Catching Up

Visited the Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center. So very impressive!

It has been a busy few weeks, and my lack of time is showing in my blog.  I usually get these posts written in the evenings or over the weekends, but with putting in extra hours at the office, the last thing I want to do when I get home is get on my computer.  (Plus once I get in a workout and eat dinner, I’m pretty much just ready for bed.)

So let’s see, what’s been going on?

My workouts were pretty much a mess over the past few weeks thanks to the cut on my foot from Williamsburg (which is now mostly healed).  Because the ball of my foot was injured and thus sore, I was walking weird, and while I did skip running workouts (pounding on a fresh injury seemed like a bad plan), the little walking I did meant that I ended up with strained muscles in my hips from the weird gait.  So that threw off the workouts even more.   Things seem to be mostly in working order save for a slight twinge in one hip, but I think some stretching should help that.  Who knew that one little cut could cause so many problems!

I was also avoiding the pool until my foot healed, so basically it’s been all biking, all the time.

This past weekend, my brother, sister-in-law, and niece were all in town for a few days and it was so awesome to get to spend time with them.  I will never regret moving to the DC area because I love it here, but it would be nice to get to spend more time with my family.  They clearly need to come visit more often.  There’s plenty of stuff to do here after all.  (Though maybe I would recommend not coming on the hottest weekend of the year.)

I haven’t been paying attention to the fact that I have another race in 2 weeks and it’s going to be a tough one.  I’m going from a very flat course to a very hilly course.  Should be quite interesting.  Let’s hope the heat has broken by then.

The Calm After the Storm

IMG_1783

What a lovely day it is outside.  The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the only sound outside is the scrape of distant snowplows.

The picture above shows the side porch of my house.  When I started shoveling, the snow on the porch was at the top of the recycle bin, and it wasn’t apparent that there were stairs.  I felt like I was digging a hole to try to get down to the sidewalk.  In fact, I thought I had hit the sidewalk when I was only at the last step.

Why did I dig this hole?  I thought it would probably be good to be able to get to the trash can.  And I’m a glutton for punishment.  Today, I may attempt to dig the end of the sidewalk to the street.  I live on a corner lot, so the sidewalk in front of my house goes all the way to the street.  I did not dig out that far because it was just going to get plowed in at the intersection.  The snow there is… possibly taller than I am, though I think it has settled some since last night.  It’s not like I’ve seen anyone out attempting to use these sidewalks (most people are walking down the street), but I should be a good neighbor and give it a shot.

I’m actually pretty lucky.  My little jurisdiction has their own plows and the drivers have been hard at work.  If I wanted to, I could get my car out on the road.  I do not want to, but it’s possible.  Having talked to friends and coworkers in the area, I realize this is a rarity.  Many people have yet to see a single plow.  So it’s going to take a while to dig out.  Of course, that also tells me that if I were to get in my car, I probably wouldn’t get far anyway.

Everything’s pretty much shut down in the DC area.  Metro is only running partial service on three lines.  I know how lucky I am to be able to work from home.  Technically, the government is closed, but at my agency, if you have a telework agreement, you work on a snowday.  I’m okay with the tradeoff – I get the benefits of teleworking at other times of the year, and this way I don’t fall too far behind in my work.

So… we’ll see how long I’m at home.  No long runs happening outside anytime soon for me – unless I want to do laps up and down my block along the sidewalk.  Which I do not.

 

Liveblogging the Blizzard of 2016 – Part 2

Welcome to part two of my live blog.  If you missed part one, check it out here.

Saturday

7:45am – I wake up because a cat is pawing at my face.  I guess it’s morning.  I can hear the furnace running, so this is a good sign.  Means I still have power.  Let’s see what it looks like outside.

Looking out the window, it’s hard to say what’s going on out there.

IMG_1738

I mean, the firepit is gone and the large planter is almost MIA, but maybe it’s not that bad.

So I decided to take my trusty yardstick and go outside.

Shouldn't there be a step down here?

Shouldn’t there be a step down here?

IMG_1740

And I know these are stairs.

14 inches. Yikes.

14 inches. Yay?

So we’re officially at 14 inches at my house and it’s still coming down pretty steadily.  it’s not super windy here, though there are occasional gusts.  Fingers crossed.

8:15am – Instances of cat barf cleaned: 1.

8:30am – I could only convince the cat to check out the front porch, where there’s about 4 inches of snow.  This furry little jerk tends to howl at the front door, demanding to go outside, so of course, I had to let him out in the snow.

IMG_1753

10:45am – Crafts completed: 2  Tasks on to-do list completed: Less than 2.

IMG_1754

11:15am – Having wasted away much of the morning, it’s time to hit the bike trainer and get in a workout.  Then lunch, then tackling the snow.

12:28pm – Power went out for about 30 seconds. Ominous.

1:30pm – Still have power.  Finished 90 minutes on the bike trainer and scarfed down some lunch.  Headed out to shovel.

IMG_1758

2:30pm – Done with shoveling.  My whole body is exhausted.  And while I was out there, the snow picked up even more.  It is now super heavy conditions.  My shoveling may have been for naught.
IMG_1759

Total inches so far – about 14.5.  Not much since this morning, but as I type, it’s certainly coming down.

3:15pm – Poor cold birdie.

IMG_1762

4:35pm – Dammit.

IMG_1765

And for comparison, one last photo of my backyard for the day.

IMG_1766

5:15pm – Hot chocolate and vanilla vodka.  All my weight loss plans are going to hell this weekend.  Mmm…

6:30pm – I am exhausted.  And haven’t been up for 12 hours.  Blizzard life is hard.

7:30pm – Well, might as well continue the repair work on the damaged ceiling from 2+ years ago.  Time to spackle!

