Thursday, November 30, 2006

More snow

Tuesday and Wednesday were snow days in Seattle. Roads were still icy, temperatures broken all records and below 0. -7 in Bothell on Tuesday night. And wednesday night brought in more rain and more snow. Though the temperatures have moved above 0, so hopefully some of the snow is going to start melting now. Today too is a snow day, everything is still white, and staying at home I have totally lost track of the time. It still looks doubtful that I would be able to go to office today either, though I am going to try for sure.
And since the temperature has gone up a couple of degrees, the meltdown has also begun. I went out to see a few patches of black driveway, side street. Its somewhat sad as the snow was indeed beautiful, but I am not going to go down in tears seeing the dry or at least ice free road.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The snowstorm of november 2006

I am sure that is how this snow storm is going to be remembered. Monday morning started as usual, snow from yesterday somewhat melted, but the streets were good as usual. So I drove to office. Around 5:45, when I was about to leave, heavy snow started falling. When I started I was not too worried about it, its falling, and as usual it will go away, just have to drive slow. I had no idea what lay ahead of me. The traffic on 405 was less than a crawl, inching along at less than 2 miles per hour, my speedometer never ticked above 0. It took me almost an hour to reach the 124th St exit. That is where I decided to ditch the freeway and take internal roads thinking that there will be traffic, but it can't be worse! I was so naive. First I almost missed the totem lake blvd turn as the road was covered in snow and the turn looked deserted. Reached the signal, took left on totem lake blvd. The cars were moving ever so slow. One car had blocked the road, so once I passed it, I thought, good now we can move. But 132nd St was worse, its a uphill drive, and I was so scared of the car skidding back everytime we start. But super slowly I managed that, even managed the final hill to 124th Ave and the left turn. After that I thought its going to get better. It had already been 2 hrs since I left office. But it just kept getting worse. The storm got stronger, dumping even more snow and it was really really cold. I slowly kept moving moving. After I crossed safeway, I thought good, another 1 mile and probably 30 min I will be home. I also cursed myself 30 times for leaving the freeway. Then the 30 min passed and I was still at the 160th st signal. Inching along reached 164th, and guess what, I experienced my first skid in the snow. The car was total out of control, tires going somewhere, I tried breaks, but then realized I should not, for a moment I was in total panic that I am going to hit the car in front. Then sobered up, moved the tires towards the curb, applying breaks every so slowly. The car hit the curb, and came to a stop. That was a huge relief, I did not care what happened next, but I was not moving the car, I put it in parking, applied the hand break and got out. The scene on road was a total mess, all the cars were skidding like anything, even the 4x4 trucks were going everywhere out of control. People had started leaving their cars on the way and walking home. I decided to do the same, then a very nice lady came along. She said she and some of the guys there can help me push the car out of the road, I was so so thankful. very scared, I got behind the wheel again, very slowly moved the car forward, got it out of the road, parked it and left it there to walk home. A big part of the ordeal was over. As I was walking home, downhill from 165th, all the cars there had the same story, skidding in snow, not able to move. Some were about to turn around and get back, others skidded along and turned from 169th. I again cursed myself for leaving the freeway, thinking that maybe I could have reached the brickyard road or something and parked the car somewhere nice. More naivity.
Of course I was worried about the car all night. Then I came back and heard the news and the nightmare of drivers on 405. Since the traffic was not moving and snow was falling hard and temperatures were below 0, the freeway had become icy too. Drivers were stuck near by exit and further north for 6-8 hours, lot had to abandon their cars on freeway, like I did. Now I was almost thankful for leaving the freeway, who knows in what condition I would have been. The cars on freeway were also towed away, that would have been a real nightmare to me. I think I was really lucky to get his close to home without any incidents, I thanked God a 100 times and also the people who helped me get the car out of road.
Finally Tuesday morning I went to look at the car. The 124th Ave was looking like a graveyard of cars, all abandoned by owners, walk up to the car was also not easy. Anyway I reached my car, saw it safe, felt better, but still no way to drive it back to the house. AAA was no use here, the roads were just too dangerous. I came back, feeling a little better that there are too many cars and they are not going to tow. It was a sunny day, though temp was still below 0, but some ice was melting from sun's heat. The road was also sanded a couple of times. So I decided that its time to get some help and get the car back before things for worse. Then Ekta came along, she very generously agreed to come and help me get the car along with her husband. They were real help, they came in the cold, Kartik drove my car to its safety, and it finally seemed to be over.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Birthday 2006

