Adult Snow Day

As adults, we don’t get a lot of snow days. We’re obligated to go into work no matter what the weather, and usually, we’re not alone. When we head off to work after a winter storm, a plow has been by to clear the way, a truck has come through to salt the streets, or a path has been made through the snow by commuters who have come before us, making the morning drive slightly less dangerous.

This is not the case when you own a bakery. When you have to get up at 2:30 in the morning, either the winter weather has not yet quit, or it’s too early for plows, salt, or commuters, so you’re the one paving the way through the tricky streets. No one wants to be the only person driving on a slippery street in the middle of the night. True, you’ll be less likely to hit another car, but if you wreck yours, there’s not a lot of people out there to help you. Plus, you’ll have wrecked your car. Most of us can’t afford to lose our only source of transportation, and we sure as hell can’t afford to replace it.

An ‘ice storm’ came through last night. Or at least, that’s what all the forecasters wouldn’t shut up about. All I’ve seen around here was a dusting of snow, but man, would they have you believe to watch out for downed tree limbs, power outages, and ice build up on the streets making them impossible to drive on without sliding off the road. I should know better by now, but not wanting to risk my employees or myself on the roads in the morning, I called it and told everyone we’d be closed. I was then up half the night, peering through the windows, trying to see if the weather justified my decision, costing my employees a day’s worth of pay, and the bakery a day’s worth of profit.

That was a day lost. Bitterly cold, but sunny, and the roads were cleared in no time. I don’t know, maybe having to drive through it at three in the morning would have been pushing the boundaries of safety, or maybe everyone would have been fine. It’s too late to take it back now.

So, we got an adult snow day.

I spent mine doing chores, making kick-ass breakfast burritos, trying to shower attention on my dog, who seems to be pulling away lately, and basically practicing poor time management. This is a problem. Whenever I have a day off, I somehow manage to lose half of my day, and then my list of things I need to accomplish goes unfinished. I’m starting to think I need to set myself up with a daily schedule so that nothing is left undone. I’m better with lists and I like checking things off when I’ve completed them. I don’t know if it’s age, or that I let myself become easily distracted, or a combination of both, but I really believe a daily planner is the way to go. I’ve missed classes I truly intended to go to this week because I just ran out of time. I had to squeeze in a treadmill run before work yesterday, leaving only twenty-five minutes to shower and eat breakfast before I had to leave. I really need to get my life better organized and take training seriously because it’s only week three and I’m already behind.

As for Tony, I think the fact that every other walk has become the shortest walk ever is really starting to effect him. I know he can handle ten below freezing–he’ll be over in the lawn, rolling in the snow while my fingers are going numb–but I can only handle the cold for so long. When it’s daylight, I do my best to try and last outside as long as I can, but when it’s dark, it’s just so much colder. He seems unhappy, but maybe it’s simply a manifestation of my guilt that I don’t spend enough time with him. Like with everything else in my life, I tell myself, I will try harder tomorrow.

…stupid run…

In an attempt to be more efficient, I’ve got a bit of time on my hands and decided to update.

Did you know that green gummi bears are supposed to be strawberry flavored? I had no idea. I knew about the pineapple ones (the best), orange and lemon were sort of obvious, but strawberry? And the red ones are raspberry? I never would have guessed. It’s sort of ingrained that green will be apple and red will be cherry. The things you learn.

So today’s run was a near complete disaster. There are two paved run/walk/bike/whatever trails around here, one that goes around the lake, and one that runs through town. The lake one is always wonderfully maintained and I know that while there might be a couple tricky spots along the way, for the most part, it will have been cleared and ready for use. I assumed the same about the trail through town. I was wrong. The trail through town was a goddamn death trap. So much ice. And you couldn’t even run off the trail because so many people had already done that, the area around the trail was ice. Dog had a blast, because at one point, we were walking through a field, so he got to roll/skid/slide across the snow, which had been melted and frozen so many times, it was little better than ice. We persevered through three miles of this crap, mainly because I didn’t have the time to change my mind–I needed to get this done and then make it home to meet the cable guy, because we all know what happens if we miss that appointment, even if we’ve already spent the better part of the day waiting for him to show but he was running late and so he kept putting it off and putting it off and you only have so much of your life you can spend waiting around for a five minute fix. Fortunately, I made it home about ten minutes before he arrived.

I should have just gotten on the damn treadmill, but it was only just at freezing outside and the sun was attempting to shine. I knew that if I was moving, it was not going to be that bad. And it wasn’t. Had no trouble staying warm. But I don’t know if the ice was the reason or the cold air or what, but I had trouble breathing, my legs felt heavy, and it just seemed like I was struggling the whole time.

