Dry Martini: Officially Over Winter

I am now in the winter of my discontent. March — especially as we get closer to the ides — is where my resolve to not complain about the ice and snow and cold and slush and gray is worn down to nearly nothing. I am, officially, over it.

Which is too bad, because there are at least six more weeks of this crap. It's like we are in the last 10K of our winter marathon. Despite the moments where the sun breaks through and we’re feeling good, we all know that a grinding slog remains. To misquote Churchill, the only way out is through, my friends.

Unless you live someplace where spring can already be felt. I know these places exist because I see them on social media. They fill me with hope — and not a small amount of bitterness, if I’m being honest.

I live a beautiful place, yes, but so, so frozen.

The crappy weather means that I’m inclined to take the path of least resistance for most of my runs. Whenever I find myself debating between digging out the Yaktrax or driving to the indoor track, I default to the track. I suspect that I will be able to only make left-hand turns once I’m outside again. It beats breaking my hip sliding down a hill, which happens frequently in these parts.

Besides, I’ve made friends at the indoor track. We don’t actually speak much, mind, or know each other’s names — but we are in the same place doing roughly the same things on the same days. There’s the local coffee shop owner, whose name I do know because I’m in his shop frequently, who walks insane numbers of loops with a buddy of his most mornings. There’s determined walker woman, who wears gigantic headphones and always looks straight ahead. There’s zippy dude, who’s a little older than me and really freaking fast.

Zippy dude wears this every morning.

My favorite might be the loud senior citizen, who has FaceTime conversations every morning with a relative in, I think, China? Could be Japan? My ear for Asian languages isn’t finely tuned — but I can testify that the relative is usually watching TV, because I can hear it each time I go around. He is usually yelling at her because he has chosen to not wear Aftershokz, earbuds, or use a tiny mic.

Then there are the student-athletes, who fill up the basketball court below for shot-put or lacrosse or baseball practice. What amazes me is how much standing around most of them do, as if they have all the time in the world to waste, because they kind of do. None of these young adults are middle-aged moms who have literally 45 minutes for a run that should take 50 minutes, which means they had to hustle. I did the same thing in college, too, though not for any sort of sport, unless you count hours spent in dark theaters a "sport."

We condition our athletic fields with snowplows in these parts. Soon, the athletes can go outside.

It might be that I’m extra sensitive about wasting time because I feel like I have none to spare. It's been busy behind the scenes in my neck of the woods. Now that the contracts have been signed, I can tell you what I'll be scrambling to finish by mid-April.

I’m pleased to announce that Somebody’s Gotta Do It, which is about running for local office and why you (yes, you) should do so, will be published by Henry Holt in early 2020. I’m very, very excited, as you might imagine, and very, very anxious about getting this draft done. Full details about readings, pre-orders, etc., will come later. Know now that I will go just about anywhere because that’s how I roll.

But first I have to, to quote Anne Lamott, finish the shitty first draft. I’ve accepted that I’m going to be a little bit nauseous every minute of every day between now and then. It’s a do-able time-frame, mind. Just tight.

I’ve also accepted that for the next five weeks three-quarters of my brain will be working on it, even when I’m not currently at my computer. So far, my absent brain has led to my corgi getting a hilarious haircut over the weekend, when I clearly didn’t process what the groomer was telling me and she clearly didn’t state that what I was agreeing to was stupid. It’s really a matter of time before I forget where I have left my children. Fortunately, they are old enough to problem-solve, even if some of the solutions they come up with are weird.

The upside is that she is as soft as a cloud. The downside is that she is ticked off at all of us.

All of those indoor track runs help keep my first draft anxiety manageable. They are meditative, almost, as I go around and around with nearly no visual excitement. My brain uses them as a giant reset button as I write the words I am in, rather than focus on the words I have left, while I try to figure out what language that old guy is shouting in. 

Is it spring where you are? Tell me all about it. Spare no details.

34 responses to “Dry Martini: Officially Over Winter

  1. On the upside, you didn’t choose option C, not doing it at all. You’re getting it done!!! Give yourself some major props!!!!!

  2. Here in GA it is warmish, but it will not stop raining. The yards are soggy messes, the running trails flooded and all of Spring sport practices canceled. Looking forward to your book though I do not plan to run for office any time soon. Perhaps your writing can convince me otherwise. Write on!

  3. Perfectly written (as always), Adrienne! Those of us in North Dakota are raising our middle fingers high with you. <3

  4. I laughed out loud at so many parts of this. I live in Buffalo and can totally relate. Congratulations on your book!

  5. On the bright side, if you had nice weather you might not want to write and might be more drawn to be outside, so take that as a silver lining. Congrats! Sounds like a great book!

  6. SO. OVER. WINTER! It’s been too cold to go outside so I stick to my “insteadmill”! We did get a break in the snow storms this past weekend when I could run my first half marathon of the year though so I can’t complain TOO much! But then we got 8+ inches of snow and the hope was gone! I’m trying to think more Moana and not Elsa!!

  7. Congratulations on your upcoming book. You have loads on your plate but you always inspire me. The quiet nod from one runner to the next speaks volumes. I never need to know a name. I’m done with the weather. Today I used my phone for directions and was informed that it would be four minutes walking and seven minutes driving. I drove.

