I knew I was in trouble when I read a twitter feed for "Pitchers and Catchers" early yesterday morning and the first thing that popped into my head was "Who's hosting an English tea party?" Then as I was commuting on my way to work and found my favorite running trail still covered in snow, I literally almost wanted to cry. If you think I'm exaggerating, let me point out one simple fact. Exactly one year ago, the temperature outside was 48 degrees F. 48 DEGREES! (I keep a record of such things in my training log. Yeah, I admit it. I'm a total numbers geek!) By comparison, yesterday's high for the day was 34F. In fact, if you went back and tracked the weather history, you'd see that we only had one day so far this year when the actual temperature was above 40F. One whole day. For the rest of the time, we always seem to be caught in some wintry concoction of wind, cold, and snow. So much so that I really forgot what spring, sunlight and warmth feel like anymore!
As a marathoner who trained through the winter last year for Boston '09, I really have no right to complain about the foul weather. After all, you'd think I'd gained some experience running in the cold from that adventure. But when you consider the fact that average temps this year are generally about 5-10 degrees colder than they were last year, I think we're dealing with a whole another level of misery and nastiness this year. I, for one, has just about had it with the cold weather. In reviewing my training for my last blog post and previewing the list of 18-22 milers I have left to tackle before I hit the marathon starting line down by the Jersey shore in early May, I'm ready to throw in the towel, switch to the half marathon and climb back in my cozy bed. Seriously!
Dressed in my multi-layered clothing and long pants, I feel so heavy, so uncomfortable and so slow whenever I run outside. Patches of snow and ice causing me to slip, slide, and fall doesn't help matters either. And where I run where even pedestrian traffic is few and far between, I rarely encounter other runners sharing the roads with me, which often leaves me questioning my sanity by the end of my run. Yet, I keep repeating the cycle four or five days each week hoping that the conditions or my sentiments will change. They don't really, but I have faith that they will. After all, the calendar says its mid February and at this same point last year, I already ran a 1:26 half marathon in a race where the thermometer hit 56 degrees. So I ask again, how long will it be before we see 50 or even 45 here in the city? How long will it be before I can run along the West or East Side Drives without a winter jacket and not feel like I just woke up from anesthesia? How long do we have until Spring arrives? After all, it's pitchers and catchers this week. Pitchers and Catchers. And that is all I'm going to say about that!