Ugh. What a day. But I’m going to make it to the yoga class in a couple hours, re-center myself (like I was ever centered to begin with), and maybe feel like I’ve accomplished something . It’s amazing how one bad run can make you feel like the whole day is a disaster.

On the other hand, at least the trail was so bad, no one else was around, because the words coming out of my mouth might have gotten me in trouble with parents, or decent people, or anyone easily offended by ‘colorful’ language (though they themselves probably have let go a swear or two after slipping on the ice for the twentieth time).

Yesterday when it was tomorrow was too a day for me.

So this whole winter thing is a bitch. I have nothing but the utmost respect for those who go out running in negative temperatures (and perhaps maybe a small question regarding their mental stability). Once the air hits the twenties, I’m out. For one, I just don’t have the gear for it. Also, that’s bloody cold, and I prefer feeling my extremities for the rest of the day (and my life). With wind chills well below zero, I have a feeling most of this week’s training runs are going to happen on the treadmill. Only one of last week’s was on the treadmill, and not only was it the most difficult, but it was also the slowest. I’m not quite sure how that worked out. My speed was regulated. I was forced to maintain a steady pace throughout. And yet, I was more tired after that run than either of the other two, both of which took place outside and lasted longer distances. I honestly don’t mind too much running on the treadmill–I cover the screen, put something on the television, and I’m good to go. I’ve trained for a half marathon almost entirely on the treadmill before (both our summers and winters are brutal here–can’t win). I’m just not sure why all of a sudden, it’s harder. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

I’ve forced myself to sit down and write tonight. I kept meaning to, but I’m not very good at this time management thing, and it became more important to try and go to sleep than spend half an hour writing in my blog. I’m a night owl, which doesn’t help. I really start picking up steam when it’s time to go to bed, and so I find a myriad of ways to procrastinate before yelling at myself to turn off the lights and go to bed. This is a huge problem. I don’t get enough sleep, which makes me tired throughout the day, so that by the time I get off work, I really don’t feel like doing anything. There’s another group of people I admire–those who go to the gym after work. I suppose if I did go, I’d feel more energetic since I’d get my blood pumping and my adrenaline flowing, and then I might be tired enough at night to prioritize my evening schedule so I can get some regular sleep. It’s all just a matter of actually finding the gumption to put my foot out the door.

This is obviously going to be a regularly occurring theme for me, knowing I need to move, but not actually finding the energy to do so. Incorporating cross-training into my routine is actually this week’s goal in my training journal. I do feel glad I’m able to maintain my marathon training–sure, it’s only been a week, but I haven’t missed a run yet. I’ve still got six days to add in some classes (journal starts on Monday), so there’s still hope. I just have to not let myself be distracted by other things and get my foot out the door.

The title of this segment, in case you were wondering, is quoting Winnie the Pooh from the movie Christopher Robin, which is why it sounds a bit discombobulated. If you’re in need a bit of heart-wrenching nostalgia, this is the movie for you. And while Pooh may believe that doing nothing can lead to the best kind of something, well, he’s not trying to run a marathon. Silly old bear.

Slippery Slope

The weekend storm, and the lack of city initiative, has left the side streets around town a crisscross of random ice rinks. There’s a patch in front of my house that is utterly terrifying. I live at the bottom of a hill, so I’m just waiting for the day someone slides right into the house. Walking the dog takes twice as long as I try to carefully step across the ice to reach a dry spot where, for the next two feet or so, I can once again walk with confidence and not have to worry about falling on my ass. Tony, on the other hand, I will lose track of only to turn around to see him rolling on the ice, or in the snow, or attempting to pry up a piece to chew on. It amazes me how he can slide down the sidewalk and it doesn’t even faze him. He just carries on as if nothing happened, while I’m just trying to make sure I don’t break anything.

There’s another couple rounds of winter arriving throughout the week, so that means I’m going to be limiting my extracurricular activities to things I can do indoors. Like giving myself an ulcer worrying about the drive to and from work. I will also be seeking out classes to take at the gym. I belong to two gyms–that’s right, two. One is the usual fitness gym, one is a crossfit box. (Is that right? I’ve been a member half a year and haven’t been enough to understand the terminology.) Like many sad people with gym memberships they don’t use, I hold onto mine with the belief that one day, I will return and take advantage of what I’ve lost so much money on already.

