More snow today! 8" of wet great snowman-making snow. The snow stopped around 2pm, and after shoveling out our cars, we decided to put on our rock skis and head out from home onto the powerlines and Highland Green golf course. Our main drive had been plowed, but a nice icy crust remained, making for great gliding. Then it was across the road to the powerlines. There the snow was wet and deep, with no snowmobiles out yet packing down the way. Snowman, in his infiinite wisdom, had put Maxiglide on his skis, a sort of easy glide-on wax. I, on the other hand, had not. Silly Sparkplug! I was instantly regretting my laziness. The snow stuck to the bottom of my skis, making our ski a part glide/part trudge for me. Sort of like having on really long, skinny snowshoes! Ugh. However, despite my grumbling, it was beautiful out. The storm cleared out quickly, and as we were headed back along the first hole on the golf course, the clouds lifted and the sun shone through, hitting the snow-covered evergreens, and casting a wonderful late afternoon light on the ground.
During my lunch break today while browsing the internet, I came upon an article by Don Allison on www.coolrunning.com, and couldn't resist posting the final paragraph, quoted below, that made me smile:
"The truly hardy, however, will simply slough off the cold, ice, and snow, carrying on with their normal running routines. Sure, you’ll run a little slower and it will be occasionally frustrating, but dealing with winter through steely stoicism is admirable and will add a layer of toughness, which always comes in handy. In the end, no matter how you get through the challenging conditions of the season, take comfort in the fact that spring is just three (long) months away."
So there you go... for all the running I've done this past month in the snow and ice and slush, and for all my winter road training yet to come, I'm tough! Or is it crazy? :-)
9am - 6 mile run in the misty rain with Ryan on the streets of Georgetown 10am - After a quick shower and second breakfast, the kitchen came alive with chopping, mixing, measuring, etc, as banana bread was made by Dana, Chris acted as sous chef, Irene made stuffed mushrooms, Snowman and I made coffee cake, and Meghan put together the spinach ball mixture 12am - Snowman slaved over the stove making grilled cheese sandwiches for all 1pm - We were quickly back to cooking -- lasagna, chicken penne casserole, spinach balls, parmesan breadsticks... are we going to be full tomorrow or what?! 3pm - Up to the loft for Wii, which Chris and Meghan brought with them. Think video game with a twist. Tennis, golf, Guitar Hero... No need to go outside and play, just stand in front of your TV. Yikes... I managed to lose badly in tennis to Dana. Stupid Wii! 4pm - The traditional piling of copious amounts of presents under the tree and the chaos of stuffing the stockings 4:15pm - Back to Wii... Whatever did we do while together before this ridiculous invention?!
One of the only downsides of all this early season snow (I know, I know, how could I be complaining?!) is that it makes for some tough running. On Tuesday, I went for a run on the bike path that runs along Rt. 1. Usually the path is nice and clear of snow, but due to the rain that fell on top of all that snow last Sunday, the path was covered with ice. I didn't have my YakTrax and it was an interesting run... Then on Wednesday, I decided to run from home, with my YakTrax this time, down into the Highland Green development. Their main road was literally a sheet of ice all the way. Luckily, the YakTrax give you great traction--otherwise there would have been no way of running down that road. And today, after yet another 4" or 5" inches of snow yesterday, the roads were a mess! To mix things up, I parked at the Bowdoin field house, donned my YakTrax and headed out to run the "Woodside" loop. I knew this would get me on a run with at least 2 or 3 miles of sidewalk... BUT, the sidewalks weren't cleared! So I battled the ice and snow and slush along the side of the road, where the shoulders have been taken up by snow piles, while dodging the cars out on the road for their morning commute. While this 5-mile run would normally be pretty easy, today it tired me out! Guess that means it was a good workout. Whether that is a good or bad thing is currently up for debate...
