Winter is dwindling down...

.....or is it?  That is the question!

Today found me doing my usual 2 dog walks.

The first was this morning and it really didn't feel that cold outside as we cruised through our walk.  It seems - as I mentioned before - that nearly everyone in my neighborhood has given up and tossed in the towel when it comes to shoveling their sidewalks.  That's unfortunate for me and for the kids who walk to school.  In fact, it is a bit dangerous walking out there for those of us who must plod on through the winter no matter what.  I slipped 2 times today on the ice and crud underneath the freshly fallen snow, but didn't go down this time.  However, the 2nd time I fought it so hard (not to fall) I yanked my hip flexor big time and hobbled back home to take some Ibuprofen.   It may have been easier just to fall as I really pulled something in there!!!!!

The evening walk after work was on a route that had me off of ice and snow covered sidewalks.  It was really cold thanks to a wind chill in the single digits.  I headed over to the fields just south of us for a nice romp with the dogs.  Looking at the forecast and knowing where we are in the calendar - it may have been the last really, really cold walk of the winter.

Or at least I hope so....

I managed to get Max and Zoey to both sit long enough for me to snap a picture of them out in the field behind the elementary school near our house where we walked this evening about 5:20 PM.


As you can see, there is very little snow left on the ground and tomorrow's 40 degree temps along with Sunday and Monday's 50+ degree temps should melt what is remaining.  That's not to say more is not on the way, because it is.  But it feels like winter has got to start winding down here in the next couple of weeks.

Tara got her pin pulled out of her hand this morning and now has her hand in a small splint.  She will return next week for hand therapy.  After a few weeks of therapy, she sees the doctor in 5 weeks as a follow up.  It could take a full 6 months before her hand and arm are back to full strength which is just about in time for RAGBRAI!!!!

I am dealing with bronchitis.  I sound like a cross between a Model T horn and an angry German Shepherd every time I cough (which is pretty much non-stop it seems).  Mucinex DM, the Nebulizer, an inhalor, cough medicine at night, hot herbal tea, steam, etc...is the routine I am using to try and keep things as comfortable as possible.  It could be a few to quite a few weeks before it subsides.  Lovely!

In spite of that, my base training plods along day by day.  Today was a major upper body workout followed by a 30 minute recovery spin.  That helped work up a hunger for a lovely dinner.  I made a big vat of 15 bean stew in the crock pot with ham hocks, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, BBQ sauce, diced tomatoes, a fresh jalapeno and a few herbs.  It stewed for 10 hours and was a nice smokey treat for dinner.  Probably one of the best I have done this season.

Bike racing starts 3 weeks from Saturday if all goes according to plan with the Nebraska Psycowpath season opener with the Swanson Shoot Out.  The BikeIowa.com Renegade Gent's Gravel Race is the Saturday following that, so all the miles and hours I have been doing in the basement are about to be put to test.  I am looking forward to riding outside this Sunday and Monday as temperatures hit the 50's just in time for the start of my Spring Break!!!

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