Monday, February 28, 2011

Thank you

My prayers for an outside run or two this week may have been answered.  The wintry mix we were supposed to get yesterday and last night never came, the sidewalks are pretty clear, and the overnight lows are inching back up into the 20s.  This morning is still a gym morning, but I'm hoping for a good outside run tomorrow.

I did try to take advantage of the inside weekend to start on a project I've wanted to work on for some time- a snowflake afghan.  This is not for me- I still 85% hate snow- it's going to be a gift for a co-worker who has been amazingly wonderful and helpful to me the last 2.5 years and happens to love Christmas decorations.  Although we still aren't exactly sure when Daniel will graduate, we know our time here is (probably) limited so  starting the blanket now gives me awhile to actually finish the whole thing.  

Here's the start.  The first piece always takes the longest while you're figuring out what you are doing.  I'm about 75% finished with the second one, but I had to rip out the second to last row because of a mistake.

And the pattern with the finished product:

 Only 29.25 more snowflakes to go.  I think that's do-able in the next couple years :).

Time to get ready to start another week!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Making it through

Alas, I would have had a much better time running with these ladies yesterday, but I did get my act together for 8.2 cold, slow, slippery miles around campus.  I had good intentions of sticking it out for 10, but honestly this run was not a lot of fun.  By the time I was at 7mi, I was starting to get cold spots on my face and my IT band and hip were hurting from slipping on ice (even with my grippers) and I decided that was reason enough to finish up and go inside.

Proof that living green things and sun do exist.
BUT the weather is looking better this week- highs in the 30s and lows in the 20s with some snow/rain mixed in.  Hopefully we've seen the last of "feels like 3" for the season.*  My first spring race is in two weeks and I'd like to get in at least one more quality workout outside before that.  Today is a rest day, and I'm planning to get in some yoga this afternoon.

Hope you have a relaxing Sunday, all.

*I keep saying things like that, and I keep being WRONG.    

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Motivation, where are you???? I need you????

Remember the good old days- like last week- when it wasn't 12 degrees and there wasn't snow all over the roads?  I was so excited about training for my first spring race.  Now- blech- we are back in full on winter mode.  It's 11- feels like 3- and there's just enough snow dusting the sidewalks and roads that I can't tell if I want to wear my grippers or not.  I'm on schedule for 10 miles at 1/2 marathon pace + 20 seconds, but honestly I'll be happy with myself if I get out for 8 just plain old regular miles.  And- at almost 7am- I need to get going because it takes 15 minutes to get dressed to run in weather like that.

We had a relaxing Friday evening starting with several impulse buys including a cool puzzle, a backgammon board, and two books at our nearby Borders going out of business sale and ending with this week's episodes of 30 Rock, Outsourced and Glee.

Other than running and a trip to the grocery store, today is an inside day.  No fun trips downtown- for us anyway.  Come back, spring!!!!  Come back!!!!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Weight Training Page x 2

Impressive- I can't even do that holding a broom stick.

Finished up the weight training page.  Just saying I was going to post some max lifts (which for the most part aren't true maxes- just the most I've ever used in training) inspired me to try to move up on a few exercises.  Today is another day back on the treadmill.  I probably *could* run outside, but meh- it's still kind of icy out and I've already got all my stuff packed up to go to the gym.  It has been a busy week at work, and I've had a hard time waking up this week.  Bring on the weekend!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Weight Training Page

I just created a new weight training page that details the plan I'm using.  Check it out!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The ABCs of me