Another great early snowfall yesterday, leaving us with about 8 inches of beautiful powder underneath 2 inches of ice on top. Mom and Dad were in town for an early Christmas with us, and so we had a quiet day inside, watching the snow fall, opening presents, watching the Weather Channel and football, eating and relaxing. It was a really nice day, and great to see more snow falling :-) It really looks and feels like winter here on the coast of Maine!
This morning, after dropping Mom and Dad off at the airport, Snowman and I headed to the Pinelands to get in a quick afternoon ski. The snow had groomed out really nicely, and despite the whipping winds, we had a great ski on the trails. It's always great to get in an 'unexpected' afternoon of skiing! I hadn't planned on us getting out today, so I was happy :-)
With Christmas fast approaching, and Mom and Dad arriving on Friday, it was time to get my act together, get the cards written, the wreath up and the rest of the wrapping done. Of course, nothing can be done in this house without our curious cat, Ronnie, wanting to get in on the act... :-)
Even though Ryan had already been up at the Glen four days this week for work, I really wanted to get in some skiing, so I promised I would drive, and we managed to get out of the house yesterday around 9:30am for the drive up to Great Glen. It was a beautiful day--the Presidentials shimmered in the distance as we drove through Shelburne, and there was hardly any wind. Nor were there many people out on the trails, which made it feel like we had the woods to ourselves. Despite the snow being from only one snowstorm, there was great coverage, and the tracks were great. It felt wonderful to glide in the tracks again! A great day of skiing :-)
7 am. 5 degrees outside. Inside thermometer reading 55 degrees. Time to turn the heat up! As I started my run, the tears streaming from my eyes due to the cold temps were freezing as they fell, and later, I wiped away a nice layer of frost from my chin and cheeks. D***, it was cold! But if I were still tucked in bed, I wouldn't have been watching a beautiful sunrise, the sky full of pinks, purples and oranges, as I ran along. Very nice.
Now while Snowman is crazy enough to run on the powerlines through the snow, I was not quite up for that this morning. However, I did want to get out for a run. So, with the temps reading 12 degrees, I headed out to do the "Hemlock loop," which would take me down Maine Street and into some of the neighborhoods in Brunswick, making a lollypop back to the start. I knew from past winter running through the side streets that they're often not as clear as the main roads, so I put on my yak trax and headed out. Boy was it cold! It took a while to warm up. The yak trax are great as they definitely give you great purchase on snow, ice and mush, meaning you don't slip and slide all over the place. But you still have to work at it to keep moving forward. So, my 3.5 mile run was pretty slow...and I had a nice frosted look going on my hat and the strands of hair that had escaped. Ah, the joys of running through New England winters :-)
Ronnie the cat woke me up a little after 6am this morning and I decided to slip into my xc ski clothes and get in a quick ski in the town commons before work. I grabbed my beat-up old (like 12 years old!) waxless Rossignols, which were the first pair of xc skis I ever owned, and headed out. These skis are no good for anything but playing around in early season or late season untracked snow. Out of the tracked trails of Great Great or any other ski area they'd be slow as molasses, but they are perfect for a mellow ski in the commons. A few people had been out xc skiing in the snow yesterday afternoon, setting some tracks along the trails, but an inch or two of fresh snow sat atop the tracks, making for some mighty fine gliding. The woods were quiet and the pine limbs were covered with white stuff, as I scooted along, reveling in what felt like my own winter wonderland and enjoying my first ski of the season.
As the storm was moving across the Midwest, the weather people were predicting a big snow storm here in the Northeast, excitably noting we would get a foot of snow or more. Well, we haven't quite gotten that... only about 4 inches or so coat the ground with a light snow still falling... but it sure does look pretty. Like a winter wonderland! We've spent the day indoors, me wrapping presents while Snowman cleaned up and inventoried the wax box, and we just put up the tree. It's a bit early for us to be doing the whole tree thing, but how could the first snowfall of the season not put us in the holiday mood? Let it snow! :-)