Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Triathlon's Little Surprises

It should come as no surprise that I'm a big fan of triathlon. There are lots of reasons. To name a few:

  • It keeps me healthy
  • It's 200% more fun than it's single sport constituents
  • It allows me to wear skintight clothing in public

And every once in a while, triathlon tosses me a surprise which boosts my admiration for sport. One recent such surprise happened this weekend at a tiny, local Olympic distance race affectionately called "A Tri in the Buff".

To be honest, the day didn't start off as pleasantly as I'd have wished. The park manager had cancelled the swim (more on this in a future post) so I walked into transition in a foul mood. ATITB and I do not have a good history together. If there's any race that I've flubbed up something, it typically happens here. I don't do it on purpose and I can't explain why. For instance, I've gone awry on the swim course. I've missed my turn on the bike course. I've actually ran on the run course. All of these were freak accidents. Right after they cancelled the swim, the name of the race magically transformed to "Du-ing It In The Buff" which sounds fun until you realize that they replaced the swim with yet another run. I had, at this moment, considered getting in my van and brooding all the way back home. But that was about a 2 hour drive and they promised hot dogs later. Sigh. I went searching for a spot to rack my bike.

So while I begrudgingly hunted for a place to set my wheels, I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the incompetence of my fellow competitors who didn't understand that you are supposed to stagger on the racks. On one slot goes a bike facing east. The very next slot is now available for a bike pointed west. Continue ad infinitum or until the end of the rack. If you rack 3 slots away, you've messed up the system and made it nearly impossible for the late risers, such as myself, to get a spot on the rack. Sure, I could try and get there earlier but, since I'm an American, I'd prefer to blame everyone else and not myself. Regardless, my point still stands.

Luckily for me, one of the guys on the east side was a friend of mine. I was able to persuade him to move his bike over 1 slot, thus allowing me to finally place my bike and get set up for (crap, that's right) a run. In the slot immediately next to me was that of this cute unknown Asian woman. I had absolutely no idea how old this person was. Nor am I competent in my Asian identifying skills to pinpoint which region of Asia supplied the DNA she's inherited. (Note: I originally thought that she was Hawaiian. I learned differently later and had to project back to re-write my memory history. /End note) According to the stereotype meme, she could have been anywhere between 18 and 50. Granted, I could have just looked at her calf to see the number printed there but I didn't want my gaze direction to be mistaken, then to be labeled any more of a creep than what an overweight, middle-aged male with a penchant for wearing spandex in public already bears.

After setting up, I do what I typically do, ogle the ladies start talking to the people in my near vicinity to pass the time. See, they force you to get on race site ridiculously early then make you stand around and wait. Triathlon is many things awesome, time efficient is not one of them. (Also not on the list is triathlon's lack of ability to have a decent backup plan should the park manager cancel the swim.) Remember that friend who moved his bike? Well, we started chatting about the course and what to expect where. Since I've made pretty much every mistake in the book, most of them here, I was able to answer questions with utmost confidence. My rackmate Asian-Hawaiian hottie woman of indeterminate age was listening in with much attention.

Since I was the local expert, she gathered up the courage to even asked a few questions of her own. Most of her concerns were of the bike course, understandably since they took away the swim. (<-- okay, that might have been my last snipe on this topic, at least for this post. Might.) I laid out the route and included a couple of the tougher spots. When she asked if one of the turns was difficult to find, I simply told her that it all depended on how good of a runner she is. <Awkward silence in the conversation, which was a lot more apparent when reflecting on the talk.> Finally I added that her running prowess was probably moot since she's in the second wave of runners and there's bound to be at least 3 or 4 people who could out run her by 5 minutes over a 1.8 mile run 1. <Second awkward silence in as many minutes.>

The race got started, boys before girls, separated by 5 minutes. The turn around was about 0.9 miles away in an out-and-back format. I was plodding around in the 2nd group of plodders. About the 1.2 mile mark, the men were on their way back while the women were on their way out. And, really, it was just one woman. Yup, it was my rackmate Asian-Hawaiian hottie woman runner of indeterminate age. At the half-mile mark, she was almost 2 minutes up on the field. I wasn't even that far behind the male run leaders. Yes, my ego started to kick in and I sped up in fear that I would be caught by this badass of a female specimen on the first leg. (Spoiler alert- at least that didn't happen.)

