Thursday, February 3, 2011

Shovelling Snow ... Just Like A Marathon

I don't mind spending money on things that make my life easier.  We have a nice car so it won't break down.  I've accumulated quite a few good power tools for easy cuttin' & drillin'.  Heck, I got Michael one of those Ninja smoothie makers for Christmas.  So ummm, remind me again why I DON'T HAVE A FREAKING SNOW BLOWER???
My message to the driveway after I kicked its butt!
A snow blower would have made clearing the 14" of white stuff in my driveway much easier yesterday!  But as I huffed and puffed frozen clouds of 165bpm exhale, in the 5 degree temps, I thought to myself ... "there are really a lot of parallels between shovelling snow and a marathon."

1. You have to start slow!
The driveway is a challenging task by shovel. And the stuff around your garage door is misleading.  Like the first few miles, it's stacked up close to the house there, just beggin' to be carved up.  It feels like nothing.  It's easy pickins.  But if you're not careful, you'll go out way too quickly!  You're fresh! You're warm! And you plow through those initial piles like a human bobcat.  But I've seen  it a million times ... rookies tear into this virgin powder and are completely spent by the time they reach mama's flower pots.  Don't get excited ... it's a long day!
Video evidence that the snow plow fairy exists!
2. Good foot-wear is a must!
Just like in a marathon ... cowboy & snow boots are not always the best way to go.  Think more practical.  Today I demo'd my new Mizuno Wave Ascend 5's trail shoes, and they were great!  Gripped the snow and ice like nobody's business.  Yeah, my toes were an unnatural color when I was finished because of the mesh upper ... but they thawed by noon, and I've almost got the feeling back today ... so no biggie!
New trail shoes great for shovellin' snow
3. Know your course!
If you're not careful, you'll end up tunneling a path to the middle of the neighbor's yard.  That does no one any good.  Just like scouting the streets before a marathon, you should walk your driveway a couple of times before just grabbing the shovel handle.  Sure you think you know it, you've viewed it in reverse a thousand times. But this is game day baby ... do you really have it committed to memory?  Remember ... take a slight left at the Mulberry tree.  Then, veer a little right when you see the trash can that got left out over night.  And if you pass the garden gnome, you blew it ... try to find your way back immediately!
Jack and me committed to the course!
4. Be ready for the big hill!
Many courses have them ... a diabolically placed hill in the last mile or so. The wintry driveway is no exception.  As the city plows make their ONE pass by your abode, they leave you a huge, challenging, 4 to 5 foot heap at the end of your path waiting to break your spirit.  Do you have it in you?  Can you conquer this last test of endurance and will power?  Or will you just leave it? Ya know ... walk it?  Will it just sit there next to the street for you to avoid every time you back out of your driveway ... like a cruel reminder of how you QUIT?  It's your choice.
My 5 foot Heartbreak Hill
5. A good support staff makes all difference!
Just like in a race, occasionally you need someone to bring you hot cocoa, warm gloves, or a new back.   It helps if you have a cute little hottie standing there with a sign ... or blowing snow in her own face, to give you a little "pick-me-up"!
Shoulda checked the wind there sweetie!
So there you go ... very similar!  I have no doubt that after whittling away 14" in front of my house, the Austin Marathon will be no match ... but hopefully about 50 degrees warmer!
... be great today! 


  1. Good comparison Jim - and all that cross-training can only make you stronger (after the surgery for removal of frostbitten toes of course).

  2. LOL. Great post today Jim. Personally, I bought a snowblower and with the 8(12-14 with snow drifts), I'm glad I have it. If you ever want to do a shoveling marathon in Michigan, I'll give you a call when we get our next storm. Haha!

  3. Was out at 6am this morning doing my driveway and the neighbors...some shovel, more blower...your right though, is great x-training

  4. I love the first pic with your message in the snow!

    You will be very strong after all thath shoveling!

  5. go
    blower. ;)

  6. Nice snow writing! We finally bought a snow blower last year, but I'm the one who still likes to do a little shovelling- and here I thought you were in California all this time.

  7. Love that after shot! Great job getting a hard core cross train workout in!!!

  8. last picture? hi-sterical!

    too much snow!!!

  9. Ha, I love it! I got stuck in the ditch in my friend's driveway last week and as her husband was digging me out and nearly having a heart attack he said "I've got to start running again." :)

  10. You got quite a bit of snow! Enjoy it, snow is one of the great things in life ... just like running. It is great cross-training as well.

  11. Great comparisons! Love this post.

  12. Thanks for the snow blowing tips. Those will come in handy for me :-) No wait, oh, I get it now :-)


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