February was certainly a test of dealing with the snow. It is interesting how different areas of the city deal with the white stuff, but none was clear on how the city as a whole dealt with the storm that came through a few weeks ago.

Everyone knew it was coming. Weather forecasts called for the start of it sometime on a Tuesday evening and the worse of it all day Wednesday. I went heavy on my running in the days leading up to it, Gina and I also went out for a run 2 nights straight since we expected to be indoors when the storm came. Heck even our jobs let us know ahead of time they would be closed in expectation of bad travel conditions!

But as we jogged that evening, it was comfortable and warm. Well, now anything in the mid 30′s is shorts worthy for a run now. Sure enough, that evening it started and it was a blast indeed by midnight.

As we woke early on that Wednesday, we planned as if it was a regular business day. Though I got to ride my computrainer for a longer ride and workout altogether, it wasn’t until 9am that Gina decided to bag trying to go in for work. It wasn’t bad at 9am, but it was at 3pm. She worked anyway as she got calls, emails, and texts throughout the day to keep busy. You should see her go. She is now mastering the Blackberry thing.

We then did our share of weight training by going out every 3 hrs to shovel the front and back. We were so exhausted that we were out by 9pm. It was still coming down and we wondered even if Thursday would be the worst of it since now that it stopped, we’d be able to see how the roads were.

And this is where the city rocked. The roads were clear as everyone stayed home and let sanitation, road crews, etc do their magic. The city was almost spotless according to Gina. Here though, it will take a while since we remember how long it took in December when we got the last storm upon moving back. We left the car where it was and each day shoveled it out. Slowly the sidewalks cleared and everything was back to normal as the weather got warmer and mother nature took it’s course.

Training is going well. Closely analyzed and now working in conjunction with my foot pods, I am now taking to hillier routes and basic hill work in general to gain some strength. The weather is still appears cold but I am well acclimated. As I approach the Lenten season, I am ready to finish Base 2 and get to specifics.

It will be a reflective Lent this season and with it the introduction into the start of the season. Fasting, sacrafice, and the reflection of the Easter season to come will be a great challenge for my spiritual side of training. Many say they intend to “give up” something for Lent. As in past journals I have written over the years at this time – I don’t give up anything, only my time in helping others when the opportunity comes. It’s a welcomed 40 days of a smalll struggle within.

It is made easier as the sun comes up now well before 7am and one a morning run I will relish in it’s rising for brief moments.With that as well, the commute home is brighter as the days get longer and allowing for a well wishing to the sun a good night.

Hopefully, the winter subsides nicely and we can get more out of the weekends. But we ain’t complaining and we manage to hit necessary chores while ‘chillin’. One bright spot really came in the form of a gallon – yes a gallon of RITA’S!!!!!!!!!! I had been speaking to John McClendon from the Rita’s in Charlotte as he is a great friend ever since he opened the franchise in Charlotte last March (who now getting into triathlon’s) and we came up with an idea of seeing if a gallon under dry ice would make it here in 2 days.  Well he went all out in planning and packing the new flavor – Chocolate Chocolate Chip. We agreed to have it shipped to my job for security and I literally ran home with it that evening - both in anticipation of lapping it up but also not knowing if it survivied the trip. It did and a big shout out to John McClendon and the crew at Rita’s. My ice has been served!!!!! Yo!!!  I geta little fix each day (straight from the jug too) now and can team it up with some Turkey Hill ice cream to make my own type of gelati!

Another big welcomed surprise came in the form of a peanut butter pie, created with perfection by Gina’s sister Christine Colvin. We donated a runner’s gift basket with products we had extra’s of and she thanked us with the pie. Mind you I haven’t been able to have one since we left Charlotte. Awww, yo this thing is the bomb - seriously!! Healthfully made, and most important – homemade, she is thinking of going into a small business with her “craft”. We are happy to help as we think she will nourish a bunch!

Everything is going well and under both the watchful eyes of Gina and the inward readings of my Polar monitors, I am getting the feel for racing and testing. I am hitting the hills and doing preliminary intervals, with the goal of finishing up the necessary base building after Lent.

I have been able to set up the following schedule so here it is – see you on the roads!

Here is the preliminary schedule for 2010:

March 13 -  Kings Park 15K
March 28th – Suffolk County Half Marathon
May 2nd – LI Half-Marathon
May 16th – Montauk Century+ Bike Ride
May 30th – Ironclad Sprint Triathlon
June 6th – Gina’s MacArthur 5k run

Depending on qualification at the Texas race, these events are on the radar for the second half of 2010:

September 12 – Toughman Half Ironman
October – US Halfmax National Championships

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