  8. 86 here today…which is way too hot- for this time of year- but we are back in the 60s and 70s then after tomorrow. Lemon tree is blooming, I am back to wearing capris instead of fleece tights (yes, we DO have sub freezing temps in the desert) and my “Vermont mittens” have been retired to the bottom drawer until next year. It’s why I moved here in the 70s…I ran away from all that cold weather mess! (Just so I could run outside year round!) Hope springs eternal!

  9. Congratulations on the book! I’m am interested in reading it. I love your writing. And good luck with your corgi….a ticked off corgi is no joke

  10. I live in the Orlando area. The low was 40 today and will be tomorrow also. I ran starting at 4:30 am to squeeze in as many miles as possible before work – I am sure this is the last of our “winter” before it goes back to boiling and 100% humidity at 5 am. I don’t know how you peeps deal with the endless winter!!!

  11. Congrats on the book! And yes, it is spring where I am. In fact, it’s supposed to be 87 degrees today, which is a little warmer than I want, but those temps sure make for nice early morning runs before it gets up to said 87 degrees! Thankfully, it’s supposed to be 65 again for the weekend. I wish I could send some of my weather your way. Here snow is such a novelty that when it did snow two weeks ago, the entire town basically shut down just to go outside and build a snowman! 🙂

  12. I’m still lingering on the part about the freaking fast zippy dude! I run at a park where there is a whole club of them . At 58 (and I just started running 4years ago) I’m sloooow and when I see them coming I stop and pretend to be tying my shoes while they zip past. But then I look at them as life goals
    As for the cold and blasted wind we’ve been having – over it!
    Love your stories thanks for sharing!

  13. I am so over the subzero Iowa weather. I usually run commando, but had to break down and buy something called Runderwear because my bits were so cold. This morning was a real feel of zero, and it is a sad state of affairs when running in zero did not feel cold.

  14. I told myself I’d start running outside on March 1. I have all the right cold weather gear after all. Then the weekend forecast showed below 30F temperatures, and snowstorm was heading our way for Monday morning. Treadmill it is. I KNOW it will be warm eventually.

  15. I too am totally over winter. We are on day 58 of sub freezing weather much of it spent below and far below zero. If it snows any more, I have no place to put it. I have a second coworker out for an injury after slipping on ice. I want to see grass. Hell, I’d settle for seeing the curbs on the street.

  16. Yes, congrats on your book!! And thank you for running for office and stepping up.Lord knows we could use more folks like you in office. We have more snow than I can remember here after 20+ years and it has been below 0 for a couple of weeks and we are over it. My main motivation is that if I run now, when it does finally clear off and the trails are finally dry, I can run farther and get out there (instead of restarting from ground zero which I hate). I’m redoing the TLAM HR plan now to get ready for spring.

  17. Congrats on the book! So exciting! I am also deep in the winter doldrums, and I am certain that I will never be warm again. It had gotten a bit warmer here (DC) but now we have a cold snap, and it was 20 this morning, and I am so tired of being cold.

  18. SO, i rolled over yesterday b/c 20 degrees at 5am was just too cold for me vowing to run this morning. Guess what? 17 degrees today! Boy was that a chilly run! Congrats on the book!

  19. Last weekend was my first long run not in trail shoes, as the roads were more or less clear. Of course we had snow again yesterday. I am still running in my fleece lined tights, and impatiently waiting for warmer days.

  20. I am so with you! After my single digit run yesterday morning I have decided I am done for the season!

  21. Such exciting news! I hope you come to NC – I’m in Asheville (which you really shouldn’t miss), but I would travel to see you give a book reading!

  22. This is so very exciting!!! Congratulations! I also cannot wait until Winter is GONE! As for Zippy, I gotta tell you, if I ever qualified and ran the Boston Marathon, I am pretty sure I would have an entire wardrobe of Boston clothing.

  23. I am there with you…done with snow and sub-freezing temps! And in CO we have not even hit sub-zero. We are spoiled I’m sure. As always you have me in stitches, especially the fact that you snuck a picture of the old guy’s jacket while at the gym.

  24. The dogwoods are blooming here in Atlanta, but, alas, temps have dropped back down to the twenties, and the trees will be naked once more soon. Congratulations on your book–can’t wait to read!!! I hope you put Atlanta on your list of spots! We have a guest room. 🙂

  25. Congrats on the book deal! That’s fantastic news. Holt is my sister company (I’m at FSG)–let me know when you’re in the offices and I’ll pop down to say hi!

  26. Not even close. It was 10 degrees with a negative wind chill this morning, which felt super amazing at 6:30 am while I waited for daycare lady to open the door. I’m so over winter and have lamented that instead of it making me a bad ass, I’m just angry. I run on the treadmill more often than not, and my friend says that is why my long runs have sucked so much. And why I have no ambition (although, somewhat miraculously, I’m still following my training plan.)

  27. Congratulations on the upcoming book! So exciting! And soon enough, we’ll be complaining about how bloody hot it is outside and how we have to run inside to get out of the heat. xo

  28. I moved to Pittsburgh from Houston last June so I am not accustomed to the frigid weather in PA. If it’s above 30 degrees, I try to run outside. If 30 or below, I head to the Y and run around the indoor track for a few miles, then I hit the treadmill for the remaining miles. Not a lot of excitement, but it’s warm!

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