Monday, December 22, 2008

20 + Winter Storm Warning = 11

So I was supposed to go out of town on Saturday. The weather changed that and I canceled my plans. We got socked with a good old fashioned snowstorm.

The storm arrived a little sooner than predicted, so by the time I woke up on Saturday, it had begun. There was no way I was going to go out driving anywhere. So with nowhere to go and nothing to do, I went for my weekend long run!

Saturday morning was actually my warmest run over at least the last week; 20 degrees, even though an official Winter Storm Warning was in effect. Fine snow had already left about 1/2 inch dusting on the trails, so footing was decent.

The snow was really coming down. And as soon as I passed under the freeway, I was really glad I canceled my travel plans. Traffic was crawling along at 40 MPH or less early on Saturday morning, so I was happy I was not out there in my car.

A photo from my deck during the storm

With the exception of running on the west side of the lake where I was getting pummeled with snow in my face from the easterly winds, the run was actually most pleasant. The snow is exceptionally beautiful when you are not having to drive through it. I saw bunnies, squirrels, chickadees, cardinals, and even a large red-tailed hawk. There were more wild critters than humans. I actually did meet three other die-hard runners, however. I made a couple of laps around my lake.

By the time I got to the second lap, I could barely see my tracks. I figure it snowed at least 1 1/2 to 2 inches during the course of my run. A Winter Storm Warning didn't stop me from putting in 11 miles.

A side note; when I return home from a run, I always have a practice of checking the local National Weather Circus website to record the weather statistics in my running log. It listed the conditions as "snow/freezing fog." Freezing fog? What the heck is that? Sounds ominous, and I am not sure I want to know what that is. Never a dull moment during a Minnesota snowstorm! :)

Although I did pick up some groceries on Friday in preparation for the storm, I had forgotten something critical for my Saturday night stir-fry (fresh ginger). Luckily, I am within walking distance of a grocery store. So after my run, I hoofed it over to pick up a couple of items. I was astonished at the number of people driving around. The roads were an absolute mess. Again, it made me happy that I had nowhere to be.

In fact, following my hike to the grocery store, I didn't leave my apartment until Monday morning. The bottom absolutely dropped out on Sunday and I woke up to -12 degrees with wind chills in the -30's. This morning I saw -13 degress on my drive into work (although the wind chill is not quite as bad). Brrrr! Anyhow, it was a good excuse to stay inside and cook this weekend:

Saturday night's kung pao chicken

Sunday night's "yard sausage" from Dehmer's Meats in St. Michael, along with a "bubble & squeak" style mashed potato and root vegetable cake

My Christmas vacation starts tomorrow, and I am supposed to head up to Mom and Dad's. Predictably, we have another snow storm hitting us tonight and into tomorrow, which should dump another 3 to 7 inches of snow on us, depending upon who you are listening to. So who knows when I will be able to drive up there? We seem to have a winter storm every other day!

At least those who wanted a white Christmas will get their wish.

Until next time,

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