Yesterday was a miserable fucking day at work, made more miserable by the fact that I woke up to snow then heard sleet hitting the window at work all afternoon. When I finally got home, it looked like this:
Wet streets due to rain. That…whatever.
The slush on the sidewalks however?
You see, that first build up of slush is the most depressing thing ever because for all I know? It could be there til March. This city doesn’t require residents clear their sidewalks, so we are left with a mess. Snow on top of snow on top of snow. Business owners don’t care. Home owners don’t care. So you have frozen layers of slush, salt, ice and varieties of snow on the sidewalk for weeks on end.
So out I trudged for 7 miles, hit by rain and slush. Depressing, but its not as if it slowed me up that much. (Poor nutrition for the day was another story. Soup and a bagel don’t provide adequate sustenance for even a slow, slush hampered run.) Sucked, but it still felt almost…fall like? And given the mixed forecast maybe I’d be spared a few more days without brutal weather, right?
Today I stayed home from work thanks to having some vacation time to burn. I was looking forward to running in the light. After awhile, it occurred to me that, well, it wasn’t all that light out.
So I go outside and, well:
You can’t see much because, well, its all fucking wind. Painful fucking wind.
I contemplate what to do.
I have to go.
I have to accept the fact that like it or not, its that time of year. That time of year where I’m all too often trudging through snow that is ankle or knee deep. That time of year where I question why a city that is often the victim of freak lake effect snows can’t fucking plow the roads. That time of year where cars honk at me angrily because I dare go out and run and spend the entire time hurdling between snow banks and unplowed sidewalks only occasionally looking down to see that my Garmin tells me I can walk faster than I’m currently running. That time of year that I actually fucking MISS when its 85 degrees out and I’m dodging people walking three abreast with dogs of varying sizes that practically cause me to fall while the asshole owners giggle at the fact that the thing is running to the edge of the leash to chase me while assuring me they won’t bite…all while hoping not to suffer an asthma attack.
So out I went. Wearing almost all black and the bright pink target hat that cost me a dollar and a pair of sunglasses. Within the first two minutes, I’m nearly blown off the sidewalk.
I trudge along thinking that not even 12 hours before, this shit had been all liquid and how much more pleasant that sounds. Traffic is barely moving. I get honked at despite being safely on the sidewalk. Its so windy there are no footprints. I drag my sorry ass further down the street and try and determine where to turn to avoid the wind. I decide its just too miserable to run THAT far so I turn off for my 4 mile loop. Initially, I am protected by trees and houses. I have to go on and off the sidewalk thanks to cars that are blocking the sidewalk, but no big deal.
Til I get away from the houses and near the park.
It was not good.
The park is bordered by a highway and thus, there is no longer wind protection to my right. The road that I’m on is bordered by the park on both sides. It feels like a wind tunnel, and even the cars aren’t even staying in the middle of the road.
Oh, really not good.
I wisely move off the road and onto the grass which is, natch, covered by snow. And ice. I’m sinking in. I’m cursing myself. Cursing this shithole of a city. Cursing this fucking weather. Cursing the fact that I didn’t realize it was possible to run so slowly. Cursing myself for never remembering to buy a face mask.
But I get through this stretch of a mile or so and turn back towards home. Its so windblown that I clearly see patches of ice from yesterday since the wind has blown all of the snow…elsewhere.
By the time I’ve made my final turn, I’m just pissed off. I’m barely moving, I can’t hold my head up and my neck hurts from looking down. I want to run fast, but I can’t.
No really, I tried. I think I cracked 8 minute pace once when doing what felt like striders. The snow has been at least ankle deep the entire time.
And we will not talk about how slow the average pace was.
And this is just…the fucking beginning.
Winter is here, and I have to face the fact that its almost time to start training for a marathon.
So…lets just hope the first time feels the worst this go around.*
*That’s what she said.