This week’s potential motivation is brought on by the beginning of a weight loss challenge being held by the regular gym. Having attended the opening class tonight, I now realize that it is actually a six week long advertisement for the group classes and personal training the gym has to offer. I feel a little duped, like I was promised a vacation and ended up with a presentation on owning a timeshare. Whatever. I guess it worked. I’m now actually going to seek out some of the classes and give them a shot. There were about sixty people who showed up tonight for the gym timeshare lecture. Maybe seeing some of my fellow competitors in the classes will make them seem a little less intimidating.

The sucky thing is, I can’t actually complete the challenge–I’ll be on vacation for the final week, so I automatically fail. I knew this going in, but it still kind of sucks all the same.

While waiting in line for our first day measurements, one of women standing next to me started a conversation, asked what makes me happy. First of all, who asks that of a perfect stranger? Isn’t that kind of personal? Second, fuck if I know. That definitely requires some thought on my part, more than I want to spend while waiting in line. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t offended or anything, just a little taken aback. Such an odd question, but maybe that’s just the kind of person she is. She seemed entertaining, and definitely entertained. Maybe she just likes seeing the reaction she can get.

So, how about it? What makes you happy? Can you answer in thirty seconds or less without having to think about it first? Or do we all need to take a moment, define what happiness means to us, and then decide whether or not we have achieved happiness?

Give me a month. Maybe I’ll have an answer.

I blame you, SNL.

My favorite sketches on Saturday Night Live are those parodying the game show Jeopardy with Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek and Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery. The utter vindictiveness and willful stupidity portrayed in those sketches never fails to make me laugh, and I love how Sean Connery always manages to misread a category, turning it into something awful. Having said that, one night, the category was “Let it Snow”. Sean Connery, being the asshole that he is, reads the category as “Le Tits Now”. Because of this sketch, I can never see or hear “Let it Snow,” or even walk through a winter wonderland without thinking, “Le Tits Now”. Thank you for that, SNL.

I’m currently in the middle of another winter storm, and I’ve spent a good hour texting with my employees trying to decide whether or not to open tomorrow. I’m not expecting much business, but these days, every little bit counts. The worst part is that I live thirty-five minutes away, so the driving for me can be somewhat hazardous in winter. And it’s not even driving on the roads themselves (though I’ll admit, ice packed or snow covered roads are not my favorite), it’s the idiots who think they’re invincible and drive without any sense of safety for themselves or for the people around them. The ones who creep up behind me, get pissy when I’m not going ten miles over the speed limit, and then pass me while I’m just thinking, “Please, don’t kill us both.” They’re the reason I hate driving in winter. Them and the ice.

Forecasters have been predicting this storm all week, and I’ve had trouble sleeping with the anxiety caused by the anticipation of having to deal with winter. It’s been a great excuse to sleep in instead of getting up and maybe going on a long walk with the dog. Well, not great, but it’s been an excuse, and excuses are just so easy to come by. Being a business owner, I can really take advantage of that to let myself off the hook for a lot of things. The excuses may not necessarily be real, but they do come in handy. Time for that to stop, I suppose. If I make it through tomorrow, I’ve got one day off before returning to work, and my goals for that day include laundry, actually getting on the treadmill since the snow and the wind and the crazy low temperatures are not going to make it feasible to walk outside, working on my confidence journal, beginning my training journal, and meal planning (not prep, mind you, just making sure I have the right kinds of foods around the house so I’m not tempted to search out the wrong kinds). One day to get my shit together for next week. The beginning. Week one.

If you read Day 1 (I honestly don’t know what else to call it–I wish this thing were formatted more like a book. Who wants to come in right in the middle of anything?), you’ll recall I’m supposed to start marathon training on Tuesday. I’m kind of looking forward to it? I know it’s not much to start, and I’m okay with that. I can’t do a whole lot right now and it’s been months since I last attempted to run. I had to hunt for my poor Garmin, which was shoved deep in a bag in a corner of my desk, the battery completely dead. I’m happy it charged. Now I just have to remember how to work it. I once spent two minutes trying to save a run and just kept starting and stopping it over and over again because I forgot the watch had a touchscreen. Not one of my finer moments.

Maybe some of my winter anxiety can be written up to training anxiety. There’s always that fear of failure. I have to remember it’s actually okay if I can’t run a full marathon by the end of June. That’s when my challenge training starts, and my marathon training is supposed to help get me in shape for that. Still, it would be nice to know I can actually get through one before devoting myself to four days of running hell. But that’s not something to worry about right now. Right now, my immediate worries are centered around what the weather conditions will be like tomorrow and if I’ll be able to drive to and from work without sliding off the road.

Le tits now, le tits now, le tits now. (Damn you, SNL.)