Because otherwise I would just be complaining about the weather*

(A) Age: 28

(B) Bed Size: Queen

(C) Chore You Hate: Scrubbing the trash cans and getting bugs out of the lights (thanks, Daniel)
(D) Dogs: One day...
(E) Essential Start Your Day Item: Contact lenses
(F) Favorite Color: Purple
(G) Gold or Silver: Gold
(H) Height: 5’4” or 5'5"- you'd think I'd know this by now, but I've been measured as both- in bare feet.
(I) Instruments You Play: Learning to play the piano
(J) Job Title: Assistant (associate?  I always forget that part) researcher.  I'm a statistician in the ophthalmology department at the UW medical school.
(K) Kids: One day...
(L) Live: Madison, WI
(M) Mom’s Name: Mom
(N) Nicknames: Chels 
(O) Overnight Hospital Stays: Tonsils out in '89
(P) Pet Peeve: People riding their bike or running in the road when there's a perfectly good bike and running path right next to it.
(Q) Quote from a Movie: It's such a fine line between stupid and clever. - David St. Hubbins (Spinal Tap)
(R) Right or Left Handed: Right
(S) Siblings: Brother, 3.5 years younger than me
(T) Time You Wake Up: Around 4:30am
(U) Underwear: Yes
(V) Vegetable You Dislike: Beets.  Celery.  
(W) What Makes You Run Late: Trying to do something productive with the 1.5 minutes until I actually have to leave.
(X) X-Rays You’ve Had Done: Teeth and foot... can't think of anything else.
(Y) Yummy Food You Make: I'm getting pretty good at chicken.
(Z) Zoo, Favorite Animal: Sloth

Thanks to Leslie for the idea.

Time to get ready for another treadmill run.  I'm planning on doing a treadmill track workout instead of my scheduled FIRST interval run.

*The ice storm Sunday was pretty impressive.  The trees were rattling in the wind when I was waiting for the bus yesterday, and Daniel had to body check my car door from the inside to get it open because it was frozen shut.  It took like 20min to get the car de-iced to so we could go out last night.

Monday, February 21, 2011

RIP Running Outside

At least for the next few days...  Madison got slushied yesterday, and it's supposed to snow all day today*.  Hopefully the roads will get cleaned up pretty soon, but I'm thinking that tomorrow will probably be a treadmill day.  Even though I had a good weekend, this should be a busy week at work and I have generalized anxiety about going back.  Meh, not much else to report.  Might as well get a jump start on the day.    

*Wintry mix ought to be the name of a Christmas party snack food, not a winter weather advisory.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's a fine day for a protest

Yesterday I finally got to go down and check out the protest.  Many public employees (myself included) didn't leave their jobs to go downtown during the week, plus people were getting bussed in from out of town and there was supposed to be a counter protest so this was going to be The Big Day.   When we got downtown at about 10:30am the crowds were still relatively small and focused on the State St. side of the capitol, but there was a steady stream of people coming down throughout the rest of the morning.  We did see some pro-Walker protesters, but I'd guess they made up less than 10% of the people downtown, and- in true Wisconsin style- everyone was peaceful and polite.

 We hung out for awhile, listening to some speakers, and then had lunch and walked back when the crowds would be larger.  One thing the protest has been good for is business on State St.  

When you are actually there, you really understand that the protest is not about the increased employee contributions to make up the budget deficit, it's about collective bargaining rights.  In fact, all the unions, including teachers, have agreed to the financial part of the bill as long as unions still retain their bargaining rights (which costs the government nothing), but Walker will not agree to that.  And if the governor does succeed in ending the collective bargaining rights we also lose something like $9million in federal money for the bus system.

Even with all the chanting and marching around, the crowd wasn't angry.  You could almost imagine yourself at the farmer's market.  And people showed that they still had a sense of humor.

This was also the week of the winter festival, and even though most of the events were cancelled, we did get to see this guy carving ice sculptures

Bucky Badger with skis
There will be protest events today and tomorrow- Monday is a state furlough day so workers will still be downtown- but we are hoping all will be back to normal by Tuesday.

Before the protest I got in a good 11.5mi long run.  It was kind of cold and my legs were stiff, but I kept a decent pace through the whole run, averaging 9:27min/mile.  I could have pushed myself more, but my right leg felt super tight toward the end.  My shoes were pretty old (400-something miles on them), so I used a Groupon to a local running store to get a new pair yesterday.

All in all, a pretty exciting Saturday.  

