Dry Martini: Spite and Daydreams

I don't put much faith in rodent-based weather prediction but I remain bummed that the groundhog saw his (or her, I guess. It’s hard to tell.) shadow on Friday. Winter can stick it, y'all.

And, yeah, I said I was going to avoid talking about running in ice and snow and cold. But you know what? It’s all I think about anymore, running-wise. I check the forecast hourly and try to figure out if a 30% chance of flurries is runnable (it is) or if 13 degrees is better to run in than 11 degrees (it is - but only psychologically). I frequently take a detour on my drive home from work to see if the outdoor track has a lane plowed. I’d drive past it in the morning but it’s too dang dark. I stalk the Instagram feeds of BAMRs who live in southern climates — I’m looking at you S. Hopkins — because those pictures give me a warm feeling inside, which is the only warm feeling I’ve had in weeks.

To add insult to my chilblains, I also have a cold. My beloved husband has taken to wearing earplugs to bed, lest my snoring and snuffling wakes him up. “You can’t help it,” he said, when I offered an apology for being an annoying bedfellow. A willingness to work around your partner’s phlegm, my friends, is how you stay married for 20+ years. You've got to keep the romance alive.

I am a pirate! Or I just had snow blowing directly into my eyeball....

Despite my cold and the cold, I was determined to get 13 miles in on Sunday. My standards for what is run-able have fallen so far that 28 degrees with a light snow is totally reasonable. Heavier snow was incoming but I was fairly certain I’d be home and warm before that happened.

Reader: I almost made it.

When the sidewalks are icy, I run up the road to our high school. Sometimes, I get lucky and I can use the track. Most of the time, I just run around the building itself because the parking lots and access driveways have been plowed. Footing is generally fine — except for Sunday morning, when the entire back half of my normal loop was a slushy, slippery mess that had an added bonus of also being a wind tunnel. Which, when coupled with my stufffy head, made for some slow miles.

Somewhere around mile four, my innate stubbornness kicked in. I knew, no matter what, I would cover 13 miles, if only to spite the weather and the germs. And, yes, I know the weather and germs couldn’t care less. Spite is seldom logical.

I might have pretended this was a mojito.

The snow started in earnest about ten miles in. I’d like to say that I had some great epiphany and made peace with the season and my place in it but I really just keep running. After three long miles, I made it home. I took a nice warm shower, did some desk work, and took a small nap. Given that is was Superbowl Sunday, I then ate my weight in ‘roni balls, a northwestern Pennsylvania football favorite we’ve imported to our New York kitchen. It was a pretty fine day, frankly.

The question you might be asking is, “Why did you need to run 13 miles?”

My answer is, “Because 14 miles would be silly.”

I kid. My answer actually is, “Because I’m running a half marathon in early March with a bunch of BAMRs who I don't see enough and I want to be able to enjoy our time together after the race without feeling like I’ve been run over by a Zamboni.”

How forking lovely does this look?

The best part is that we picked a race in Florida, where the weather will be warmer and sunnier than where I am, no matter what freakish front blows through. I’d be lying if fantasies of beaches and palm trees didn’t help pull me through my Sunday long run. In February, we have to work with what we can muster, even if it is just spite and daydreams.

Anyone else plotting a race just to get away from the weather this time of year? And do people come north in the summer to do the same?

12 responses to “Dry Martini: Spite and Daydreams

  1. Are you also running Pittsburgh again this year? I had to opt out of the ‘burgh and instead I’m running…
    wait for it…
    Cleveland. I feel like such a traitor. LOL! It’s always a pleasure seeing you at the expo (although last year I went all fangirl and refused to stop. Yes, I’m 12. Or 45. Whatever.)

  2. I love that race. Flat out and back. Good post race food. Awesome swag. Enjoy!!! The year I did it I came home to snow in MD….

  3. I’m a desert BAMR, and yep- I plan my summer marathons for up North- Oregon this year, maybe Minnesota (Grandma’s) next year. 🙂 This is really a great time of year for us- dry roads and temps in the 40’s- 50’s.

  4. I already had my winter getaway, WDW marathon in Jan. The 40s and 50s, while cool for FL, beat the minus 20 I left behind. I have a few races in mind for this year, but haven’t signed up for anything yet. I am enjoying running w/o following any plan, especially given the slippery roads this time of year.

  5. This was me too, on Sunday, near you in Syracuse, NY. I also did 13 miles, and at one point was *this close* to calling my husband to pick me up when the wind was so strong I felt I was running on a treadmill and the icy snow meant that I had to close my eyes! However, unlike you, my half-marathon in 3 weeks is the local Lake Effect half, which I run to keep me motivated through the dark cold winter, but hardly provides any beach-and-palm-tree fantasies.

  6. I don’t know how you do it, Adrienne. I couldn’t run my 10 miles on Sunday because it was 34 degrees and rainy. Instead I opted for an easy five on the indoor treadmill. And yes, I’m completely worried about my performance in my upcoming half marathon in three weeks. Glad you’re stronger than me!

  7. Thank you for this! It made me laugh because I can totally relate and currently am despising winter! I do have a March half marathon planned, but it’s not in a warmer climate. That would’ve been smart. Good luck with your training!

  8. I can totally relate to every word you wrote. I am so ready for the winter conditions to wrap up. I’ll even take cold, if we can just ditch the icy, slushy, puddly mess.

  9. I will begin training for my first marathon (Chicago) In JUNE. In FLORIDA. I think I am more terrified of the heat than the miles I will be putting in. As a Florida native (almost) I know how to run in heat. But….it is hot! As I run this winter (no snow but it does get quite cold for us Floridians (I did 5 miles in the 40s!) I am trying to remember/bottle that cold feeling so I can pull it out this summer when I am doing long runs in the Florida summer! So, it’s all relative. What we don’t do for this sport of ours! FYI – thinking after reading your article that I would prefer to Marathon train in the summer in Florida than rum in snow and slush and cold – but ask me how I feel and if I remember that in June, July or August…I will be trying to….

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