"Winter is not a season. It's an occupation."
To date, this winter has been pretty bearable. Until now. Here in the New England area, we have gotten pummeled by Mother Nature over the past few days. She's having a hell of a time and she's holding nothing back, damn her. I shouldn't be surprised. It's the same every year. And those of us who are training for a spring marathon and live in these seasonal areas fight our way through snow, wind, sleet and freezing temps day in and day out; many of us questioning what the hell we were thinking (wait, were we thinking??) when we signed up for our race every single time we step outside. Yet we all continue to do it because we're crazy and we thrive on pain. Kidding. Sort of. Each year I try really hard not to moan and groan about the winter because, let's be honest, no one is forcing me to run a spring marathon. But, once in a while, usually after a particularly challenging stretch of weather, I just totally lose my shit. I'm sorry. I just can't help it. In the end, all of it makes me stronger. So, there's that. And it usually makes me laugh. Like, a lot. Not while I'm running, but when I'm done. So, there's that, too. And when it's over, I'm always incredibly proud of myself for getting through it. And that's huge. But, for now, I'm struggling. I'm hoping, whether you're a runner or not, that you might understand and/or appreciate my current mental state (loco with a little anger mixed in). If not, well, perhaps you stronger than I and I applaud you for that. Here's how the last few days played out for me. You be the judge.
MONDAY - 2/6
Monday is my long run day. Last Monday, my teammate and I knocked out 18 miles together. The weather wasn't too bad. The only thing we had to deal with was the cold and some wind but we're used to that. So, I was still doing okay after this one.
TUESDAY - 2/7
Tuesday is when things started to go South. I only had 7 miles to get through but I had freezing rain in my face for the majority of the run. That's never fun. By the time I got home I was totally soaked. I'm pretty sure I said something like, well, hopefully it won't get any worse than that this week. Ba ha ha ha. Silly me.
WEDNESDAY - 2/8
On Wednesday morning I was drinking coffee when my husband came back in from attempting to walk our dog and let me know that the roads were literally covered in ice. Oddly, the temp was supposed to get into the 50s later in the day but at that moment it was about 25 degrees out so there wouldn't be any melting happening for a while. So, off to the gym I went. Not only was I going to have to run inside, but I was going to have to flip my workouts and do my tempo run a day early. Why? Because a massive snow storm was en route for the next day and there was a good chance I wouldn't be leaving the house because of it. Awesome.
THURSDAY - 2/9
I woke up Thursday and hustled out the door because the weather wasn't supposed to get bad until mid-morning. The snow started coming down about a mile in and got progressively worse throughout the run. The roads were okay when I got going but by the time I finished they were a mess. Fortunately, I only had to get through 8 miles so I managed to stay somewhat safe and got it done. As you can see, the mental wheels were really starting to fall off at this point.
FRIDAY - 2/10
On Friday morning it was 8 degrees outside when I woke up. The struggle was real, my friends. I did not want to go and was coming up with every excuse under the sun to delay my departure. My good friend and Oiselle teammate, Sasha Gollish, was staying with us and very kindly encouraged me to get out there despite the temp and the state of the roads. I think her exact words were Trax, you need to just go. Afterwords, I made her come outside with me for a post-run high five. I was stupidly excited to be done. She understood and willingly obliged.
-----> The weekend was relatively manageable. We were up in New Hampshire and I did my usual routine of working and skiing during the day and then running inside on the dreadmill in the evening. It's not ideal, but I'm used to it and I no longer think about it. I just get it done. Sunday is my day off. I look forward to it like a kid who's counting down to a birthday. I crave the rest and the fact that I don't have to coordinate running with my families' daily schedule. But this past Sunday....not so much. A second, much bigger snow storm was coming through and hitting all of New England like a beast. Winchester was going to get anywhere from 12-18 inches. WHAT?? The storm was starting Sunday afternoon and going all night. My husband needed to be home for work on Monday so we drove home in it. Think clinched jaws and white knuckles. In the meantime, I was wondering how the hell I was going to get my long run in the next day. I considered driving over the gym when we got back Sunday night and banging it out but by the time we were home the entire town was totally shut down. So, instead I did some shoveling and went to bed.
MONDAY - 2/13
Listen to this:
STC (Interval Training) by Cash+David