Sunday

7:30am – I am awoken by one cat licking my hair and one cat meowing from downstairs for breakfast.  The blizzard is officially over, and I managed to get through it with power and internet.  Hooray!  Of course, today, I must attempt to dig out.

IMG_1768

8:40am – The shoveling begins.

IMG_1769

There is a sidewalk here.

IMG_1770

9:40am – Look!  I found my car!

IMG_1771 IMG_1773

10:20am – DONE.  I’m not sure what the official snow total is.  My yardstick hits at 18 inches, but I have since learned that this is an improper way to measure snow, since it settles under the weight.  So… more than 18 inches, I guess.

IMG_1774

10:40am – The internet tells me my area’s official total is 25 inches.

2:40pm – Got all the snow equipment cleaned up, had some lunch, considered starting my ten mile run.  Got .25 miles in and stopped.  Nap first. Then running.

5:00pm – Who am I kidding.  Today’s run isn’t happening.  Spent the afternoon on the couch being lazy, then went out to do another hour of shoveling and clear off a path to the trash can.  I won’t be going anywhere tomorrow.  I’ll be able to get it in then.

5:50pm – Office is officially closed tomorrow, so that means a day of telework for me.  As if this is any surprise.  Choir is also cancelled, so I have no need to leave my house.  I’m really going to struggle when I have to put on real pants again.

Liveblogging the Blizzard of 2016

So… there’s a blizzard coming.  And because I will be stuck in my house for the foreseeable future, I thought I would try liveblogging the storm.  I’m not sure anyone will find this interesting except my mom, but I thought it might be a fun record to have.

Besides, it’s my blog.  I can do what I want.  So here we go.

Friday

7:00am – My boss is amazing and told us yesterday that we could telework today.  So I just got out of bed.  I’m exasperated, but not surprised that the federal government opted to open today.  Basically, the offices are open and employees can telework (if eligible), take a vacation day, or they can go in and then leave 4 hours early, but no later than noon.  They’re calling this a staggered departure to prevent everyone from being on the road at once, but I can think of one person in my office who might leave before 4 pm on a normal day.  The snow is supposed to start between 12 and 2.   This is a terrible idea.

IMG_1716

The sunrise was really pretty today. The calm before the storm? Only time will tell.

8:00am – This quote from the local forecasters is interesting:

The way in which the system is presently developing also argues for the unbelievably-high totals to occur somewhere in this event. That somewhere could be here or very close by.

Yay snow?

8:50am – Pippin is hunkered down, ready for the snow.  Yes, I put a blanket in front of the heating vent for him.  Don’t judge me.

IMG_1720

9:40amKim begins bragging about how she now lives in Florida.

10:30am – I have now received robocalls from both the power company and my insurance company offering tips on how to stay safe.  I interpret the one from the insurance company as “Don’t burn down your house, fool.  We don’t want to pay for it.”

11:00am – I just realized that I live on the border between the 16-24″ range and the 18-30″ range.  I’m short!  30 inches of snow is almost half my height!

11:45am – The storm is officially named “Snowzilla.”  Apparently, the winning name was really “Make Winter Great Again,” but it’s just not as catchy.  Oh, DC humor.

12:50pm – IT BEGINS.

1:25pm – The flakes are small, but steady.

IMG_1722

2:35pm – The snow has picked up.  It’s still relatively light and really pretty.  But this is only the beginning.  It’s sticking to the roads pretty significantly.

2:45pm – The flakes are much more significant now, but it’s still not very windy.  Yet.

IMG_1725

That long metal thing is the stand for my hammock. Which I clearly do not need right now.

3:20pm – Total crafts completed: 1

IMG_1726

4:30pm – The snow falling outside is so peaceful and beautiful. Sadly, I don’t think a blizzard is going to be very peaceful.  But for now, it’s pretty gorgeous.

IMG_1727

5:20pm – First round of snow shoveling complete.  2 inches so far, according to my trusty yardstick.  Cleared off my sidewalks and my car.  By the time I finished the car, the sidewalk had a nice coating of white again.

IMG_1732

6:30pm – It would be wrong to put vodka into my smoothie, right?  Eh, who cares.

7:45pm – Just finished round two of shoveling.  My yardstick indicates that we’ve got somewhere between 3.5 and 4 inches.  I think we’re supposed to wake up to a lot of snow in the morning.

9:30pm – It is dark and windy outside.  Snow is clearly coming down pretty fast.  And taking pictures through windows at night is hard.

IMG_1737

What happens next?  Check out part two.

Oh no! Snow!

IMG_1714There is snow in the forecast.

And you would think the world is ending.

Admittedly, the DC area does not handle snow well.  On the radio this morning, the meteorologist described the storm as a “disruptive weather event.”  The host commented back, “What are we talking, because snow flurries are a disruptive weather event here.”

It’s funny ’cause it’s true.

There is possible snow coming (or maybe just rain) and the people in my office are in a total panic.  Lots of talk about hitting the grocery store early and stocking up in case they get snowed in.  Now, if you notice the forecast above, the snow may start on Friday, but with the warmup on Monday, it’s not as if someone is going to get trapped in their house for a week.  If you usually do your grocery shopping on the weekends, I can see hitting the store early, but really, you’re probably going to be okay.  Make sure you have milk for the kids plus sugar and vanilla for snow ice cream.

I have cat food and Kind bars and wine, so my mom would say that I’m well prepared.

Of course, this means I will probably be doing my long run inside again this weekend.  Yes, I could go out in the cold and snow, but given my luck, I would find all of the ice and fall.  But it’s not the end of the world.

That said, part of me wants to go to the grocery store to just watch the crazy eyed people.  When snow hits the forecast, it’s like they go insane.  No one needs a cart filled with toilet paper just because the snow is coming.  Really.  You’ll be okay with just one bulk package.