Friday, February 18, 2011

On Wisconsin!

To the Clock Tower hotel in Rockford.

At least that's the rumor about where all our state assembly democrats are hanging out while the capitol continues on it's trip straight to Crazytown.

And crazy it has been.  I started writing a post about the conflict, but it got long and rant-y pretty quick, and I know you don't want to read about how my heart bleeds for the children and the teachers and my paycheck.  You can read about it from your new source of choice, but it's definitely been interesting for me because I've never experienced anything like this wild shut everything down, go protest, Democracy with a capital D before.

Unfortunately I've had a ton of work to do all week, so I haven't been out to the capitol, but I have asked my coworkers who have gone to shout things for me.  Everything has been peaceful and orderly so far- the protesters have even stayed off the capitol lawn- just a lot of yelling and signs and stuff.  Daniel has been twice, and he said the highlights from yesterday included two people dressed as Captain America, some high schoolers with their band instruments, and a guy who was sitting on a bench yelling, "And while you're at it, legalize marijuana!"  Which is not to say the situation isn't serious.  It is, and people are truly worried about the consequences if the bill passes.

It will certainly be interesting to see how things play out.  A lot of other states have budget deficits, and I think the results will indicate whether other legislatures try to take on the unions or see if they can live without adding another lane to a highway. 

In other totally unrelated news, I had a great 6-mi tempo run yesterday.  It started off a little slow at 8:45, but the following miles were 8:33, 8:32, 8:23, 8:23, and BOOM 8:03.  Looking forward to another good run tomorrow.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Run, run, run

As many of you have probably already seen, the Boston Athletic Association has changed it's registration process for the 2012 Boston Marathon to favor faster athletes and has made the qualifying standard faster for both men and women.  As someone who is very far from qualifying for Boston- even under the old standard- I think it was a good change.  The race sold out almost immediately this year, and that's not fair to people who don't walk around attached to a computer.  Boston is about being an "elite" race and the changes are in line with those goals.  It pains me to say it, but the 3:40 women's standard was probably always too easy.  If you want to read the perspective of someone who would get to register on the first day, Jess wrote a post about this yesterday.

I honestly don't know if I'll ever run Boston.  The truth is that I like the idea of marathons a lot more than actually running them.  I enjoy training for and running the 10k distance- maybe up to a 1/2 marathon- but I'm just not that into the super long life consuming training you have to do to be good at the marathon.  Maybe I'm lazy, but that's just the way I feel about it.  I'm sure I'll get sucked back into the "real runners run marathons" mindset again and do another one, but I'm not sure I'll every be good at them.  As a side note, just because I don't think the marathon is for me doesn't mean I don't have a ton of respect for people who do love training for the distance and excel at it.

On that note, it's 40 degrees, and I'm about to head out for a 6mi tempo run.  It's foggy, so here's hoping that most of the sidewalk glaciers are in their liquid form and that those that aren't will be easily visible.

Have a good Thursday, all.  Only two more busy work days until the weekend!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Am I really in shape?

My interval times yesterday was so good, I'm either in really good shape or something weird happened with my Garmin signal.

We've had really high temperatures during the day (which I love) but are still getting below freezing over night, which causes the huge puddles of water to freeze into giant sidewalk glaciers.  I'm not talking about a little puddle of water; I'm talking about a 10-foot long sheet of ice that covers the entire sidewalk.

Needless to say, it's basically impossible to run over these things at a good pace without risking a fall.  Fortunately there was about a .8mi stretch of bike path and road in front of our apartment complex that was basically free of sidewalk glaciers.  As long as I was willing to slow down at one section and do to some hairpin turns, I was good to go on my repeats.  I figured I'd push myself as best I could and be happy with anything under an 8min/mile considering the stopping and turning.  I felt great throughout the whole workout ( I did 8mi total) and, even though it was a lot of back and forth over the same ground, I was able to keep focused and push myself through each interval.