We went out onto the bike course, which was a slower day for the field compared to years past. I got passed by exactly zero people on the bike and passed several. By the time I started my official run, I estimated that I was in 8th place. We had a 2-loop run which started with that same out-and-back we did on the swim portion of the run. That portion of the course gave me an opportunity to try and validate my standing, which ultimately failed since there was more than one race happening and we had intermingled by this point. Of note, my rackmate Asian-Hawaiian hottie woman badass runner of indeterminate age was roughly that same distance behind me as she was during the first leg of the trip. And she was gaining quickly. No ego surge would have saved me from that reality. She went by at about mile 2.5. I cheered for her in the form of, "Go rackmate," which actually came out less awkward than the silences back in transition would have led me to believe. She thanked me for the attention (which is also weird for me) and ran on.

After  I finished the run, I was hobbled up in the finish area coral attempting to breathe and suck down some water. Here comes my rackmate Asian-Hawaiian hottie woman badass runner of indeterminate age looking as fresh as could be, wheeling her bike out of transition. I asked her how things went. She said that even after all those awkward silences, she still biffed the bike course. The bike course is a lasso with a really short handle. You ride up the handle, turn left, do the lasso-loop twice, and return to the transition area via the handle. She came down the handle after the first lap. Apparently, she had a gut feeling that something wasn't right, turned around and headed back onto the lasso. She reported that she'd lost about 30-40 seconds.

Since I was apparently the resident area guru on all things Du-ing It In the Buff, she was curious about the awards and if the prize was anything worth waiting around for. Her reasoning- she had a long drive ahead. Understandable, at least from my perspective. Typically, ATITB offered your run of the mill medal or trophy or trinket coupled with a little bit of swag. At some races by the same race company, they give away bottles of wine, but not at this venue. "I'm allergic to alcohol," she responds. <Third awkward silence of the day.>

While she was busy finding out about the awards and making a decision on her appearance at the ceremony, they posted the preliminary results. I went and searched for my name. The Banter=7th place overall and 6th amongst men. Not bad. My rackmate Asian-Hawaiian hottie woman badass alcohol-allergic runner of indeterminate age= 2nd place overall.

I told her of her placement and there was an immediate dismay in her eyes, which (I'm assuming) had nothing to do with my spandex. She asked by how much she lost. Luckily, I did look this up. Mostly because I wanted to see by how much I lost and by how much I got chicked. A brief mental math moment later told her about 2 minutes. She relaxed. "Phew, I thought that bike blunder cost me the win."

Later on, while perusing the internets, searching for something to keep me occupied, I looked up the race results. I do this after every race and scrutinize the performance. Then, I did something I have never done in the past. I searched for one of my competitors. Guess who? Sure enough, and I'm at least 58% sure of this, my rackmate Asian-Hawaiian hottie woman badass alcohol-allergic runner of indeterminate age is a professional triathlete. Here's a link to her website, from which I usurped her picture. I'll be rooting for her in the future.

Let's add this to the reasons I love triathlon. No other sport on the planet allows for a rackmate Asian-Hawaiian hottie woman badass alcohol-allergic runner turned professional triathlete of indeterminate age to commingle, ask questions, and embarrass on the course with riffraff like me in a podunk local race in the middle of nowhere NY. I'm only left wondering if she can swim...

Friday, July 1, 2016

Something New on Race Day

There's this colleague that I've recently started advising through the world of tri. In most practical terms, he's a more genetically gifted athlete than me. He's a faster swimmer. This is significant since I'm not that bad of a swimmer. He's definitely a better runner. This is insignificant since I'm a horrible runner. He owns a bike. He knows how to ride it, but not really how to train it and doesn't spend much time on it. This is his major downfall in sport and the only factor that will keep him and me competitive (although, at my current fitness levels, he still probably wins).

Recently he decided to toe the line at IM Syracuse 70.3- 2016 version. I, having done that race several times in the past, seemed like the perfect free resource for information. We talked for hours about a plan of attack. He shared dreams and visions of times. I encouraged caution, since it was his first attempt at the distance and he's way undertrained on the bike (re-read first paragraph). Based on 14 different variables and a formula that only I understand, we determined that a 5 hour to 5:10 half-ironman (HIM) was within his skill set... unless something major happened. He went 35 minutes slower than expected, including passing out twice.

As you can guess, something major happened. And that something was the exact same something that kills more athletes' races than all the world's collective mechanical failures combined. It resides right between the average athlete's left and right ears (although, there's a theory floating around out there that some people's neural material might be found elsewhere in their bodies). Some go into a race with no clue as how to go into a race. Others, despite going into a race with a solid plan, they decide to change something. In this particular athlete's situation, he drastically changed his nutrition. In case you didn't know, nutrition is kind of a deal in a HIM.

