Sunday, March 1, 2015

So Long, February!

For such a short month, February can be a real pain in the ass.  The mere 28 days dragged on endlessly this year.  Crappy weather, germs, and a hectic family schedule made the month far more painful than I expected it to be.  It is obviously fitting, therefore, that all three of those would collide on the final day of February to help me bid the foul month a fervent farewell.

My darling children shared a nasty virus with me, and I woke on Friday morning with a throat that seemed coated in a dozen razors.  A head full of snot and stiff neck rounded out my discomfort, but in spite of my symptoms, I made plans for my Saturday long run.  I obsessively checked the weekend weather report and saw that I should be able to squeeze it in on Saturday afternoon.  Our morning was packed with various other commitments, so my earliest opportunity to run was close to 2:00.  As of early Saturday morning, the radar looked cooperative with my plan.  St. Louis was expected to receive nearly 24 hours of snowfall, but it wasn't supposed to begin until 4:00.  With 13 to run, my 2:00pm start time should be perfect.

However, as we walked outside after our early afternoon appointment, we were greeted by tiny little snowflakes.  Almost 3 hours ahead of schedule.  (Because weather always operates on a rigid schedule, right?!)  My husband gave me a look, afraid to ask how this might change my running plans.  Stubborn as ever, I responded with a look of my own that said I was running outside no matter what.

I hit the road at 1:53 with light flurries dancing around my head.  They were small, and I was sure the real snow was going to hold off until 4:00, so I confidently headed out.  I got lost in a podcast and kept my tunnel vision focused on the few feet in front of me.  As I neared the farthest point of my out-and-back, however, I realized the flakes were getting much larger, and real accumulation was gathering on the sidewalks.  I started doubting the sanity of my plan, but it was far too late to change course now.  I turned around and began the slow slog back home.

A sight along my route as the snow began accumulating in earnest.
I spent most of the run debating whether frozen eyelashes were in fact better
than endless boredom on the treadmill.
I never really settled that question...
My stuffy head, congested roadways, inconsiderate pedestrians, and a passing train made for a run that seemed much longer than the two hours and eight minutes that elapsed on my watch.  When I'd hit my distance and stopped my watch, I checked the time: 4:01.  Had the weather followed the earlier report, I would have finished just as the first few flakes started to fall.  Instead, I finished in 2 inches of fresh powder with patches of slush and ice.  While a beautiful scene for a Christmas card, it proved a bit unpleasant for a long run.  Nevertheless, it seems a fitting end to a month full of unexpected frustrations.

With great gladness, I turn the calendar page and look forward to warmer weather and more enjoyable runs.  Onward!