Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Something is just not right here

And with that, I am referring to the weather conditions we are currently experiencing here in Ottawa. Average high for this time of year is +3. The record for March 19 (yesterday) was +14.6. We reached a high of 25.8.  Today, while I'm typing this at 5 pm, it's 26.6 degrees. Did I mention that it is March?? In Ottawa??  We've had 20 + degreed weather since Sunday, and will have at least one more day of it tomorrow. Pretty much a heat wave in the middle of March...
Something is just not right indeed. And it's not that I'm complaining; I love the heat, but there is a time and place for everything, and this just does not seem the right time, nor the right place!

The snow melted in record time (not that we had much, about a third of what Ottawa would get in a typical year), and maple syrup season started three weeks early. And then it stopped four weeks early, if not more. Ideal conditions for collecting sap is below zero at night, and above zero during the day. That results in maximum run of sap, and it tastes good. Higher temperatures reduces sap flow, and it starts tasting pretty bad. This is the second year in a row that the maple syrup producers are experiencing a poor year, but this year is extremely bad.

Within a week, crocuses started to bloom, tulips came up, and spring peepers (frogs) are out their and living up to their name (i.e. making tonnes of noise). Other plants are starting to sprout, trees are budding and all the birds seem to have returned by now.
Our office is not ready for this weather; the heating system is still in place, which results in boiling offices by the end of the day. We're scheduling our runs around the weather, so either run in the morning, or later in the evening. Definite bonus: the trails are no snow-free, so we can run in the woods again!!

Here some pictures:

The crocuses in our backyard

You can see the tulips in the background

Even the squirrels need a break in the shade...

It really is warm!

Another beneficiary of the beautiful weather! My Orchid blooming for the fifth (!) time

In other news: not too much. Work is busy (what's new?), but since we're approaching year-end (our fiscal year runs April 1- March 31) as much as possible needs to be done within the next two weeks, plus planning is in full gear for next year. 
We're keeping busy with our running. Last weekend was our 26 km run, which went well (for the most part), and we continue to increase our distance during the week as well. So really, our lives consist of work, running and house chores!
Talking about house chores, we bought a washer-dryer set on Monday, to be delivered in a couple of weeks, so soon our clothes will be really clean! Not a bad thing since we're sweating a lot with all that running, especially in this weather!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Marathon update

No photos this time... I know, I promised more, and hopefully I'll be able to post a few more next time.

A marathon update this time. We signed up to run the Ottawa marathon on May 27th, and really got serious about our training when we came back from our trip to the Netherlands, and it's starting to pay off. This past week, we ran a total of 43 km, and we're slowly increasing our distance. One long run, and then two or more tempo and interval runs during the week. We loosely follow a schedule, but mainly to guide us on our long runs. We are trying to make our runs during the week a bit longer, to make sure we get our distance in. But that is mainly because we can't always put more than 3 runs in per week, simply because life gets in the way! But in general it's going quite well. The increase in distance doesn't seem to bother us too much, and our bodies tend to cooperate. We added a strength component to the regime as well, to make sure we are well rounded. Probably sounds more rigid than it really is, but the main point is that we're having fun. And so far, we're having a lot of fun! The weather is cooperating nicely with spring-like temperatures, and the snow is melting at a pretty good pace. Hopefully the trails will be accessible soon! I can't wait to get out there again and run in the woods. The best place to run! But that shouldn't come as a surprise...