February into March is the roughest time for Northeastern U.S. runners. This year is no exception. When it hasn’t been bitterly cold, we’ve had gale force winds. Or, just to keep us on our toes, we’ll have two days in the 50s, which feel like summer, then a week of snow. And, of course, yesterday, Stella came to town. Nearly three feet of the white stuff really puts a damper on one’s running plans. Not only was an outdoor run out of the question, our county closed all roads to non-essential traffic, which meant that I couldn’t get to a place with a treadmill. Not that the gym would have been open anyway.
So I got a great, if unintended, rest day, which was full of thinking that I should use the time to catch up on stuff around the house but, instead, spent catching up on Big Little Lies and The Great Pottery Throw Down. Today — I’m writing on Wednesday — is another snow day. The actual snow has mostly stopped but the region is using the time to figure out where we’ll put all of the snow we’re shoveling off of the roads. It’s a bigger problem than you might think.
I plan to cross-train by digging out my car and making a quick trip to the post office. Unless I can convince one of the children to do said shoveling out…
Training for my April 10K, a distance I hope to run faster than I ever have, continues on. Coach has me running 400s and 800s at race pace at least once per week. For me, race pace is 10:30, which is hard but not unsustainable for six miles. I say that not knowing if I can actually run that -- but it feels about right. So I’m going with it.
Fortunately, the high school track is 3/4 of a mile from my house so it is super-easy to do a one mile warm-up, do my 400s or 800s, then get a one mile cool down on the way back home. What’s not super easy is predicting if the track will be covered in snow, ice, or a fun combination of both. I have managed at least two runs up there, though, and know how to convert 400 meters into miles for when I have to take it on the road.
(It's a quarter mile, btw. I only had to look that up twice.)
Because I’m an over-achiever, I’m technically also training for the Pittsburgh Half in May. Why technically? I have zero intention of racing it because a) I’ll be working the expo and b) I just don’t wanna. Mostly, I want to finish without feeling like death on two legs before, during, or after. #achievablegoals
But even with that, Coach has me taking some long weekend long runs. A few weeks ago, I did 12 into a wind that always seemed to be blowing into my face. Before that, I did ten in 12 degrees, which I refused to start until the number of degrees outside exceeded the number of miles on the plan. I’m now convinced that the space age foam in all brands of running shoes freezes solid at about 14 degrees. It’s like running with bricks strapped to the bottoms of your feet. And yet, since it wasn’t icy, I soldiered on.
Last Sunday, fortunately, was a light week, with only six miles on the plan. It was also hovering in negative temps so I hit the indoor track. The best that can be said about that run is that it was profoundly dull.
I tell you this not to show off — although sometimes the knowledge of how bad one’s ass must be to run in this awfulness gets me through the worst of it — but to assure you that every single mother runner you know gets what it is like to push through and get it done. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns out there all of the time. There are months when it is grindingly bleh to be a BAMR. Still, we keep going.
The temperatures for this Saturday’s 13 are predicted to be above freezing, which will be a nice change of pace. I’m not sure exactly where I’ll be able to run yet because there is just so much freaking snow that most of it will remain all over the place for weeks to come. I’ll figure it out, though. It’s what we do.
So what’s made you feel extra BAMR-y these last few weeks? And is it spring yet where you are?