Another birthday, now it no more looks exciting and special day,it should just go by like any normal day. But this year I had decided to run the Seattle half marathon to make the birthday special. Finished the race well inspite of the nasty weather. And then came back and Rahul and I had lunch at Spice route. I don't think that I had ever eaten so much in one sitting and that too totally guilt free. Maybe when I came to Redmond for Microsoft interview, ate a lot as I was eating alone, had a big budget and eating Indian food after long time. Anyway, so had a really good satisfying lunch. Then we came back, and I tried to get some sleep. Woke up to find out a snow stom in Seattle. Lot of snow falling, collecting on the ground. That got me worried how I am going to be able to drop Rahul to airport, my little car and not so good driving skills cannot handle the snowy conditions at all. So we requested Bash to drop him. I somehow managed to go to office slow slow. Luckily the flight was not delayed. Can back around midnight, still raining, drove back slowly, very scared on the freeway and big trucks were passing by in full speed. Drive up the hill on 169th was a little difficult, but in the end managed to get my car safely in parking.

Seattle Marathon 2006

Its finally over, and was quite a eventful run. The day started with some light snow flakes falling mixed with rain. I had to change the attire couple of times to need the changing weather. Finally I decided on synthetic socks, same green cotton pants, green chuckit inner t-shirt and while Asha outer t-shirt, cisco cap to safe the face from rain and my pink raincoat's cap to save the cap, head and ears from getting wet. On top of that I also made a (not so successful) rain ponchu out of a trash bag. Dressed in all this paraphernelia, we were standing outside EMP, looking at everyone else also cold and dresses in same silly way. Magically the snow stopped just before the race, and rain also turned into light drizzle.
We started with lot of enthu and some apprehension of cold. My ponchu was gone by the end of first hill, but the pink cap worked like magic, kept the head dry and saved the ears from getting cold. When we got on I90, it was some sight, whole ramp was covered with runners, it was like a stream of colourful water flowing along it.
The first 6 miles passed quite peacefully, I was not that tired also and the course was mostly flat, so that helped, also what helped was few gulps of gatorate. Then I reached the Asha water booth, had some Gu and water. I had left my dry clothes there for change. But this is where I made a mistake, my hands were really cold from wet t-shirt, so I thought I can just get rid of the top long sleeve thing, since I am running so much, its not going to get cold! And wet sleeves just make the hands colder. So from there I started in just the half t-shirt. It seemed to be a ok decision, as though my hands were getting wet, I could wipe off the water and they were dry again. I met the 2:45 pacer at mile 7, overtook her a little on the downhill and then fell behind her on the hills of Galer and Madison. But then I ran hard on the downhill (not a very good idea though), and again overtook her. This filled me with more enthu that I can possibly make it in 2hrs 45 min or less. It went well on the hills of interlaken too, they were hard, never ending uphill, but I managed it. But as we came down the hill by I5, I realized what a mistake half sleeves was. My hands started giving problems, loosing blood circulation or something from being very wet, cold and in just one position for long time. So I had to shake them and move then constantly. This costed me lot of misery and few min in running time. I was so much wishing that Rahul will meet me soon and give me a rain jacket. The hills of downtown were the worst, killing. Finally I met Rahul at mile 12 or something, got the rain jacket from him for hands, and after that it became a little easier. Finally finished in 2 hrs 40 min. At the end, all I was thinking of being warm and dry again.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Its tomorrow

So the big day is tomorrow and there are predictions of rain and snow, what fun. Today I walked on that new machine for 15 min and then did yoga, mainly to relax all the muscles. I think doing yoga the day before long runs really helps.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Day 64

This is turning out to be a perfect week with 4 short runs. Today I decided to run a little longer outside to make sure that this cold is not going to kill me, and the amount of clothes I am wearing is sufficient etc, kind of like a dry run. Started from my place towards 405 and then Juanita-Woodinville drive till the first signal, must be close to 3 mile round trip. Discovered that I definately need something to cover my ears, else they just start paining so badly and wearing spects makes it worse.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Day 63

Another very cold day in November, after lot of yes and nos, decided to run outside for 15 min. The run was ok, hills are indeed somewhat easier to cross now, even in the cold. The marathon is right around the corner, keeping my fingers crossed for no rain.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Day 62

Ran another 15 min on the treadmill, outside is just too cold. The variable speed treadmill run has become easier or at least possible now.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Day 61

Since this is slowing down week, ran just 20 min near the house only, nothing remarkable, trying to get used to the cold.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Amazing Rainier

It seemed like a perfect day, cloudless skies, sun trying to give some heat, and to top it all off, Rainier was looking just perfect from 520. In fact I could also see it clearly from 405 in morning, but the view from 520 was flawless. I wished I was not driving and could look at it some more. They should make a view point there for the people to just sit and take in the view.

