Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hell Yeah We Have Winter in Texas!

I am assuming that you, gentle reader, are part of the majority that spent most of last week buried in snow, frozen under a layer of ice, or dealing with kids who had the day off from school. Oh the insanity of it all! Well, just to make you feel better, I was right there with you. Texas is nice and pleasant 96% of the year. Well, at least most of Texas is. You cannot forget that there are parts of our state that are further north than Santa Fe, New Mexico and parts that are as far south as the Florida Keys. Last week, the crazy Canuks decided to send Texas an arctic blast to put us in our proverbial place. If you are Canadian and want to blame the North Dakotans, go right ahead and do so, but I know what you guys are hiding up in Northern Alberta. You can't fool me!

Last weekend was the Houston Marathon and since I did not get a lottery slot, I ran my own half marathon in the warm muggy conditions on Saturday after getting home from Masters Swim workout. On Sunday after the warm, muggy, and rainy race, I met my TNT friends downtown for lunch. We were celebrating since my friend Ryan ran his first full marathon AND qualified for the Boston Marathon.

So last Monday night I had 2 sweaty hour of bike work on the trainer in the Hot Box as I got to watch Red on the iTunes rental. Hot was an understatement. It had gotten up to 79 degrees that afternoon and the stagnant air in the Hot Box was warmer than the cooler evening air of 68 degrees outside. With that workout done, I had to feed up, clean up, and sleep up for my 5:30 am cycling class at the gym.

The next morning was warm and muggy. The weather dude had talked about a blazing cold front that was going to bring snow by the end of the week. Well, as class was coming to a close around 6:15 am or so, the large plate glass windows of the gym started to buckle and vibrate from the wind and rain fiercely pelted the windows. I saw the street lights and the lights of the shopping center across the highway go out and I wrapped up class fast since I needed to get out of there and head home to get the kid and drive him to the bus stop. The temperature dropped 20 degrees in a matter of 10-15 minutes and wind gusts were clocked at 45 mph. In Texas we call that a Blue Norther. If it would have been later in the morning, the sky to the north would have been navy blue to black in color as the front approached. By the time I got home and loaded up Bud to take him to school, the rain had stopped, but the wind kept blowing. My last check of the temperature before I headed out the door to go back to teach Pilates was at 40 degrees and we were being warned that the temps would continue to drop throughout the day.

Yup, it got cold. I had to break out my heavy winter ski coat. On Wednesday, the schools were canceling after school activities and Bud had the night off from swim team since he swims at the pool at his school. I was supposed to get a run in, but the school nurse called me to take Bud to the doctor's office for a possible staff infection on his arm that had made his arm look like a red and angry gorged tick. The next morning, the school districts were calling off school for Friday and canceling all after school activities. Just to show Bud that his mom is not a wimp (and from a double dog dare from someone who will go unnamed...) I went to Masters Swim Practice on Thursday morning.
Yes, the pool is heated...
It was 28 degrees outside and 80 degrees in the water. Still, you had to keep moving to keep warm. I got the workout done but the most painful part was getting out. The rails on the ladder were icy and the wind was blowing. Oh, and if you are envious of my knit cap with the skull on the front, you can have one just like it. Yup, I knit it myself. Pay me enough in cash or Clif Shot Blocks and we will talk about getting one for your noggin.

It was nice to "sleep in" on Friday morning and not have work or school to get up for. I had contacted my PT clients and told them that the drive would be too hard and it ended up being a good call. Ice covered the roadways and most of the freeways and toll roads were shut down. I camped out in bed in my pj's most of the day and watched movies and finished reading a book. Things warmed up enough by the end of the day that the ice melted and things got back to normal.

Saturday morning was Masters Swim at 6:30 am. Coach Tim is riding us hard. I about died on the last block that we did. After 3400 yards, a second breakfast, and a change of clothes, it was time to hit the road with my Creepy Internet Friends!
Shawn(a.k.a. Hubster), Greyhound, and Coach Carrie
We tackled about 72 miles of the IMTX bike course and dealt with some wind. At one point, Coach Carrie and Greyhound dropped me off like a cheap dog along the side of the road. I was a little pissed about it and I just struggled on. After the ride and when I got home later that night, I took the bike out of the car and the front wheel was not rolling very well. IT WAS RUBBING THE BREAKS!!! Holy Catfish Batman! I remember hitting a bump in the road and having to react quickly to keep from going down. I guess that is where the wheel issues came in. With all the wheel issues that I have, one would think that every time I stop that I should check to make sure my breaks are not rubbing....not so much. I guess I am a glutton for punishment.

On Sunday, it was Run Day. We hit the IMTX run course and got some miles in there as well. Things started out chilly, but at the end of the first loop we had to ditch clothes in the car. The sun has been out for the last three days, but there is another blast of arctic air coming our way. It looks like I will be doing another Polar Bear Swim on Thursday morning. I got a run in today to break in my new shoes before having to use them for the Austin Half Marathon in 12 days. The wind kept temps in the running pants and long sleeve shirt zone.

And in other highlights, Bud had his first UIL (University Interscholastic League) Solo and Ensemble competition for band and he received all 1's (highest score!) and got a fancy medal on a ribbon that was pinned to his shirt when I picked him up from band sectionals. Last night he practiced his trumpet for over an hour on more music for competition and I also heard the Rocky Theme in there somewhere. What also surprised me was that I caught him watching "The Bachelor" and he exclaimed at the end of the rose ceremony that Michelle was, "...crazy! She needs to go!!!" Well, at least he may be learning about psycho girlfriends with out having to go through the process himself. I guess it is good to know how to spot them and know the warning signals. Ack! He is growing up too fast!

Ok, more fun swim pics to come.

Later Gators!



Christi said...

First, sorry you are getting our winter weather right now!

Second, congrats to your friend Ryan on his first marathon and BQ.

Third, yea to Bud! He sounds very talented.

Fourth, what a great skull cap! I think I need one of those! We need to talk.

Whitney said...

Whoa...hardcore even if your pool is heated in those temps!

The Lazy Triathlete said...

HAHAHAHA, Time the Canucks screwed with you warm weather people!!

I am so ready for it end. It was 17 at my house this am and with windchill - 3.

Regina said...

My husband was in Texas all last week and said it was terrible. That from a northerner! I think I need to post that pic of you on my fridge, lady! Nice. Love the hat.

Yeah Bud! Thanks for your kind words on my blog, most appreciated.

TNTcoach Ken said...

Wow you poor thing, swimming in a heated outdoor pool! I'm going to start a telethon for you.........

Jamie said...

Now many GUs will it take to get a hat exactly?

Oh, and I'm under the same philosophy that small bathing suits keep you warmer too. Tricks my mind into thinking that it is summer... I think...