The NNORD Theory
An oft cited mantra in triathlon is "Nothing new on race day". I understand the sentiment behind the slogan. The major idea is that if you care at all about the race then you will have practiced for the race. Yes, there are plenty of people who are there for fun, don't care about the race, and, therefore, don't practice much. These are the same people who are having the time of their life and also couldn't care about their race time.

That doesn't come close to describing me. See, I have this other person in my noggin that tries to convince me that I might have some talent. Sure, the data suggests something completely different but that other guy me doesn't really like to analyze data. He's more emotive than logical. It's like living with a woman. If I trained as much as he seems to think I'm capable of, then he might have a point.

Regardless of who's right, most reputable, experienced, and wise athletes won't wait until race morning to test out stuff. And then there's me.

I've been doing tri for the better part of 18 years now and try stuff constantly on race day. That's because I do more than one race. Sure, if my entire season boiled doing to a single event, I'd have each and every detail down to a science. No stone would be left unturned. But that's not the way I structure my season. That means NNORD would apply to me as much of the next guy. But it doesn't.

This might seem kinda confusing. How can one practice and race at the same time? Well, since I'm rich and have a lot of disposable money sitting around I like racing, I use some races as practice arenas for the earmarked important races. Throughout the years, I've found it excessively difficult to recreate the anxiety, intensity, bowel movements and attitudity of a race. So, no matter how much I'd like to think I've gotten the details down, nothing prepares you for racing quite like racing. By the time I get to the self-proclaimed big race, I've finished turning stones during the practice races. See how that works?

What's on the Menu?
Tomorrow, I am converging on an olympic distance race referred to as "Tri in the Buff". I know what you're thinking- you do this race naked! (Don't ask me how I, umm, stumbled on this race. I don't want to show you my search history to prove it.) Nah. They're abbreviating Buffalo to make a nice play on words. Obviously, this race is held in a town called Brant, NY.

There are a couple of things I'm experimenting with during tomorrow's race. The first is one of those fandangled, spermy-looking aero helmets. This will mark my 3rd helmet option available to me. The first is a regular helmet. The second is an aero road helmet. Recently I found a pretty good deal on a semen head (again, don't ask for browser history), which is supposed to make me marginally speedier. Money well spent.

The second is I'm trying out a new race suit. I broke my old race suit. I was just too much man for that piece of thin, techno-fabric (probably due to an increase in overall calories resulting in more biomass than the suit was designed for). I'm pretty sure, when all is said and done, that I'll be looking like speedwalking Hal from Malcolm in the Middle.

Lastly, I'll be tying my bike shoes to the frame via rubber bands. I've read about this and seen others make an attempt (never stayed nor asked about the results of that attempt). It seems intriguing. And, since I already own the rubbers, this won't cost me anything.

Upon crunching all of the numbers (this is a regular me behavior), I expect that all of these changes should make me about 12 full seconds faster than if I went race normal. Regular me would be satisfied if that's the case. The other guy me still thinks I should have put more time into training. Ha- training to get faster- what does he know anyway?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Giving the Blogging Thing Another Try

I remember fondly the days of old. The days when I looked forward to coming up with nonsensical gibberish, laughing hysterically, and typing those thoughts in hopes that at least one other person might crack a smile (or at least continue reading until the end of the post without closing the window). I would hear rumors every once in a while that people I've never met actually read my posts in their entirety.

This is a good post
The problem was that I put too much pressure on myself. I would go for a ride, see a rock on the side of the road, and think "Hmm, I wonder if I can make a post out of that'. Aside: I completely ignored the fact that people have been making posts out of stone for years. End Aside. I would go for a run and think deep thoughts, like "If a blogger writes a post and nobody reads it, does it still count as a post?" and then try and craft a way to run the experiment. The trouble with the test are the impossible parameters of writing a post that's not really a post and getting no one to read it to try and prove your hypothesis. But, that's akin to data tampering and I didn't want to taint my reputation by becoming a blogger who purposely tried to write a post that nobody would read in an interesting fashion only to force them not to read it. The concept kinda imploded upon itself.