Day 60 Week 22

So its been 2 months of running (60 days). Today we ran about 8 miles near Greenlake. It was a good run, the day turned out to be perfect, cloudless sky and not so cold. The last couple of miles were on the BurkeGilman train we used to take in the initial days of running. While at Red Square, we were recalling how we used to be dead by this time, and today we ran 6 miles before this and still had the energy to finish the last stretch smiling. Though today we were running quite slow, it took us almost 2 hrs to complete 8 miles, at this pace, I won't be able to finish 13 in under 3 hrs. Hopefully that day I would be able to run faster, at least I am getting more confident that I can run the whole 13 miles.

Friday, November 17, 2006

wettest november

its mid-nov and we have already seen record rains for nov, about 11.6 inches. This has been the wettest nov so far, but I think that has also prevented this from being a very cold one. If you ask me, I prefer the cloudy skies and higher temperatures, than the freezing sunny days.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Day 59

Did not go for practice this Wednesday, just lazy, and made the bahana that its not a good day to run !!
So anyway, to compensate, ran 2 miles today, speeds from 4.5 to 5 to 5.5. As I have always noticed, the first 1 mile is really hard and its always hard, when outside, you cannot quit in the first mile, but when on treadmill, I always quit at that time. But today I decided, I had to run, I had to get past my 10 min barrier. Varying the speed helped, I started out with 4.5, which did not make me too tired, after that moved up to 5, again reducing the speed when I thought of quitting. After the first mile, I ran a bit at 5.5 also, seemed like a good strategy.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Day 58

As part of preparing to run in the cold, I decided to run outside. The hills do not scare me that much now, but the cold does. And it was a very cold sunny morning. I started out real bad, the first hill was the worst to climb, but after that warm up, rest was not that difficult. Ran for 30 min, uphill downhill, about 2 miles I guess, so really show. Next time will try to go out on the woodinville road.

Monday, November 13, 2006

seattle is beautiful

when everyone seems to be complaining about rains, flodding, gloom, I think its beautiful. Looking out it feels like that 'after monsoon rain' time of the year, everything is so clear, washed, there is no bright sun, just right amount of clouds in the sky. Of course the story is very different when you go out and the harsh cold wind hits you, it may not look that beautiful. Still I think it feels good to see the green and the yellow and the wind blowing......

Day 57

Ran 20 min on treadmill, run / walk. I think treadmill is a horrible place to run, I get tired so easily, cannot even run 10 min without feeling when will it get over. Maybe outside I keep varying my speed and that's why can run. Anyway, my target is to complete the 13 miles in less than 3 hrs, beyond that it does not matter. Have to start running outside to practice running in cold.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Day 56 Week 21

Today thanks to Aparajita, I decided to do a long run, 13 miles actually. I started with lot of apprehension as I have been out of practice for weeks now. And in the beginning it was hard, it was cold, and then the 83rd St was all uphill-downhill. The route to golden garden park was all downhill and that made it easy. After that seaside was almost flat, I was really cold at this time as being along the water, there was cold wind coming. Then we decided to head back instead of doing the 13 miles loop. The way back was really tough. The 32nd Ave was all uphill, gaining all the height we lost when going to the seaside drive. This was I think the toughest part. Then we reached 80th St, which was again uphill-downhill, but after crossing 32nd, it did not seem that bad. We took quite a lot of breaks. mostly on signals. But in the end we finished 11.8 miles, it was great. The bottom line, I am again confident that I can do it :) Here is a link to our route, I will upload the image soon.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Day 55

Don't know why I did not run yesterday, guess was just lazy. Today decided to run on tradmill. Ran for 15 min at 5, little bit of elevation too. After that walked on the new machine for 20 min. Looking forward to tomorrow's big run, I hope it does not become a disaster too.

non stop rain

its been raining non stop for last 1 week at least, and I don't know for how many days before that, and this is just the beginning of rainy season. Looks like we are set to break last year's record of max days with no sunlight.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Day 54

Wednesday practice, did not go well, I was totally out of form and it was raining too. I made the mistake of wearing light cotton t-shirt, which was wet and sticky in just couple of rounds. We were support to do time trials and my time sort of went down. I managed to do just 6 track rounds and run back and up to the tracks. Hopefully next weeks practice will make it better.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Back after vacation in India

back to rainly seattle after the short vacation, 2 weeks seem almost nothing. And this time of the year in Seattle is really cloudy and rainy, though its still not that cold, the cloud cover keeps the chill out, or I am getting used to the cold climate. The rain started about mid-October, and is going to take us straight into winters.

Day 53 Week 20

Back in Seattle after more than 2 weeks of out of practice. Ran a little bit, like 30min or less last to last week, but not much.
Today after thinking a couple of times, decided to go out runnin in rain near the house only. It was usual uphill downhill story, ran for about 30 min, it was drizzling mildly, so not that bad.