Cross Country Ski
Damn. We have all this it's-not-even-Winter-what's-up-with-all-this-damned-snow to thank! :(
So I guess I will be doing 5-6 miles this afternoon, instead.
A poster on RunningAHEAD.com posted a link to the following article from MSN. Interesting stuff. Nothing too surprising to me, but the sort of thing that non-runners with apprehension towards the sport due to high-profile news stories surrounding marathon-related deaths could really benefit from reading.
I'm adding some commentary to the parts that struck me as interesting or relative to my own experiences since I started running almost 3 years ago. The entire article can be found by clicking below:
Last fall was a tough time for those of us who believe running makes us healthier. The day after Shay's death, Matthew Hardy, 50, died of an apparent heart attack an hour or two after finishing the ING New York City Marathon in 4:48:21. A month earlier, Chad Schieber, 35, who'd been diagnosed with a heart defect (mitral-valve prolapse), had died in the unusually hot Chicago Marathon. These stories often get more attention than those of the race winners. And they always raise the question: If running is so damn healthy, why do runners keep dropping dead in their tracks? Statistically speaking, a handful of runners will die in a marathon this year—the vast majority from heart attacks (the others from heatstroke or hyponatremia). Is running—as the alarmists and cynics often suggest—a dangerous activity?
We've discussed this issue at length on Running AHEAD. So far I have not run into non-runners who have tried to use these cases as "proof" that running is inherently dangerous. I think most non-runners realize that these deaths are still rare and are only so high-profile BECAUSE they are unexpected in an otherwise healthy pursuit. Sort of the "exceptions that make the rule" sort of scenarios.
Reams of research have shown that excess body fat increases mortality rates, but Blair is banking on his morning runs to protect him. His own findings offer much hope. Evidence from the ACLS indicates that the fit-but-fat are nearly as healthy as the fit-of-normal-weight. In other words, regular exercise offsets many of the dangers of being overweight. For that reason, Blair believes American public-health leaders should stop screeching from the rooftops about obesity and instead switch their message to the benefits of exercise. "When you look at me, you can tell I'm surprised and delighted by the fit-fat finding," says Blair. "But the point is, we're losing the obesity battle. So let's try something else. Let's focus on fitness."
I could not agree with this more. My BMI hovers just barely below "overweight" for my height and build and has pretty much ever since I started running (I should be "eating to run," but I tend to "run to eat"--and too much...oops), yet my most recent bloodwork #s suggest a near elite athlete:
My PCPs eyes nearly bugged-out when he looked at my #s, particularly my HDL/LDL ratio and my triglycerides. On the outside I am a chubby mom, but on the inside I am a (slow) running machine. Just imagine if I actually ate a truly "healthy" diet and dropped the 20#s that I need to to be at my ideal "skinny" weight of 126 (on my 5'3.5" muscular/stocky frame).
This doesn't discourage Williams. In one 1997 study of 8,283 male runners, he compared those running more than 50 miles a week with those running less than 10. The high-mileage guys were 2.5 times as likely to have heart-protective levels of HDL, the "good" cholesterol, and 50 percent less likely to suffer from high blood pressure. Just six months ago in the Journal of Hypertension, Williams updated his information on running mileage and high blood pressure, now using data from more than 24,000 male runners. He looked at runners doing more than 25 miles a week versus those doing less than five. Depending on age, the higher-mileage runners had a 57 to 80 percent lower rate of high blood pressure, a major contributor to disease and death.
Yep. See my #s above. I have never had "high" blood pressure, but pre-running it was closer to the standard 120/80.
In Thompson's classic 1982 study of runners' heart-attack deaths in the state of Rhode Island, he found that a runner's relative risk of dying during a workout was about seven times that of dying in front of the TV. It amounted to one death for every 396,000 hours of running, almost exactly the same rate found decades later in several marathon studies. This doesn't mean that running caused the deaths. It would be more accurate to say that artery disease caused the deaths, and running was merely the trigger. Here's why: Another Rhode Island study showed that the blizzard of February 1978 touched off a mini-epidemic of snow-shoveling deaths. A week later, however, heart-attack deaths dropped below normal levels. In other words, after all the people with advanced artery disease had died, there were few diseased hearts left.
That last bit...wow. Kinda grisly, but it makes sense. Sort of a "survival of the fittest" thing with the weakest having already being picked-off by the predatory heart-disease + bad weather beast. Every Winter we hear stories here in the Great White North of "grabbers" taking shovelers right in their own driveways. It's not the act of shoveling that kills these individuals, but existing heart disease due to genetics and/or lack of physical fitness. Shoveling is not a dangerous activity to a healthy individual any more than running is to someone who is healthy. But no matter how fit one looks on the outside, if their heart is weakened by inactivity or genetics they are at risk of death. Running and other physical activity merely helps to remove the one risk factor we have within our control.
This can happen even to fit runners with low cholesterol who've passed a stress test in the last 48 hours. Still, the occasional exercise death doesn't change the advice for healthy living. "If you want to live a long, vigorous life, you should do an hour of moderate exercise a day," says Thompson."If your only goal is to survive the next hour of your life, you should get into bed—alone."
Boy...ain't that the truth!? :D