Tag Archives: snow

Today’s run

I headed out for today’s run fully intending to come home, shower, and change before doing anything else for the day.

Oh, how plans change.

Instead, I’m sitting here 10 hours later still in my running clothes. I have been to a soccer game, the salon for a cut and color, and have been relaxing at home by the fire, working on my Snowy Owl afghan. All without showering. Or changing. And it feels great.

It was a tough 6.3 miles this morning. The five day old snow was crusty and had not had any traffic to pack it down. So things were a bit slow going. And I didn’t eat breakfast before heading out. So I needed my emergency gel 1.66 miles into the run. Good thing I had it stashed in my water bottle pocket. But, a bald eagle soared overhead at mile 4, and that was all I needed for a perfect run.

Anyway, it was a great run. And I saw my son’s soccer game, and I have a fresh cut and color on my head. Pretty perfect if you ask me.

IMG_0646Doesn’t everyone read Popular Science at the salon?


Social running

I don’t have anything earth shaking to share this morning. Just some random thoughts that I felt like getting out of my head.

First of all, I am a social runner. It is made more clear every Saturday morning. Either I get up early and run with a group, or I sleep in and have to go it alone. I can easily run 25% (or more) farther with the group than I do alone. And if those solitary miles have to be on the treadmill, maybe the number is cut in half.

I do still have room in my heart to love the long solo run.  But it’s been so long since I did one that I’m not sure I remember how. And I don’t know if I can spend that much time alone with only the voices in my head to keep me company.  Although, a “lock-in” with that inner critic might do me some good. Perhaps I could finally put her in her place. She does seem to quiet down after 3-4 miles.

Second, I don’t understand (well, I probably do) why more people don’t get out on a beautiful, albeit frigid, morning like today. The snow was lightly falling, it was quiet and peaceful. Usually on the bike path there are other runners. Today it was only the three of us, and one guy and his dog. Totally quiet and relaxing.

Third, I need to reconsider my cold weather running wardrobe. My rear and thighs were red from the cold and it took a half hour before I could feel the seat heater.  Plus, as I warmed up on the almost 40 minute drive home, I started to violently shiver. A hot shower, pancakes, and two cups of coffee later, I finally am starting to feel warm.

And on a non-running note, I finished a crochet project this week. My niece has to wear double casts for a few weeks so I made her some slippers to wear when she is in the house. She was having a hard time walking on the hard floors, so these will help her not slide. Plus, she can put them on herself and they fit over the casts. I had to take a free pattern and do a lot of customizing to get these to work, but they fit perfectly and she loves them. And the supplies were less than $10 from Wal-Mart.  I’m pretty proud of these! And they only took a few nights to make.

Snow Day

Since the start of January, we have had four snow days. (Well, technically, they are “severely dangerous windchill days.”)

In fact, the only reason I am able to sit down and write up this blog post today is the fact that I am sitting at home with my kids on the fourth “snow” day of the month.

Remember, when as a kid, you’d get super excited for a snow day?  I certainly do.  I remember waking up in the morning, finding out it was a snow day, and riding that high for the rest of the day.  I’ve always loved a good lazy day at home.

But the announcement of a snow day last Thursday brought this working mother to her knees in a sobbing heap.  

Why, you might ask?

For me, a snow day has become a stressful event.  These four days in January have been days that were cancelled not because of snow and bad road conditions, but because of severely cold windchill.

Work doesn’t close down for severe windchill.

I started a new job in October, one that requires a lot more out of me than my previous roles.  It’s a new level of leadership.  It also requires more travel, and a return to full time work.  (I was part time from 2005-2013). I have been trying so hard to do a good job, and to adjust to this change, and I LOVE the work I am doing.

But when last week’s snow day hit on Thursday, in the first three weeks back from the holidays, I had already missed two days the first week of January, two the second week, had MLK Day and missed a half day for my youngest’s doctor appointment.  And we were in the middle of planning for two workshops our team is holding this week.  (Yes, I am missing part of it right now.)  Compound that with a work culture where I work with mostly men, whose wives stay home, and my two team members are unmarried without kids, and I felt like I was

So when my husband and I were faced with trying to figure out who would stay home with the kids, and neither one of us wanted to stay home, the situation quickly degraded into an argument.  We were both selfishly trying to convince the other to stay home, but in reality we just made snarky comments towards each other and I stormed out of the room in frustration.