Thinking about blogging became a near obsession. Almost an addiction. I had delusions of legions of fans waiting by their computers with digital alarms by the ready, waiting the read the very thoughts that would spew from my keyboard in an attempt to help them waste more of their precious little available time. That's when I came to the conclusion that I might have been doing more harm than good. Think of how much better the collective world would be if people used an extra 10 minutes in the world being more efficient at life than sitting at their computer reading semi-entertaining internet goo. Let's see, that's 7.4 billion Earth inhabitants. all of which are potential readers and, therefore, must be included in the math. Aside 2: I'm conveniently ignoring the extra-terrestrial readers. I feel this is appropriate since we don't have even close to an accurate count as to how many of them are available or if they do the reading thing in the traditional method or if they can download the data directly into their thinking apparati. I wouldn't want to skew the data. Again, I'm concerned about my scientific blogger reputation. End Aside 2. Since 1 billion seconds is roughly 31 years, 251 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes (there's some margin of error here since there are leap years and I'm not sure if I started this set of calculations on a leap year or not, which also means I don't know how many leap years occurred in the middle of the calculation, so please just accept that number as a mostly inaccurate yet acceptable product for the unit of time), there's a lot of time available in the productivity bank.

When all is done, all the ones have been carried and all the readers taken into account, by not blogging I saved collective human race 234.6 years of wasted productivity. By not writing, the ability for mankind to accomplish more and really let technology soar should have been vastly increased. I'm expecting my invitation from the King of Sweden to come and collect my shiny new penny in the name of Economics to come in the mail any day now. ('Cause I'm pretty sure that's how they notify Nobel Prize winners these days.)

Alas, when you review what's been happening in the world, you'd find that productivity hasn't really increased in the way one would expect 200+ years in the future should have, or what Don Hertzfeld would have you believe. Trump versus Hillary running for President with people actually showing up to their rallies (if that's not a time waster, I don't know what is). The Olympics getting ready to open in a third world Rio (certainly 234 years could have been used to build a nice, clean Olympic venue by now). Britain quitting Europe (I'm pretty sure they're plotting to re-conquer the world, or at least start a new music invasion). McDonald's employees successfully rallying to get a $15 minimum wage with regard to the trickle-down effect on the local businesses or using that time to learn a marketable skill. Chris Hadfield is no longer in space (not sure how to tie this in with productivity other than it really is a shame).

The only things I've learned from not blogging is that people aren't likely to start using their free time more productively regardless of what I do. It's as if I have no actual control over the happenings of the world. Who knew? That and it's highly likely that Nobel Foundation doesn't use the US Post Office to contact potential recipients and they probably don't have my email address. Oh well, I guess I'll try writing again and be ready to accept the blame for the woes of the world.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Blizzard of 2014- Semi Live Blog (Updates 1-3)

(Note: Updates will be added to the bottom of the post in an effort for the flow to make sense to future readers.)

School is closed today. Thousands of kids rejoice.

One high school science teacher sits on his lazy boy with a scowl on his face. This day is the climax of all of the crap winter has tossed at us, rolled up into one big pile of weather poop. So far today, we've had rain. We've had wind. We've had sleet. We've had black ice on the roads. We've had snow. And, it's about to get worse.

Therefore, I've decided to Semi Live Blog the day. There will be random postings of pretty much nothing to document what is expected to be epic in terms of meteorology and miserable in terms of everybody else.

Pre-Live Blog
They canceled school yesterday based on the forecast. This seems to be a habit new to the 2013-14 school year. In years previous, administration would make the decision in the wee hours of the morning based on actual weather. I suspect that the admin were sick of getting up by 4 am (who wouldn't be?) and decided to take advantage of science (for the record, this is the only known area of education administration where science has been applicable).

The school calendar purposely overbooks itself to accommodate for Mother Nature. There are 3 unnecessary school days in the calendar, just in case school is closed for  weather related purposes. If we need a 4th, we have to make this day up before the end of the year. If we don't use all 3 days, do we get extra days off? Ha! This is a politically driven process. It's all takey and no givey.

Relying on the science has not been too successful this year. I posit that it's mostly because the average person doesn't actually understand the science enough to apply it. We had a day off for the Great Blizzard of the Wednesday Before Thanksgiving, which yielded approximately 1.5 inches of snow and winds of about 20 mph (more on blizzards soon). We had a day off for Polar Vortex 1.0, when temperatures were rumored to drop below zero and winds in the 20s. Which is what happened. Except, that subsequent Polar Vortices also dealt many 0º days coupled with high winds, school stayed in session. Apparently those conditions are only school close-worthy on the first time. I went running.

