It's colder than a...

I really hate the phrases "lake effect" and "wind chill" or "feels like temperature." I'm not a fan of Winter.  As a kid I recall it being my favorite season.  I would wear shorts to school in January (in Wisconsin) like it was completely sane to do.  I hated Summer heat.  I still don't like when the thermometer creeps above 90 (and that's mostly an acclimation thing.  Once we have a week or so of hot I usually start to ENJOY it a little), but I find it pretty tolerable.  It's truly the humidity that I loathe more.  I think I could be pretty happy living in the desert.

We have been relatively spoiled this Winter...thus far.  But the past week has brought us more typical January weather.  I don't care for it.  Cold, snow, wind, a drafty house and itchy skin from the overly dry heated air (even with a console humidifier running 24/7).  My knuckles crack and bleed.  It's overcast.  Yesterday I failed to get in a workout (helped a friend out transporting her preschooler to and from preschool and ran some errands...didn't want to have to take a second shower and anger my already irritated Winter skin) and today I'm sorta regretting that, since I REALLY don't want to run outdoors with windchills bouncing just below and just above 0.  And slip-sliding around on snowy/icy roads.  I'd make a damned poor Canadian.

Big oaf on his giant fat bike.
Photo courtesy of our friend, Josh Duggan
Thus far the only cool thing I've found about this Winter (I mean, aside from not having much of one) was spectating last weekend's first "fat bike" race.  DH has one of these, a Salsa Mukluk.  Part of me thinks I'd enjoy Winter more if I had one of these franken-bikes (perhaps I will win one, I've purchased a bunch of $5 raffle tickets from Velo-City Cycles...100% of tickets sold go to the JDRF), but the other part of me LOATHES the laundry required to ride outdoors in the Winter.  A few days ago I did my first ever ride on my cyclocross bike with studded tires (hubby joined me) and that was fun, even with the 13º windchill.  But the laundry...ugh!  A single workout for 2 adults required at least a full load of laundry.  And it takes forever to get all those layers on...and neoprene shoe covers (those things are particularly irritating to deal with--I totally get why people who ride more in the Winter invest in actual winter cycling boots.  I would, too).  Yuck, I've decided those things were invented by Satan, himself.

So, at some point I have a 4 miler on the agenda, but I'm definitely dragging my feet and waiting for the "warmest" window of the day to do it.  Weather.com keeps moving that window.  I'm sure Old Man Winter is getting a real kick out of that.


Happy New Year! (belated)

Uhh...oops.  It's almost the 6th.

Not a lot to report on the fitness front.  Christmas week proved to be one of my laziest weeks in recent memory--and it was kinda awesome.  Except for feeling truly gross from the mass quantities of carby goodness I felt obligated to shovel in my mouth...and alcohol (and fried cheese curds--can't go to WI without eating these at every possible opportunity).  Mmm....

So, yeah...needless to say, the scale had words with me when we got home from Green Bay and I stepped on it.  I think it whimpered, too.  But it was totally worth it to relax in a hotel with a pool, hot tub, sauna, and steam room and a liberal policy on alcoholic beverages in said pool area.

Wii -- go big, or go home!
We've spent a few nights after Christmas at the Green Bay Hyatt (formerly Hotel Sierra) for the past 2 years and it's really become a great new holiday tradition for my family.  Every family has their own private space, but on-site breakfasts and a full bar, as well as a workout room with treadmills (I ran a whopping THREE WHOLE MILES while we were there...you know, to buy me a couple of guilt-free beers), ellipticals, stationary bikes, and free weights.  So plenty of space to gather and lots to do, which is really important with 3 rambunctious boys of 8-10.5 years of age.  We were even able to reserve a conference room (my kid sister's fiancé works at the hotel and attached convention center) and play Wii using a projector.

Winter is still sort of almost nonexistent in these parts.  I'm not going to complain.  After last year with it's endless Winter and almost entirely absent Spring we deserve a break.  Not only has it been warmer than usual, we're also seeing Mr. Sun!!!

In a few days I'll be doing my first ever "Winter" cyclocross race.  6 days later I may be doing my first "fat bike" snow (ha!) race as part of a 2-person team sharing a Salsa Mukluk bike for alternating laps over the course of 3 hours.  MAY, since the race filled-up sometime in recent days.  They had a cap of 75 riders.  As of maybe a week ago only 40 or so had registered.  Oops.  So a guy my prospective teammate and I know who has some pull is going to see if we can't get squeaked in.

Yeah, really no snow in the forecast in the foreseeable future.

In other cool news, for Christmas I got a brand new iPhone 4s!  I decided just days before my previous phone's 1 year warranty was set to expire (Christmas Eve) that I should probably take it in to see if it could be replaced or if I could upgrade with a nominal fee...perhaps to an iPhone.

I learned that my only options were an exchange with another HTC Incredible, which would likely have the same issues I was having (primarily in the form of constant, daily, random crashes), or they could factory reset the phone and re-install the updated OS, but that would almost certainly yield the same result.

OR...I could make use of one of the new phones that our account was eligible to receive.  Little did I know that I could apply one of those to my line.  DH's phone is eligible for upgrade, as well as our "home" phone, which is just a crappy little freebie phone and works just fine.  So I applied that new phone to my line -- voila, iPhone!

Man, do I love the thing.  It's simply a thing of beauty.  And it plays so nicely with my Mac Mini computer, yet I can still make use of all of the Google features that I was accustomed to using on my Droid.  AND now I don't have to run with a phone and an iPod--it's all in one.

I had to wait about 9 days to get the new phone, due to the holiday backlog and us being out of town (FedEx couldn't deliver on the first 2 tries, since we weren't home).  It's as if my old phone knew it was about to be replaced--its behavior was particularly horrid while we were in WI.  I think my hubby was even shocked by how often and at random it would crash.

What...you don't keep bikes in your bathtub?
And DS also LOVES his new Christmas present (Redline Conquest 24 cyclocross bike -- he named it Havoc/Havok, after an X-Men character, apparently).  He has yet to ride it outdoors, since we had so little time on Christmas day, then left the day after for WI.  Weather between then and him starting back to school was sorta wet and nasty (unseasonably warm, but still not particularly "nice").  We need time to be with him to teach him how to shift and brake, too.  This is his first bike with gears and no coaster brake.  We can't wait until the slushy slop is cleared from the rail trail so that we can go ride up and down and work on bike skills with him without having to deal with cars.  I have no doubt that it won't be long before he's tearing it up everywhere he can.  Perhaps he can even get in on the Feb. or March cyclocross races, assuming it's not too cold for a skinny kid with almost no body fat.