I was totally floored when I got back home and checked my Garmin.  1:10:58?  For an 8mi run?  That's super fast for me.  I felt like I was going at a good clip during the warm up and cool down, but I had to stop and walk a few times to navigate icy spots.  And then there were the interval times: 7:15, 7:22, 7:38.  What the what?  I find myself making excuses for why the 7:38 was "so slow"- I had to do two hairpin turns on that one- but the truth is I would have been thrilled with three 7:38s on a good day with no turning.

So were these times real or a figment of my Garmin's imagination?  On the one hand, I felt really good, I pushed myself during the intervals, and I have done some good speed sessions on the treadmill.  On the other... they just seem too good to be true.  I guess I'll just have to wait and see how other workouts shape up.

It's supposed to be really warm today (like 49 degrees- woot!) and tomorrow (55- let's all have a party) but rain some overnight or tomorrow morning, so I have no idea what conditions will be like.  I'm supposed to do a 6mi tempo run tomorrow, and I really want to get out to do it- even if it means going back and forth over the same stretch as yesterday- but I'd be fine with doing a treadmill run if it comes to that.  This morning is lower body weights at the gym and a little elliptical.

Hope the weather is improving wherever you are.  Have a good Wednesday!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

I'm actually not a huge Valentines Day person, but last night I and the other ladies in our church small group were treated to a special evening courtesy of our special guys.

We were greeted at the door with roses (I was late- Daniel's Valentines Day gift was a tank of gas and the confirmation that the maintenance light was only on because we need an oil change), and treated to a fancy dinner of Caesar salad, entrees from Porta Bella and chocolate cake for desert.  Daniel also gets big points for choosing my entree (pasta primavera- exactly what I would have ordered) and for picking all the olives out of my salad.  Good work, guys!

Now to run off all the goodness from last night.  Going for 3x1mi and hoping there aren't too many glaciers out there.  

Monday, February 14, 2011

Get out of posting free card

Happy Valentine's Day and a Happy Birthday shout out to J.

Yep, I'm turning it in.  I do have an excused absence for Saturday because Friday evening we drove up to Minneapolis, attended a Sacred Harp singing all day Saturday, and turned around and drove back to Madison Saturday evening.

Yesterday I was wiped out from a)Not sleeping well last week and b)The trip (MPLS is about 5 hours from Madison once you include stops) and my computer shoulder was hurting so I put off posting and enjoyed a walk in above-freezing weather instead.

I'm excited about starting my new training plan for the Shamrock Shuffle*.  There's a little precipitation in the forecast but it looks like it's going to be warm and nice all week.  It pains me a little to "waste" a nice morning going to the gym to lift (it's 40 but windy so it feels like 30), but I can walk home this afternoon to enjoy the sun and warm weather.  I've decided that I'm going to try the RLRF plan for my two spring races with the idea that I'm going to try to hit the goal paces but not get too bent out of shape if I don't.  If it really feels like too much, I'll back off, but I want to at least try.

And now I leave you with an important lesson I learned this weekend: It is possible to put too many chocolate chips in a chocolate chip recipe**.  

*Which I will hopefully get to run.  The Madison 1/2, the Syttende Mai, and Crazy Legs have all become casualties to other commitments.  Now I have a possible church conflict with Shamrock.  Am I going to get to do any races this year??    

**And you can make (very non-photogenic) chocolate chip cookies in a crock pot!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Spring Training

I'm going to ignore the fact that winter is not letting go without a fight- it's -10 right now air temperature and was -23 with the windchill yesterday - and continue to focus on the fact that tomorrow(!) Madison will break the freezing barrier for the first time (I think) this year.  Not only that but we are forecast for a whole week of lows in the high 20s and highs in the 30s and 40s.

And you know what that means?  Of course you do.  It's time to start migrating the bulk of my training back outside.  I think I've done a good job keeping up with outdoor training during the winter, but you just can't get in a good run at -26.  You can't breathe.  Your muscles don't work right.  It's not worth it.  So most of my running been on the treadmill.  I've managed to keep my longest (and actually the bulk of my mid-week runs) at 8 miles, and I have gotten in some great speed workouts on the treadmill using this book, but I know I've neglected running up and down hills, and my races certainly aren't going to be on the treadmill.