In my not-so-humble opinion, I still think it a mistake to close the buildings on those days. But, what in the world would a science teacher know about science? In today's instance, I think the higher ups got it right. Badness is coming.

On Blizzards
Most people are familiar with the term yet have little idea as to what qualifies an official blizzard. In fact, my guess is that most Americans, when hearing the word 'blizzard' automatically equate it with a popular shake-type beverage from the local Dairy Queen.

Our next step of misinformation is to believe that hard, heavy breathing snow makes for a blizzard. This type of thinking is not clear and only part of the equation which has 3 main ingredients. (<-- cited link through NOAA just in case any of my meteorology readers want to question my facts.)

1. Yes, you need large amounts of snow. The exact amount is not necessarily important. It's also not important that the snow come from the sky. It can come from pre-fallen snow that was recently sitting on the ground. The reason why the amount of snow isn't important is that there's a visibility clause. Visibility reduction due to the present snow must get down to around a 1/4 of a mile or less (or the distance the Banter can run in 7 minutes).

2. Once you've met the snow requirement, you need to add some wind. It blows and hard. Winds must reach a minimum of 35 miles per hour, either in sustained or in gust form. (Insert wind bag/ proverbial Mother-in-Law joke here.) (Disclaimer: But not my MIL. She can't manage nearly that speed.)

3. There's a time component. Numbers 1 and 2 have to happen and keep happening for at least 3 hours or more. In the past, the used the Banter's 15k goal time to equate the minimum duration of a blizzard but even science has it's limits in patience.

Semi-Live Blog Part 1
Knowing that the blizzard-like conditions were going to start slow and build as the day went on, I got up and went for a run. It was a relatively easy and short run, which was perfect for me (ya know, since I'm relatively easy and not so tall). Time= 7:30 am EDT

According to the Garmin's Built-In Weather Reporting thingy, it was 37º with winds out of the NE at 3 mph with some rain. Not exactly blizzard like in any way, shape, or form. Also, not even close to reality. I'm not sure who or where KITH gets it's information (listed as the weather source), but man, they suck. Temperatures were clearly below freezing. Rain was actually snow mixed with small ice pellets of stabbing eye pain. Winds were steady in the teens with gusts significantly higher. Except for the eye-pain thing, conditions weren't that bad. This, of course, takes into account the crappy weather that has been the norm since November.

As the run progressed, the temps were dropping and the precipitation was increasing. The ice bullets were disappearing to yield large, bloated flakes of snow. I got done with the run and took the dogs for a walk. They are likely to be stuck inside for most of the day too. This is an equal opportunity household. If I have to suffer, so do they. I looked around the house for a convenient place to take pictures that may provide photo evidence for this journey. I opted for my backyard out the patio window. Well call this pic, "The Before". Time of pic ~9:15 am (click to enlarge)

You can see snow falling. Grass is still visible. I'm hoping that the grass and the base of the trees will provide a nice scale for any and all accumulations. Also, if you look closely at this non-animated, non-gif pic, you might be able to imagine the trees swaying at a not-so-blizzard pressure. We aren't expected to be in a blizzard until well after lunch.

I'll keep you posted.

Update 1

As it turns out I was not happy with the weather reporting capabilities of the Garmin and it's phantom source. Therefore, I decided to get more reliable info from a reputable source. In case you didn't know, there is the internet now. And, on said internet contains things called webpages. Some of those webpages don't contain porn (sadly, some people actually need to be reminded of this). Many of these alternative sites have site names that match the content of of the site followed by ".com".

For example, since this is a triathlon site and USA Triathlon is the governing body of the sport, you could simply type "usatriathlon.com" into your browser and, viola, you've achieved the goal.

Using that same logic, if you want to find stuff about the weather, you could simply type "weather.com" into your browser. Please don't do that.

See, there are other sites that are run by people who know something about the content in which they post (no comment on this site and the doofus who runs it). A more efficient site is "weather.gov". The ".gov" is actually an acronym for "Grand Old Vixens", a throw-back site for when the internet was 100% boobs. That suffix was taken over by some politicians.

Weather.gov is run by actual scientists (although, I'd guess that some non-sciency tech geeks physically run the site).

The geniuses who work at NOAA provide the data for the reportings on weather.gov. Here are a couple of screen shots for the info in my area. We are at def-con red, the sites highest level of misery for wintertime conditions. As you can see, they are reporting near blizzard-like conditions. With a bit more oomph from the wind and a few more hours of sustainability, it'll be official.

