Mommy Wants a Timeout

In which I contemplate absurd moments in parenthood, occasionally attempt to refer to myself as a “triathlete” while keeping a straight face, and maybe post some random pictures of stuff I’m knitting

Archive for the tag “weather”

Snow Days

9 days before my upcoming half-marathon, the Portland area got hit with a rare winter storm, which sent the city into its typical winter-weather hysteria. (Snowmagedden! Arctic Blast 2014! Snowpocalypse!)

Aside from some closure-related inconveniences (I missed getting the alert that the kiddo’s school was closing early on Thursday, and happened to be in the dentist’s chair when my husband called to inform me) and a swing shift at the hospital (luckily most people heeded the warning to stay off the road, so the drive wasn’t as harrowing as the subsequent 8 hours in an understaffed ICU), I was able to spend most of the long weekend at home.

My neighborhood picked up around 8 inches of beautiful, powdery snow, much to my son’s delight:

Creating a full-size snowman seemed like too much effort, so we settled for elf-size.

Creating a full-size snowman seemed like too much effort, so we settled for elf-size.

It was fun to see all the kids on our street with their sleds and toboggans sliding down the hill in front of our house. I’m not sure I remember a day when so many neighbors were out visiting with each other; snow (and days off from work) must be a universal catalyst for socializing.

My half-marathon training plan called for a 6-miler this weekend. Unfortunately, the gym was closed due to the weather (which I’m almost grateful for; I did a tempo run on the treadmill Thursday, which reminded me why I run outdoors in just about any weather!) so I decided to brave the snowy roads and trails.

Here’s a view of where I began, a paved trail I do at least a portion of nearly every run on:

Somewhere under there is a trail...

Somewhere under there is a trail…

The snow was powdery and mostly packed, but the footing was uneven and a little slippery. I slowed my pace quite a bit, and it felt sort of like running on a rough trail. By a couple miles in, I was pretty fatigued mentally, and very concerned about straining a muscle or twisting an ankle before my race next Sunday, so I turned around and headed home for a total of about 4.5 miles…Good enough, I decided, and my legs should be nice and fresh next weekend! Again, it was fun to see all the people out enjoying the scenery, some of them on cross-country skis

Fast-forward a few days: the weather turned almost balmy, and the rain started pouring down.

R.I.P., little snow elf.

R.I.P., little snow elf.


I made it outdoors for the last run before my race, a short tempo run which felt GREAT! The snow was a fun interlude, but it was nice to be back out in the normal Oregon winter drizzle.

The weather forecast for the coming weekend calls for heavy rain and wind…I’ll be hoping for a break between about 8 and 10 Sunday morning, but even if I don’t get one, at least I won’t be running in a Snowpocalypse!

(Fast forward another week…MAN, I have a hard time finishing blog posts! At least I don’t have the same problem with racing. My half is done, I nailed my goal pace, and I can finally walk down the stairs without cringing. A race report to follow…if I ever get around to it!)

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Holy Snotsicles, Batman! And Other Icky Triathlon Talk…

Yowsers, it’s cold outside…I’m pretty sure my perpetually-runny nose is going to freeze solid one of these days, and I’ll actually form snotsicles. However, my aversion to treadmills means I’m still running outdoors. (I’m on hiatus from cycling right now, and not just because of the weather…My bike and I really need to get some couples therapy, but that’s a story for another day.)

The ducks and geese at my local park are apparently on hiatus from open water swimming right now. Wimps.

Jesus Ducks (Get it? They're walking on...Yeah, you get it.)

Anyway, running through the above-illustrated park the other day, I was wiping snot from my nose onto the sleeve of my running jacket and wondering if that meant I needed to wash the jacket today or if I could get another run or two out of it. Then I started wondering what my non-runner friends would say about either the fact that I wipe my nose on my sleeve while I run, or the fact doing so doesn’t automatically designate it for the laundry hamper.

I’m pretty sure the triathlete community wouldn’t even consider the subject worthy of discussion…After all, they all pee in their wetsuits. (Oh, did you not know they did that? Well, newbie triathletes, if you notice a warm spot in the water while you’re warming up before your race, it’s probably not because they turned the lake heaters on.) As a matter of fact, my co-worker, a three-time Ironman, once described to me the proper technique for peeing from on top of your bike without soaking yourself. (It really only works for guys.) Clearly, triathletes have a high threshold for what the general population might consider disgusting.

The running community is just as bad. I ran last year’s Turkey Trot at the Oregon Zoo on a frigid morning in which the downhill course was made especially treacherous by the presence of all the frozen loogies coughed up by the runners ahead of me. (Moral of the story: Next time run faster so you’re ahead of the frozen phlegm.) Makes my snotsicles not seem so yucky, huh?

Of course, marathoners and those super-freak ultramarathoners are on a whole different level when it comes to the ick-factor. I just read a race report from an ultrarunner and triathlete who states that she has a firm policy against pooing her pants before mile 23 of a race…Made me wonder (but was afraid to ask) what her policy is after mile 23. When my sis-in-law ran the New York Marathon, she and her running buddy opted to pee in an alley rather than wait in the porta-potty lines; unfortunately, they didn’t size up their choice of location very well beforehand. When they stood up afterwards, they looked around and saw a whole row of apartment balconies facing the alley, packed with spectators looking down at them. Whaddaya gonna do? They waved up at their audience and started running again.

I hesitate to even ask, but I’m curious…Any other triathletes or runners out there have any funny/yucky stories to share? They make me laugh, even as they make me cringe!

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