I have two races planned this spring: the Shamrock Shuffle 10k in 4 weeks and the Lake Monona 20k in 13, and I want to find a more outdoor appropriate training plan that I can use for both.  My only requirements were that the plan had 3-4 days of running (I'm really enjoying doing more strength training and I want to have time to devote specifically to that) with one long run and at least one quality run.

I went back to my copy of Runner's World's Run Less, Run Faster, which is the training plan I wanted to use to train for my current March race.  However, I found that the workouts didn't translate well to the treadmill (for me).  I can do short hard intervals on the treadmill, but I just don't have the mental toughness (or whatever) to do a long, hard, fast run on the 'mill.

That should be no problem now that I'll be back outside (for the most part), but- as has been true every time I've looked at this book- the training plans are terrifying.  There is no way I was going to pick up on the 10k program with four weeks to go.  Run 10 miles at an 8:11 pace next Saturday?  If I could do that, I'd sign up for a 1/2 marathon and PR right then.  The 1/2 marathon program is better.  13 weeks (starting Monday) the workouts are 3x1mi (7:08-gasp), 6mi at long tempo pace (8:11 min/mile), and 11mi at 1/2 marathon pace +30 seconds (about 8:45min/mile).

Pros of RLRF:
  • I'd feel pretty BAMF after doing the workouts, and I think I'd feel well prepared for my races.
  • Even if I couldn't hit all the prescribed paces, I'd still be working a lot harder than I would be on another training program.
Cons of RLRF:
  • It's way more aggressive than the training I'm doing now.  Burn-out could be an issue.
  • Trying to do heavier deadlifts and squats might leave my legs too dead to really push myself when running the next day.  
  • It doesn't translate back to the treadmill very well.  If it ends up being cold again or really icy when the snow starts to melt then I'll have to change the workouts.

The other plan I've been considering is the Runner's World Smart Coach plan.  You supply a recent race time and the date and distance of your goal race and the website automatically generates a plan for you.  You can choose your starting weekly mileage and how "hard" you want to train (although playing around with this feature there's only a few seconds difference in goal paces for moderate vs very hard).  After tinkering with the features, I created a plan that has one quality run (alternating between intervals and tempo), one long run at a fairly easy pace, and easy runs to fill out the rest of the week.  The interval paces are challenging, but definitely not has hard as RLRF.  

Pro's of RWSC:
  • An easier transition from the training I'm doing right now.
  • Easier to fit in good lower body strength training.  I could do Upper body->quality run->lower body->easy run->full body, higher reps-> long run.
Cons of RWCS:
  • Runner's World seems absolutely determined to make you pay to use this feature somehow.  Saving and printing your plan are considered "premium upgrades" that you have to pay for (and I won't).  Lame.
  • Not as BAMF as RLRF so possibly not as much training benefit.
Right now- even though I love the idea of RLRF and really want to train for a race using that plan- I'm leaning toward the Smart Coach plan.  It definitely meshes with my strength training goals better, and I'm much less concerned about injury/burnout transitioning into it vs RLRF.  My next goal race is in August, and I could use RLRF to train for that having built back my long runs and speed work abilities this spring.

What do you think?  Want to convince me to try RLRF for my goal race in May?  Have a totally different training plan you think I should consider?  Ready for warm weather again?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Oh dear

I actually started writing a post about spring training plans this morning before I had to go to work, and I never finished it.  Not wanting to break my streak (and New Year's resolution) of posting every day I'm home, I'm falling back on an old standby: cat pictures.

Stay tuned for a real post tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Things are looking up

Three things I'm happy about:

1. Work was much better yesterday, and my stress level has gone from 80% freaking out down to my normal 30%. I got a lot done toward the revision of the tables for our paper, and using the new method isn't going to change our introduction or discussion so hopefully we are still on track to get things out. I just need to check on one more thing before I take my results to my supervisor, get stuff approved, and start re-writing the methods and results sections. Whew.