All the stress of the new job, feeling like I was not pulling my weight at work, and the self-imposed stress of trying to be the best mom, wife, engineer, AND team member I could be, and the tears came.

What didn’t help was when my husband decided to stay home so that I could go to work.  Because then, rather than feel like we had discussed it and compromised, I felt like the selfish one.

This weekend a friend shared this post on Facebook, and it resonated.  

“one of the greatest obstacles we face as women is the trap of comparing ourselves with other women.”

Because this is what I do.  Nobody is telling me that I’m a bad engineer, or a bad mom, or a bad wife.  In fact, quite the opposite happens.  I have lots of support from external people.  But I don’t support myself.  When I say “Nobody is telling me…” that’s kind of a lie.  Because someone is telling me that.  The problem is, she’s in my head.  And because she’s in my head, I can’t get away from that voice that says, “You’re not good enough.  You’re not doing enough.  Why aren’t you home with your kids?  Why don’t you want to be home with your kids?”

She’s sneaky, that voice in my head.  Sometimes, I almost think that it’s me.  But it’s not.  It’s someone else, someone trying to make me feel bad.  And I am trying very hard not to listen to her.  



For the record…this blog post took much longer than expected, mostly due to a potty training toddler who interrupted my train of thought at least three times…and is currently on the toilet yelling about the Avengers.

Winter reflections

Winter is my favorite time to run. I love running after a snow, when everything is cloaked in white. It’s peaceful and quiet. The snow muffles sounds, even my footsteps feel lighter.

I love running in the cold, too. No sweat-fest, a winter run is spent trying to warm up my body. It’s usually a mile or two before I even start to feel warm. And when I do, it’s such a stark contrast. I’m running, in the snow, breath making frosty clouds, and yet I’m unzipping my jacket and removing my gloves. I love the feeling of warmth paired with with the chill of the air on my skin.

Once in a rare while, I get the opportunity to be the first runner on the path after a snow. It’s a bit surreal to be breaking the first footprints into the fresh snow. To think that I’m the first one to be out there is a pretty sweet feeling (and not one I get to experience very often). I’m running alongside the tracks of the rabbits and other critters, with not a shoe print to be seen.

It’s a run like this that make me remember just why I love to run.

What’s your favorite running season? Do you like the cold?

nightmare marathon

I’m sitting here at the computer, 9:00 on a Saturday morning, and I’m still in my PJ’s sipping coffee.

Not running.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to be out there, but just haven’t gotten up the motivation yet. I did get up from the computer once, to start the process, and picked up the Garmin to realize the battery was almost dead. So, it’s nestled in it’s charger on the kitchen counter, and I have a reprieve, for now.

We’ve had a warm winter so far this year, either we’ve been lucky or we’ve been unlucky, depending on who you talk to. My coworker hates this weather and wants a blizzard. I can’t complain about 40-50 degrees, but I wouldn’t mind a nice snowstorm, either. There’s something about a snowstorm that makes me really appreciate a warm house, soft slippers, and hot coffee. Plus, it forces us to slow down and really enjoy time with the family. (periodically interrupted by bouts of negotiation, arbitration, and mediation between three very active boys).

So as I sit and wait for the Garmin to charge, I am enjoying a few moments of peace (not quiet, no, not that. I’m a mom of three, remember?)

I had a nightmare of sorts last night. Not a “wake up in a cold sweat, screaming” type nightmare, but a nightmare nonetheless.

I dreamed I was with a group like Team in Training (I did TnT in 2009), getting ready to toe the line at a Disney-like marathon. In my dream, there was a staggered start, so I wasn’t concerned about being at the starting line right when the race started, and neither were most of my teammates. Then, all of a sudden, two teammates came over, despondent. “We got kicked out,” they said. “They won’t let you stay on the course if you can’t maintain a 10 min/mile pace.”

I rushed to get to the starting line and realized that there was nobody there. Nobody. The race had started 45 minutes ago, and I was running alone. I took off and tried to follow the course.

