The blizzard that hit over the weekend here at the Jersey shore, among other places, is not technically running related (though I do know of a couple of people through Twitter who actually competed in races on Sunday after the blizzard, before everything was truly cleared!). However, it definitely is related to working out, since shoveling is a great way to kick your own butt – if it snowed like that every day here and I didn’t break down and buy a snow blower, I’d be in fabulous shape!
Normally, I like to keep up with the snowfall so that it doesn’t get overwhelming, but it just wasn’t possible in this storm, unless I wanted to stay up all night. So I was greeted with 12 inches of snow when I woke up – certainly less than what those to the south were dealing with, but it was plenty for me. I was praying that my neighbors would take pity on me and offer to use their snow blower to clear me out, or that my driveway-sharing neighbor would come out and help me shovel, but unfortunately, none of that happened.
I started with a small path on the porch for the pup and realized I was way overdressed in my warmest coat. I switched to a slightly lighter coat, and was still sweating like mad even though it was only 29 degrees outside and I just had a base layer on underneath. I managed to get the sidewalk in front of my house cleared (though I nixed even attempting to clear the sidewalk by the street) and then started on the driveway in front of my car. I’d parked further back than usual, because it made it easier for me in the last snowfall to shovel that way. Even though I have just a little car, it had blocked some of the snow and created a weird wind tunnel, so instead of a solid 12 inches of snow, I had some almost clear parts and other big drifts. I finished up with clearing off my car and thought I would collapse, so I took a break.
Like any other workout, I needed to make sure I was well hydrated. I started with a glass of juice, because I figured I could use the sugar as well, and followed that with a big glass of water. After a break of about thirty to forty five minutes, I was back at it again (it was still snowing, with another 6-12 inches predicted, so I wanted to stay on top of the first snowfall so I could keep up with it). This time, I cleared the other end of my driveway – at least part of it. The snow plows had been through twice, and because I live on a cul de sac, they didn’t get close enough to the curb. So I had about seven extra feet of road at the end of my driveway to shovel as well (not to mention it was piled a bit higher at the end thanks to the plow). It was really defeating to feel like I’d gotten a lot done, only to turn around and realize how much was left! I also moved my car up a bit so I could shovel the huge drift of snow between my car and my neighbor’s cars.
Then, it was time for another break and some more water and juice. I didn’t sit down for too long this time because I was so exhausted that I could feel my muscles starting to stiffen up and I thought if I rested for too long, I’d never get out there again. I bundled up again and headed out, this time to finish up. I tried to get into the rhythm of shoveling the top layer of soft fluffy snow, moving that to the top of an every growing pile (my arms were SO tired), and then shoveling the bottom layer, which was heavier and slushy. When I’d get really tired, I’d move to another part that I hadn’t finished shoveling yet, chip away a little bit of the snow, and just push it along the part I’d already cleared to another pile of snow. Sometimes though, I just rested my head on the handle of my shovel – it was not fun.
Finally, four hours after I’d started, it was clear! Of course, the wind was so fierce that it would blow, and snow would immediately be back on the area you’d just cleared (I saw a neighbor clear his whole driveway, only to end up caught in a huge blast of wind and snow that left more snow for him to clear again). It was a bit frustrating to say the least. I headed back inside, figuring I’d go out again at four and then seven, when they said the storm would stop, which would be it for the day. In the meantime, I made myself take a nice hot shower and sit with my chair massager for a little while to loosen up my muscles.
When I went out again at four, I’d just cleared my sidewalk when my neighbor came outside to say that they were waiting until the storm had stopped to plow, and they’d be happy to help me out. Very nice of them, but I wanted to say, where were you this morning?!?! But it did mean no more shoveling for me, so I just cleared off my car and headed back inside for the night. My driveway-sharing neighbor also must have shoveled my driveway after the snow stopped because it was clear when I got up Sunday morning. It’s great to have good neighbors!
With all that shoveling, I decided to put off Day 6 of Level 1 of the Shred until today. I’m still waiting to notice any real results, though I’m feeling less exhausted in the middle of the workouts and able to push myself a little more. I could tell I’d lost some momentum today because of the two days off – even though I was working out on Saturday with the shoveling, it was a mostly different set of muscles. So I won’t skip two days in a row again. My sister took a day off in between each of the 10 day sets, so I’ll aim for that.
Four more days at Level 1 and then I’m on to Level 2! I’m a little bit scared, but I remember being so scared that I couldn’t run 20 minutes straight, and I did that, so I’ll try to remember that!