2. We are one more day toward our countdown to warmer weather. Right now it's 0 with a windchill of -14, but starting Saturday it's going to be a (slushy, muddy) tropical paradise with highs in the 30s and maybe even up to 40.

I'd totally make these melting snowman cupcakes to
celebrate the first thaw of 2011. 

3. I had a good piano lesson last night.  I haven't written much about playing the piano on the blog, but I've been taking lessons for a  year now, and what I play is finally starting to sound more like music and less like notes.  My piano teacher (who is actually my age) said I'm almost ready to move up a book in series we're working through from "late elementary" to "early intermediate".  It's like moving from 5th grade to 6th grade again without all the drama.

Hope warmer weather is headed your way, too.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bad Project

I don't work in a lab, but this video expresses my feelings about a project I've been working on:

I inherited it from my predecessor (who fortunately does not speak Thai), and it has been nothing but grief and frustration for everyone involved.  We sent out the paper to coauthors and had a meeting yesterday where it was determined that we needed to run the analysis differently.  This is a complicated project, and we are on about our 8th different way of running the analysis.  I've been awake since about 3:40 with low grade stress about running this paper- again- and getting to all the other work I need to finish before the first week of May.  I guess at least it gives me time to catch up on blogs before I have the bus comes.

Hitting the gym for weights and probably some elliptical.  I need spring.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Go Packers

Not that I had a huge vested interest in the game, but my co-workers will be happy and that makes me happy.  I actually watched most of the game- which was pretty exciting- but none of the commercials are standing out to me.  I'm sure they're all on YouTube by now.  Any suggestions for one to watch?

It was hard to get up this morning, but I'm excited to go to spinning again for the first time since last April(?).  We're hitting the point in winter where I lose the will to exercise and eat healthfully so any bit of novelty is greatly appreciated.  A reprieve is in sight, though.  It's going to get really cold again Tuesday-Thursday, but after that we are forecast for several days in the 30s and Sunday it should get up to 40.  I'm not expecting it to continue to stay that warm, but it will be nice to be able to get out a little bit and hopefully it will take care of some of the snow mountains around the city.

That's all I've got.  Have a good Monday, everyone.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

To run or not to run... that is the question...

It's snowing... but not too hard... it's 26 degrees... but I kind of just want to stretch.  Actually I think I want to run... No, I don't... Yes, I do... No, I don't...  Need to make up my mind soon... Maybe just one loop...

In any case, it's time to get pumped up for The Super Bowl.  We have no plans at all for watching the game.  You'd think it was Thanksgiving Day around here.  Everyone is going home "to be with their families" for the Super Bowl.  We even saw a sign up at Culver's (local hamburger chain) that they were closing at 4pm today so the employees could watch the game with their families.  There's been some talk about going to Chili's or some other restaurant-type place with TVs to watch the game, but we'll see.

Okay... procrastination complete.  I'm going to put on my grippers and get out there and run.  Have a Happy Super Bowl Day.  

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Different Friday Night Out

Last night Daniel and I volunteered at The River food pantry with our church small group.  It's an organization on the far east side of town that provides hot meals, clothing, food, basic medical screenings (like blood sugar and blood pressure) and literature about paying bills, etc a few nights a week.  If you are in Madison and are interested in doing a service project for low-income community members, it's a great place.  You just show up at 5pm- no special training or screening needed- and they'll put you to work.  Daniel was the air traffic controller for shopping carts entering the food pantry area, and I worked in the clothing room just keeping things from becoming a giant mess.

Each volunteer gets a break sometime during the evening to have some of the hot dinner being served.  The whole operation was well run and everyone was in, served, and out by 8pm.  The hot dinner was actually the thing I was most impressed with.  I thought we were going to get Hamburger Helper with sides of mac n cheez, potato chips, and off-brand Oreos for sure, but actually we had ham and bean soup with 3-bean salad and a green salad.  Not only was it pretty healthy, but it tasted good.

