Thursday, February 7, 2008

Winter Sucks in Chicago

Have I been inside too long?
This isn't "hair club for men" gone bad. These are my ear muffs being worn in an alternative fashion after shoveling a two car wide 50' drive way yet again at 5:30 AM. When you have my hair "style", or lack there of, this actually feels pretty good. One of these days I'll have to post my HS senior picture for a comparison. I've just left the house for the first time since Tuesday and I'm freakin' about how much training I'm "loosing" because of this persisting calf problem. I need an outlet. Tonight...I'm going to the pool for a double. That means today I will swim about 10,000 yards for the first time in a few years. I'm not even close to tired because I cannot run/bike/walk much on this calf.

In our house I tell my wife that she (and I) get to complain about only one kind of weather. Either you hate snow and cold or you hate heat and humidity; you only get one. My one is winter. This winter has been "harsh" if I must use FCC approved words. So when it is 106 F and 90% humidity - I say let's go running with a smile on my face. When the weather is like this...I get to bitch and moan all I want.

Clean roads...complements of Lake County IL. This is Rte. 83 at Aptikisic Road near Long Grove. This is all ice about 1 - 2" thick.

Well starting on Tuesday night we got 2" of ice as in freeze when it hits the pavement and starts to build up. Wednesday we got 14" of snow on top of that. The snow is so deep in my yard now that it is about mid-quad deep ~3 feet. My neighbors were riding their snow mobile in the street and asking if folks needed anything from the store as people shovel out. The snow on the sides of the driveway (from mid-driveway to the end of my driveway) is ~5 feet deep. While it was nice of them to ask I thought to myself, "Are we in freakin' Alaska?" So for the last two nights sleep inturuptus via snow mobile. Every so often a snow mobile whips down my street at 2:00 AM or in the back yard along the river. Actually, that is something I'd love to do - but I spend my money on bikes instead of winter toys.

Took me 40 minutes to get to Lake Zurich. This is normally a 20 minute drive SE. The lake is to the right. Road is snow packed and dangerous with ice ruts.
I would go cross country skiing or snow shoeing (you know, make lemmonade when the world gives you lemons)...however, this torn calf muscle hurts to sit on my duff not to mention walk, bike, swim or run. I am able to "suck it up" and swim. I just flip and hit the wall with only my left leg. Thus, I have been swimming more. A lot more. 5,000 yards no longer seems long. 2,000 yard main set - no problem, how many are we gonna do Matt? Just don't ask me to kick. Repeat 100s on 1:15 pull breathing every third - sure, why not? I know every nook of my basement from stretching and rehabbing down there. A bit of Zone 1 and 2 riding but I can only take about 1 hour. I'm a little twitchy. San Diego in 31 days away but who's counting. I'm actually freaked out about my fitness and health for this trip. I need to be healthy and if it is 40 F, I think I'll be in short sleeves and shorts!

I'm beginning to wonder if my calf was fine...maybe the snow would be gone! YEAH! You know every time I want to go sledding, skiing, snow shoeing - the snow disappears. So it is imparitive, for the good of society, that I heal this calf to get outside. Twice this winter when I was "thinking" about buying XC skiis or show shoes - the snow up an melted! You know what? Maybe I should cancel my bike order and go buy a snow mobile? (It would be 80 on Saturday the way things have been going.)
This is Rte. 22 eastbound, again, all ice. Lake, McHenry, DuPage and Kane County have all run out of salt. This should make the rest of winter "interesting".

So here I sit in the office...made it in spite of the roads below. I am the only person (idiot) to continue into the office. I am icing, stretching, compressing and elevating this calf. So much so that I am concerned my left leg will be jealous. Better put both legs up on my desk. I may just try to XC ski and see if the calf can take it. I gotta get out more.

A sign on Rte. 22 announces "Road Construction Ahead" - yep...I'm pretty sure that once the snow is gone. We can back up the roads with construction. (For those of you who don't have snow, the days after a big snow there are always big "pot" holes in the street. Holes as big as a "pot" but on Rte. 22 they should be called "truck" holes. )
Say warm...stay sane. 100 days until a half IM in Disney World.
PS: Lauren - thanks for the eating raw info! I'm going to the store today.


  1. Oh my goodness! Seeing these photos makes me SO thankful I didn't marry my college boyfriend! He is a VERY Illinois boy! I would visit him and freeze and yes, some spots are beautiful... but to live there I could not do... I think all that cold makes you guys stronger!
    Hope your calf feels better soon!

  2. I'm seeing the podiatrist today and I have FOUR (count 'em) FOUR massage therapy (read: pain) session in the next two weeks. My MT fixed this before...I hope he can put Humpty Dumpty back together once again.

    Thank you.

  3. Day 6, bob? NOPE, today is day #11 without any sun!! :) But, who is counting? I hope your calf gets better!!! I didn't know you "TORE" it!? Eeks! Jen

  4. It is a "light" tear. I'll be smart about it. Bruise and limp were gone on Wednesday. I think I could run today but I'll just do elliptical and I already did a hard swim. It was brutal - you would have loved it!