It was a beautiful morning. The temperature was great, there was very little wind and most of the snow and ice was gone. Although I had the day off of work, I still had a lor of work to get done to be ready to start classes on Tuesday. I really thought about trying to go ahead and get my long run done for the week, the rest of the week does not look as pleasant weather wise. Sadly, my hamstring started hurting so I called myself happy with 14 miles for the day.
The afternoon brought a mix of sunshine and snow showers. I love the snow and I loved watching it float past my window as I sat reading. I decided this year I would spend one hour a day reading for pleasure. I ended spending almost two hours reading because the book was so great. I am currently reading Holy Envy by Barbara Brown Taylor. (I just finished The Adventurers Son and you should read it immediately!)
It’s feeling a bit silent around here.
I really slept like shit last night. I have chronic insomnia and I never sleep well, but some nights are worse than other. I would rather wake up and just be awake. Instead, I just woke up about every hour and had to spend a few minutes or so trying to get myself back to sleep.
I struggled when my alarm went off, but I got myself up and out the door although it was a little later than I wanted. Although the temperature was the same as every other day it felt cold in a way that it hasn’t felt cold before. I struggled to warm up. It was dark, I was cold, and I was struggling to avoid snow and ice. Sometimes you just have to call it not a great day of running and go home.
I actually slept. Despite of or maybe because the wind was making so much noise outside. We were having 30 mph winds with 50 mph gusts. When my alarm went off I decided to sleep more and run in the afternoon. The wind was projected to calm by the afternoon so I figured I could run after work. I’m done pretty early on Wednesday so I would have plenty of time to for a run. The problem was the wind didn’t die down, not at all. The wind was intolerable. Like it was making me irrationally angry. It was making my ears hurt deep inside. Running into the wind felt impossible. But when it was at my back it was like an angry person pushing me. No matter the direction I was running the wind was pushing and moving me so that I had very little control over my own body.
I decided to head down a path I don’t usually use because it feels less safe. It’s strange how you can be so close to a place that feels safe and the feeling changes. It’s even close to the police station.
Finally, a beautiful morning! Since I don’t teach until 9:30am I am able to get a nice long run done before going to work. It’s also today that I realize that my hamstring isn’t bothering me anymore. I made sure to enjoy every moment of the moderate temps, no wind, and especially no ice.
I had planned to run in the afternoon so that I could get some fast running done. It was perfect. The paths were snow and ice free. The temperature was cold but I’m used to it so it doesn’t feel bad. The best part was there was no wind. About a mile or so in I was feeling like I needed to poop. Ugh. I stopped at the bathroom and no luck. I headed back and tried to push the pace to end up with a massive stomachache that left me doubled over on the side of the path. I tried again to poop behind a bush but again no luck. So, I gave up and decided to just slow the pace to get the miles done.
It was the most beautiful, magical, winter wonderland! Snow had been falling for hours by the time I left. The city was so quiet. Not only was it beautiful with the falling snow with everything blanketed in white, but it was so nice to have the empty streets to myself. The snow slows me a bit since I am just running in my road shoes. I was also mindful of my hamstring. The last time I tried to run fast in the snow I ended up straining my hamstring.
Because of the footprints in the snow, I saw a path I have never run in before and followed the footprints. I have run past this spot a dozen times and never noticed this path. It wasn’t a long path, but it was pretty. I headed back towards my usual route. I had a dog run out of me and scare the shit out of me. I shrieked and then firmly said “No! Stop!” and the growing, barking dog did. It amazes me how often that works.
I was thinking I would get 20 miles done. I honestly could have kept running for so much longer because it was so beautiful. At mile 15 I stopped at the bathrooms and when I took my gloves off, I decided to throw my handwarmers out. They didn’t feel so warm and I just thought that they weren’t really doing anything for me. I am an idiot. My hands were painfully cold before I was even a half a mile away from the bathroom. How stupid was I to think that the handwarmers weren’t working? My hands weren’t cold in the slightest all those miles. Of course, the handwarmers didn’t feel hot, it was because they were battling to work in 20 degree temps. I made I the 2 miles home to get 17 miles. My hands were painful from the cold. I was done.
When I was moving here more than one person asked how I would get my training done. And to be honest, I was a little worried about training in the winter myself. But the winter isn’t a problem at all. The winter is actually pretty nice. I am glad I didn’t invest in an expensive running jacket because my Rabbit windbreaker/rain jacket is always more than enough. The thing that makes training hard here is the wind. The last few days with no wind have been amazing, but I know it won’t it last.
On Saturday it snowed and snowed and snowed. When I left to run my weather app said it was 13 degrees but felt like 4 degrees. But the temperatures where no problem. It was the deep snow that was the problem. I quickly learned that running in the middle of the neighborhood roads was the best option. The sidewalks were just too deep with snow for me to be able to actually run. The other issue was that my nanospikes broke a while back I have been managing without. But today they would have been really helpful. The slightest hill was hard to get up. By about mile 4 I was starting think this run was going to be a disaster. It’s pretty hard to run very far here without encountering a hill or two. I ran in a lot of circles. But it was beautiful and peaceful for a while. I was surprised at how the traffic was picking up. This was making it difficult to find a safe place to run. I headed to a road I knew was flat and hoped would be pretty empty. Meanwhile the fog was getting thicker. I was feeling good, so I headed over towards the pedestrian path by the river. I knew I wouldn’t be able to run on the path but thought the road might work out. And it did! When I stopped at the bathroom my face had a nice frosty covering. The goal for the day was 13 miles and it was looking like I was actually going to get it done. Everything was fine until I turned and was headed back the other direction. The wind wasn’t strong, but it was making my face hurt. My eye lashes had been freezing together all morning, but now it was really bad. The irrational part of my brain started to panic. Was I stupid to be running in this? Was I doing some damage to my face? And then I see some guy just walking his dog in a jacket like it’s no big thing. I tell myself people climb Everest I can run a mile home.
I wasn’t sure I was going to get the miles done this week, so I am happy that I met my goal. Now I have to work on getting long runs done. How much longer is winter?
It’s great to be back at work and doing what I love. The weekend feels a little long, but I will be back to working on my dissertation soon and I am trying to put together a proposal for a psychology book club on campus. I expect that in time I will find a way to fill the long weekend days.