Back in November (read: last time I posted), I unknowingly and most unfortunately foreshadowed the upcoming season.
“Also it’s starting to get pretty cold, and once the snow hits running is going to be a no-go. I am going to have muster up 99% of my willpower to drag myself to the gym after work, and use the remaining shreds to not eat all the food and drink all the wine when I get home. It’s going to be a long winter.“
This winter, as predicted was long and terrible. The longest and most terrible, in fact, depending on what statistics you’re using. Boston broke records, as in more than one, with all of the fluffy white bullshit that fell from the sky.
- Snowiest total season, with 110.6 inches*
- Snowiest month, February with 64.8 inches*
- On the list of top 10 heaviest Boston snowstorms, numbers 6 and 7 were back to back – January 26-27 and February 7-10.*
*Any of these may be outdated, as the snow continued LONG after it should have. Whatever. You get the idea. You also have a search engine at your disposal, should you absolutely need an exact figure.
Among the official records, are others that, while most likely will not be seen in any official record books, are worth noting nonetheless.
- Most consecutive Mondays NOT worked due to snow: 5 (The entire month of February)
- Most residents hurling themselves out of windows due to some combination of desperation/cabin fever.
- Most miles not run due to lack of snow shoes and being physically unable to get out the front door.
- Most self-restraint exhibited by an entire city for not torching their unreliable and infuriating public transportation system.
Generally speaking, I really like winter. I find it refreshing and I’m pretty sure I would lose my mind living somewhere that didn’t have seasons. As an avid skier, I also really like snow. A lot. I was lucky enough to be able to do some absolutely epic skiing out in Vail for the first time this past February.
However, there were multiple occasions where we were unable to go skiing back home or really do anything at all because there was TOO much snow. Roads closed, mountains closed, everything shut down. When there is so much snow that it actually inhibits the ability to do snow-based sports, we have a problem.
At any rate, you get the idea, there was a lot of f*cking snow. The city was a bit of a death trap, complete with narrow, ice-covered sidewalks and roads that were not much better. Needless to say, running didn’t happen. Even now at the beginning of April there is still some snow on the ground that refuses to melt, even though most of it is gone. Luckily, the sidewalks are clear, the weather is getting warmer, and we are entering one of my most favorite times of year here in Boston.
We Bostonians LOVE our Spring. Love. We love it because we have 4 months of pent-up energy and a serious Vitamin D deficiency that needs remedying. We love it because we are a city of runners who get to play host to one of the greatest races in the world, the Boston Marathon. We love it because the Red Sox return to Fenway, and we always look forward to the new season as a fresh start regardless of 86-year curses or other such silliness. We love it so much that my office closed at 2pm on the first day of nice weather for absolutely no reason other than it was tolerable outside.
Our long winters make the nice days indescribably precious to us. We don’t waste a single minute of sunshine because there is a good chance that the next day we could be buried in soul-crushing, apocalyptic levels of ice. In some states, residents don hats and gloves in 50-degree weather, lest they risk hypothermia/frostbite/death. Here in New England, 50-degree weather means that restaurants open their patios for some beautiful al fresco dining, and we carve out seats in the snowbanks to catch some rays.
There is an unparalleled energy that radiates from the city and all of it’s people in the spring when the weather begins to turn. Mostly, you feel it coming from the shit-eating grins on the faces of absolutely everyone outside, regardless of what they are doing. So, in the spirit of “who cares, it’s nice out!” I decided that in spite of the fact that I have done exactly 0 running between November and March I should sign up for not 1, but 4 races.
I should probably be more concerned than I am, but I really feel like my body is in a good place right now for the first time in years. I love running, and I have no intention of stopping, but I’ve finally realized (aka admitted) that there is a lot more to total body wellness than just running. You have to lift weights, you have to keep a healthy diet, you DEFINITELY have to stretch, you should probably make a legitimate effort to get sufficient sleep, and, not for nothing, there are more effective forms of cardio that can burn a lot more calories a lot faster (not the end all be all of exercise, but worth noting).
With all of that in mind, I spent the winter training in ways that I had never given the focus they deserve before. Lifting actual weights, HIIT, kickboxing, Bodyshred – these became my regular day-to-day workouts and I think/hope that they have paid off! Am I in the best shape of my life? Certainly not, but my joints aren’t killing me and I don’t have to carve 2 hours out of my day to workout because higher intensity = better workout in less time. Win Win.
But back to running. I’m registered for the BAA Distance Medley, which includes the 5k (April), 10k (June), and half marathon (October). I’m also really excited to be running my third Harpoon 5 Miler this May to raise money for ALS research! The race is a blast and the after party is even better, and all for a great cause.
I’m looking forward to getting back into running, but I’m also looking forward to actually being smart about it (I’m full of novel ideas). Here’s to hoping my high and mighty attitude about my balanced workouts is actually warranted, and I’m not going to be sidelined with an injury in 3 weeks.