Dry Martini: Is It Spring Yet?

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…

Shortly before a sub-freezing long run, I discovered that my teenaged daughter took every last mitten and glove with her on a school trip to Quebec. After a few minutes of swearing, I remembered that I own SmartWool socks.

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

My dog is over it.

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.

This was my reward for getting through six miles on the indoor track. It was right by the door to the parking lot.

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?

14 responses to “Dry Martini: Is It Spring Yet?

  1. In February I joined in a fun game with our local Mom’s Run This Town. We were partnered with another random mother runner and given a Scavenger Hunt list with 40 items to complete, some together but in order to count we both had to complete. The tie breaker was most miles. I did double digit runs for almost the entire month of Feb which helped me get a great base for marathon training. But I felt total BADASS when I got up at 4 AM on Friday to run in a snow storm with winter Lightening (it’s a thing – we get it once a winter here in WI). I did 13 miles before work running on plowed street since no one was up to shovel. It never crossed my mind that I may be crazy because one of the items was to run in the snow and it snowed like twice in February in WI! Unfortunately my team came in second by 5 miles but I did win a $25 gift card to a local running store! And now I have no excuses to skip runs in this training cycle because I ran in some pretty extreme temps and weather in February.

  2. Another Michigander here – sitting here listening to the sleet hit the windows – definitely not spring! But hopeful… Felt like a BAMR when I killed a windy, frigid, hilly 5k last weekend at a faster pace than I’ve seen in quite awhile! I’m ready for spring but think maybe the cold weather kept me moving!

  3. We’ve had it pretty good in Chicago this winter (knock on wood). My 50th Year goal is to run 1 race a month and so far every time there’s a race scheduled, the weather takes a turn. Last Sunday was a 14k and the sky was blue, the sun was out but the windchill temperature made it feel like it was sub zero. I’ve lived here all my life, but was actually surprised how the wind literally took my breath away. I must run better in cold weather though because I came first in my age group. (Full disclosure – there were only 9 people in my age group).

  4. In Minnesota, we got spoiled with a week of spring in February. Since then, we’ve had two run-of-the-mill snowstorms. What mean little teasers Mother Nature gave us.
    I felt BAMR-y, though, when I went running a day after one of the storms hit. Until I slipped and fell flat on the road. Hopped back up and took off running like nothing had happened. “No worries, everyone! I’m just bleeding a little! Merely a flesh wound!” D’oh.

    (Adrienne, hope it’s okay I quoted you and linked back to this piece in my latest blog post. Please let me know if it’s not.)

  5. Maybe it’s in the air. I’m also in CNY and I am so over it. Last weekend’s winds and temps, now the snow has had me not running Tue through Today. (and if the phone rang at 5:30 today with a robo call about another snow day today, I think I was going to lose it. Trying to work from home, have conference calls, etc. with screaming kids and slime making in the background gets old in about ten minutes) Have a half coming up in a week that I just don’t want to do. I need a serious attitude adjustment. Not feeling so BAMR-y lately.

  6. Knowing that my half marathon this year isnt until May 1st (I too am running Pittsburgh!) Last year I decided to run a half in our local state park on April 1st. I would not be ready for an April 1st half this year. I have been on the bike trainer and have used my subscription to Beach Body alot this year! See ya in Pittsburgh!

  7. Spring in NH? Lol, nope! What makes me feel like a BAMR? After pushing off my long run this past weekend due to below zero wind chills, I went out Monday, pre Stella, and ran 18 miles. Take that Mother Nature! I felt no guilt sitting on the couch all day Tuesday watching the snow fall.

  8. Is it spring here? It depends on the day. We’ve hit 80. . . and then “feels like” temperatures in the single digits-all in a span of about a week. What makes me feel extra BAMRish these days is running the DC Rock n Roll Half Marathon in frigid temperatures. At least it was dry!!! We can get through this winter!!!

  9. It’s spring here! I live in the desert so we are in one of our small slices of wonderful weather between an unusually beastly winter (just because I was training for a marathon) too hot. But I’m feeling like a BAMR this week because after long runs in wet snow all winter I ran a strong race this past weekend in temps I haven’t run in since last summer!

  10. Back to back Martini days!!!
    What makes me feel extra BAMRy? Last weekend, I ran both days in single digit weather w/ below zero windchill. I ran yesterday during Stella, on not well plowed roads and dodging snowdrifts. None of that was as bad as running the Syracuse half last year in the middle of a blizzard…and yet I am running it again.
    I know this will make spring running oh so much easier 🙂

  11. It’s been in t 90s here…so I’m up early (as usual) to get it all in! Was recently back in Ohio and loved running in the flurries and temps in the 20s that were happening there. It’s all good!

  12. I’m in Michigan (aka “Wait five minutes and the weather will change” or “You can’t have all four seasons in a week? Here, hold my beer!”) and I definitely feel ya! February was drunk around here. Then we had a major windstorm the first week of March that knocked out all the power (70ish mph wind gusts for hours on end, and it took out nearly a million people’s power). Now its icy cold again, and making double digit runs outside miserable. Did you know that Swedish Fish candy, which is one of my fueling choices as my stomach doesn’t revolt over them, will in fact freeze utterly solid at 5*F?

    Know what makes me feel really BA though? The coffee waiting for me at the ice rink. Whuh? Yeah, I run there. The team’s moms always make sure I have a coffee when I hit the door, because they think I’m either completely insane or completely awesome for running there by 8 a.m. on a Saturday. Little do they know, its just when it fits into the schedule!

  13. Ugh! I am totally with you! I was all hung go to start my May half marathon training when it was 70 in February, but now I’ve taken so many steps back! I missed my last two long runs because I couldn’t bring myself to run when temps were in the teens and wind speed was above 20. I’m relatively new to winter running, and was proudly a fair-weather runner two years ago. I don’t really have great winter gear or access to a treadmill. Now there’s a few feet of snow covering the narrow shoulders that are my only safe running space of the roads I have to run on! So yesterday I cross-trained with shoveling, I’m now contemplating which Beach body video to do this morning, and I’m wondering how I will run 10-13 miles this weekend​ (especially since I am going on a road trip AND there is more snow in the forecast)! This weather would have been wonderful in December!

  14. I’m in upstate NY. Most decidely not spring. I’m also wondering where the heck I’m getting my long run in this weekend, but at least it will be above freezing (or so they say now) — my last 2 long runs (11 & 12 miles) were very windy & in the single digits, one with a feels like negative temps). What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?

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