I’ve hit a few snags while training for the NJ marathon at the end of April, one major snag really. Snow. I don’t mind running in sub-zero temperatures, wear layers and wicking garments to stay warm and dry. But ice and snow have derailed my routine. Sidewalks can be tricky to run on if they haven’t been cleared; craters of frozen ice and snow raise the odds of slipping, falling or twisting an ankle. At my best I’m clumsy. Plowed snow, pushed up against street curbs over and over after every new storm, creates narrow lanes and angry drivers; running in the road adds to their rage. I’ve managed my longer runs by getting out early, donning headlamp and reflector vest, staying on secondary, less traveled roads. I’ve built my weekend longs runs up to 15 miles, hope to run 16 this weekend. It’s been tough, this winter’s been long.
For my shorter runs I’ve become reacquainted with the treadmills at the gym. A few times a week, right before lunch I change into yoga pants and t-shirt, slip into running shoes and drive the five minutes from my office to the YMCA. Unlike some of the other Ys I’ve visited this one has a large cardio deck with rows of treadmills; there’s never been a sign up sheet or lack of machines. I run up to 5 miles, increase my speed every 10 minutes or so, talk myself through it. I’ve yet to find a pair of earphones I can run with, watch the silent TV screen in front of me, usually the cooking channel, count the minutes on the wall clock as they drag by. it’s tough, time moves slowly.
Like everyone else in the Northeast (I think) I’m counting the days until Spring. Right now, snow’s falling steadily and is expected to continue throughout the day. I feel like I’m in a Twilight Zone episode, feel like it might never stop snowing. I won’t be running outside today, probably won’t be running outside tomorrow either. Looks like another trip to the Y, another talking to as I try to increase my mileage on the treadmill.
In a spin class the other night the instructor shouted into her microphone, over the pulsating music, to us, “I don’t want to hear anyone complaining about the heat and humidity this summer.”