As I ran, the course went through (I kid you not) restaurants and exhibits at the theme park. I was elbowing my way through people eating at a bar, looking for small 8.5×11 laminated signs with arrows to tell me where to turn. I was running down flights of narrow stairs, in and out of buildings, and in back alleys. I ran into three other women running the race, all of us in our purple team shirts, and all of us equally as lost. We were trying to stay on course and to stay ahead of the “cutoff” time so we could finish.

I was four or five miles in, thinking about quitting the race, and feeling very disappointed, when I woke up. At first I was still locked into the emotions of the “non-race,” even though I knew immediately that it was a dream. I have the most trippy, psychedelic, un-realistic dreams, so I never think they are real. Even when I’m dreaming I usually know they are not real.

So, that was quite an interesting way to start the day.

Now, I’m off to check and see if the Garmin is charged enough for a run…enjoy whatever adventures await you this weekend!

Snowy Sundays

24 hours into this new blog, and I’m feeling a lot better about my decision.

I love writing.  I don’t often get a chance to spend much time really exercising my creativity.  I used to keep a journal.  I started journaling right before my second son was born.  I would spend a few minutes each night dedicatedly writing out what had happened that day, my hopes and dreams, whether I had exercised, basically whatever was on my mind.  I kept this up for three years.  It’s amazing to look back and have that record to remember what was going on in those days.  There are notes about my kids’ development – what they were saying, how they acted (the good and the bad).

And there are my personal highs and lows.  The first time I ran over six miles (a high!).

Then I found blogging.   I started a private family blog to document all those little moments of my children’s lives, just as they happened.  I was able to snap a picture, or a video and record a moment in minutes.  I could send a short email to the blog with something funny one of the kids just said – and it was there, frozen in time.

And my journal suffered.  I have written a few times in it, but long stretches of time pass without even a note. Each time I try to commit to writing for even 5 minutes a day, it lasts hardly a week (oh, who am I kidding? It doesn’t even last two days!)

I’m really looking forward to having this avenue for my thoughts, my dreams, and my running.

Which reminds me to get back to the running.  That’s why I’m here, anyway. 🙂

I put off my long(ish) run yesterday in lieu of a run today. The forecast was promising Sunday to be 10-15 degrees warmer, and, as Saturday was my husband’s morning to sleep in, I wouldn’t have been able to get out to run until almost 10 am anyway.  I’m a morning runner.  The closer I get to lunchtime, the worse I run.  So I bundled up this morning, and headed out for 6-7 miles.  Last week I was “supposed” to run 6 miles, but I had spent the weekend curled up in bed fighting the stomach flu.

It snowed on Friday, and so I knew my favorite running spot would be snow-covered.  I love running on the bike path, it is so peaceful and quiet.

I have been running in the New Balance Minimus since October or so.  I’ve really enjoyed using a more minimal shoe, but one of the drawbacks to this shoe is there is virtually no tread on the sole.  So I was really concerned that I would have a hard time running in the snow and ice with these shoes.

Photo courtesy Barefoot Angie Bee

I have a pair of YakTrax that I used consistently last winter.  With the NB being a more minimal shoe, I wasn’t quite sure how the YakTrax would fit on them.  Luckily, when I tried them on, they fit perfectly.  What a sigh of relief I had when I realized I wouldn’t have to dig out an old pair of shoes for today’s run.

NB Minimus Road with YakTrax

With my feet stable and my hands warm (I have a new pair of Pearl Izumi running gloves that I hadn’t yet been able to test out), I headed out.  It was a beautiful morning, cloudy and overcast.  I say beautiful, most others would probably say gloomy. The wind was whistling along at about 15 mph, right into my face.  The snow slowed me down a bit, which was probably good since I have been struggling to run the last few days (darn stomach flu).

I wore my headphones and listened to my favorite podcast, Geeks in Running Shoes.  Hmmm, the title of this blog is “Running Unplugged.” I can see I’m going to have to explain what the title of my blog means.  That’s a post for another day…

All in all, I ran six miles in just under an hour, with a 9:45 pace.  I felt good, strong, and comfortable.

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