I went on a 4 mile run yesterday outside, and I have to admit, I did it mostly out of some weird need to “show winter” that it couldn’t keep me down. Were the conditions safe to run in? No, not really, but I tread carefully and accepted beforehand that pace wasn’t something I was going to care about. I treated the run as an adventure, and recognized it as a truly rare opportunity to soak up some vitamin D on the little bit of cheek skin I dared to leave exposed.
I got splashed by puddles of freezing water as cars drove by; I had to run on a busy road for a few yards because the sidewalk disappeared under mountains of plowed snow; I had to walk very carefully over a treacherous driveway that hadn’t been salted like all the others around it; I meandered through parking lots in order to increase my mileage since salted sidewalks only came in chunks of about 1/8 miles. But damn it, I ran outside. And it felt good.
This run came after the 5th snow day of the semester, during which I literally sat in bed all day. I just had to get out. Also, if I zoom out and look at the last few months, I feel like I’ve been resting my legs and recovering since October, which lends to this feeling of idleness. Yes, I’ve run a handful of successful races since then, but I haven’t managed to do any focused training and I’m really ready to start that again.
I’ve noticed other people out on the sidewalks, walking and running, and they all have the same scowl on their faces that I can only imagine I had on during my run yesterday. I’m almost positive those people are out giving winter the proverbial finger just like I was, and it makes me happy to be reminded that we’re all in this together. I love knowing that there are others out there who are being driven batty by mother nature and her wintry antics.
I’ll confess that running in the cold has it’s perks. I, for example, don’t sweat profusely during my winter runs and therefore don’t have to think about hydration constantly. But I miss the sun, and I miss uninterrupted sidewalks. I’m ready for spring.