Three things that last night made me acutely aware that I take for granted:
1. I'm very thankful that I don't have to wear second-hand underwear.
2. I'm very thankful that if I'm still hungry after the small hot dinner at the food bank I can get a sandwich.
3. I'm very thankful that I don't live in my car- especially on a cold Wisconsin night.

I definitely plan to serve there again and donate clothes and housewares there.  And think back to this list when I'm tempted to complain about the never-ending winter.

What's something you know you take for granted but are actually very thankful for?

Friday, February 4, 2011

If it has to be winter

You might as well make the best of it.

Have a Happy Friday, all.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Okay, winter. That's enough.

After 12 inches of snow in the last two days, our new fun winter gift is 1 degree temperature this morning.  Which means that everything that wasn't cleaned up yesterday (which is a lot) is now frozen solid.

We slept in and puttered around the house for awhile before we ventured out to clean up the snow.  I just focused on cleaning off our porch and the first floor porch so people could open their doors all the way and *hopefully* no one will slip this morning.

Daniel did the heavy lifting.  He blazed a path down to the parking lot (you can see it in the pictures below) and then cleaned off our parking spot.  Because of the wind, the snow was in huge drifts (up to 6ft I've read).  Here's a few pictures to give you an idea how deep it was in some places:

Here are the stairs up to the apartment buildings from the parking lot.  You can see that it comes up almost to the top of the railings.

And here's the drift we were greeted with when we first woke up.  It actually looks kind of small in the pictures, but when you stand in it (or try to take a basket of laundry through it), it feels very deep.

Everything is open for business as usual again today.  I'm headed to the gym for a run and we are both back to work.  Stay warm out there!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow day

A day too late...  The weather was much worse yesterday- I guess it could pick back up but it doesn't look like it will- but classes are cancelled, state government is closed to the public, and no buses are running- so we are not going anywhere.  Edit: I just talked to a coworker who said it's incredibly windy and there are huge snow drifts everywhere so maybe a snow day was warranted.

Unfortunately I don't technically have the day off.    According to the UW website:

Employees designated as non-essential are advised to use their own discretion regarding their health and safety, and that of their family members, before coming to campus.
Non-essential employees are required to use appropriate leave (i.e., vacation, personal holiday, furlough, etc.) to be excused from the work day Wednesday.
Kinda stingy with the free time off, UW.  Oh well.  Last night we decided that if the bus was running we would plan to go to work/school, but if it wasn't then we'd stay home, so home I am.  I have two furlough days I have to take this spring anyway.  This might as well be one of them.  
So what did we celebrate Storm of the Century Eve?  Um (don't kill us, family) we went to the Badger men's basketball game.

I'd never been to a college basketball game before, so when a coworker (who is probably wondering if she will ever get home from Cincinnati right now) offered us her tickets, I said yes.  There was a lot of debate about braving the weather, but because we could take the bus back and forth we decided to go for it.  It was an exciting game and the Badgers won, which made it worth getting sprayed in the face by snow and packed on a bus with 75 undergrads who were excited about classes being cancelled.  
Nothing special planned for the day.  Probably some yoga and shoveling because running and the gym are out.  Stay safe and warm out there if you are currently being blizzarded.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow watch

So yeah... we're just hanging out... you know... waiting for the storm of the century.  Not to be confused with the other 5 storms of the century we've had so far this winter.  The university is open today (crossing fingers for a snow day tomorrow) and nothing on the metro website indicates the bus is not running, so it's a "normal" day for me.

If you are stuck at home now and you've done your Easter candy shopping early, here's an activity to entertain you for oh... a few hours.

I had a good treadmill interval run yesterday and am headed back to the gym for weights this morning.  I also got news that the triathlon team is starting spinning on Monday mornings again, so that will add some much needed indoor exercise variety until the weather gets nice.