When I took this picture, it was about 11:15 AM EDT. As you can see, there's a new addition to my backyard. I promise you, I did not plant that stick there for the intention of semi-live blogging. I did intend to go out there and find the damaged tree. Instead, I just sat around browsing the aforementioned internet (undisclosed content). I'm pretty sure that stick will provide for a better sense of scale than the grass or tree bases. That is until it gets completely covered or the dog goes out there to chew on it. Either one is a real risk around here these days.

The grass the was visible in the 9:15 shot is mostly covered. Snow is climbing up the trees. Other snow is a bit plastered against my window.

Update 2

Well, it's 2:00 pm (at least at the time I started writing this update. It'll probably be near dinner time by the time it's over. No- I don't think it'll be that wordy. I'm not that smart nor a good typist. Sometimes these posts take a while.)

While you wait for the rest of the post, please enjoy some fun blizzard facts.

  • The official first blizzard was in 1977 (that's when they created the word/ definition). Guess where it hit? Yup, right here in upstate NY. Not much snow, though. Only 5 inches, proving once again that the amount of snow isn't important.
  • My current town, Rochester, NY, is said to be the snowiest place in the US. Don't believe it? Yeah, me neither. Yet, that's what is says on this site. And, we all know, the internet never lies. There may be some credence to the claim. In the 2013-14 winter season, we are in 6th place and this blizzard may pull us ahead of Billings, Montana. Who knew?
  • Apparently, there have been reports of blizzards outside of the USA. There was one in Iran in 1972. Actually, I think that's it.
  • The 1996-97 winter saw the most recorded blizzard incidences with 27. There really wasn't one (which is rare) in 1980-81.
  • Can you guess which state(s) gets the most blizzards? I bet you can. If you guessed NY, then you probably thought this was a trick question and bet against the dealer. Like most bets against the dealer, you lost. The right answer is Montana/ Minnesota region (I told you that you could have guessed it.) Western Minn, Eastern Mon got roughly 70 blizzards over the course of the past 50 years.
2:00 pm

So, here's the update I promised...

As you can see, the grass is completely covered. The meaty portion of the stick has disappeared, leaving only the stringy appendages. 

The Current Temp: 24º F (-4ºC)
Steady winds at 37 mph, gusting up to 47.
Visibility is 0.13 miles.

Yep, that's blizzard-like conditions.

My friends at NOAA are also reporting 'freezing fog', which I didn't even know was a thing until they reported it. And, apparently, people at NOAA and I are friends, which they didn't know until I reported it. See how that works?

Update 3

Did you know?

  • There are people out there who are afraid of snow? They're called chionophobics. 
    • There's another term for people who just hate snow. They're called humans.
  • About 12% of the Earth is covered in permafrost, permaice and perma snow.
    • Of that 12%, I want to avoid 100% of those places.
  • The largest snowflake ever recorded was 15"x8". Yup, found in Montana.
    • In 1887. Oddly, no photo evidence of this flake exists.
  • The single snowiest day in the US was 76" (5'6"). This happened in Silver Lake Colorado, circa 1921. 
    • Chalk that up to another place I'm not going to move to.
  • The single season world record for snow was in Mt. Baker ski area, Washington in the winter of 1998-9. It recorded 1140 inches of snow.
    • You guessed it, not moving there either.
  • Due to the polarity of water, all snowflakes have 6 sides.
    • One side for each level of hate I have for snow.
Since the last update, I've been busy. I've gone for a bike ride in the garage. It was an hour ride with some zone 4 intervals tossed in. Immediately following, I went for a quick jaunt on the treadmill, bringing my daily total up to 8 miles in 1h 10 minutes.

Upon finishing, I had some recovery pizza. Then, I went out for round 1 of snow shoveling. According to more than 1 resource, I burned about 300 calories during this excursion (a fact I find hard to believe).

Well, the sun is setting, making my photo recording of the blizzard more challenging. I tried to pick a spot where my backyard spotlight could help. Here's the current shot. The stick now resembles a drowning victim who's head has taken the plunge but the fingertips are still clinging for hope.

NOAA reports that the temps have dropped to 17º. 

Winds continue to stay strong at 20 mph and gusting up to 32, which I guess marks the end of the blizzard. I wonder if the winds pick up again if they'll reinstate the blizzard status or does that signify the start of a new blizzard.