I’m trying hard to beat the February doldrums with anything I can to shake it up. Yes, even shaving the beard. When I was younger and felt I needed to make a mental switch, I’d shave my head. Not exactly sure why I thought a physical change would help with a mental hurdle, but it did. Before I shaved the beard, I thought I would miss it or quickly realize that I’d made a huge mistake, but really it’s not that big a deal. I might put it back on come fall, but for now, I’m enjoying not having beard in my food or food in my beard.
Yesterday I planned on hitting the treadmill and bike at the gym, but unfortunately, ran out of time and was only able to run. I did manage to get in 8 miles, split between 4 miles of quarter mile intervals and 4 miles of an easier pace. One thing I love about the gym is that I can catch up on my Hulu queue. If the wife doesn’t particularly like a show, I toss it into my gym queue. I’m currently watching the new X-Files and 11.22.63 which I’m completely digging on. Without spoiling anything, the last few minutes of the second episode of 11.22.63 was so frantic that I unconsciously sped up my cadence and almost ran into the front of the treadmill.
this winter’s broken me.
I’m going to get right into it, I’ve had a real hard time getting out there and putting in the miles. It’s a total mind-fuck not having the motivation to go do what I love. This month in New Hampshire has been, without a doubt one of the shittiest I’ve endured. I’m not sure if it was any colder, but we definitely had more snow and that’s what has absolutely broken me. This is the first winter I’ve spent as a runner and it’s crushing to not have the trails or even roads passable. We’ve had such frigid conditions mixed with a ton of precipitation and it’s making for very icy sidewalks and mostly unusable trails. Where I live there isn’t a great trail system. There are mainly a couple of rail trails that the snow mobiles use and some remote areas that are just conservation land that isn’t maintained. This is great in the spring/summer/fall months when you can pretty much run some decent technical stuff all by yourself without worry of dog walkers and bikers, but in the winter, with the snow up past your knees, it sucks for running.
I’ve had some other runners tell me that they tend to do less running and more snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the winter. Those both sound great, but first it’s not running and second, I have to save up for a new pair of running shoes, I really don’t have the dough to drop on some seasonal gear. I was using the gym, but after about 4 miles on a treadmill, I always develop blisters, so long runs are out. I’ve fallen way off my marathon training without a long run in two weeks and that’s taking it’s toll mentally on me. I moved my schedule around this week so I can get in a full week of running and that’s cleared my head a little. I’m planning on an 18 miler this weekend and depending on how that goes, I’ll decide if I’ll still run the marathon I planned on in late April. I’m trying not to beat myself up about it, but it still stings a bit.
I really didn’t think about how the winter here would disrupt my running. We had such a mild November and December weather wise and then blammo, January and February were the worst, but I’m starting to see the end now. I’m starting to feel the sun coming up earlier and we get to turn the clocks forward next week, which should help. It almost feels like the worst is behind us and I’m looking forward to having a full season of running. The good news is that I’m already miles ahead of where I was when I started last year. I’m just going to try and make it through the rest of this crap and exhale as soon as I can.