This morning, I ran 2.10 miles in softly falling snow. I layered up, put on my YakTrax, and headed out into the blissful quiet and cold. I don’t run with music when it’s snowing. The silence is music enough to my ears.
I’ve been waiting for a day like this for 38 days now.
I signed up for the Runner’s World RunStreak despite my life imploding in all sorts of areas. Committing to at least one mile every single day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day felt a little risky. With the schedule I’m keeping, showering every day can feel like too much some days. I figured that if I was running, I’d shower more. Two birds, one stone, all that jazz.
I’m running much slower than during my last winter runstreak in 2014. I’ve been struggling to run in general since I couldn’t run the Columbus Marathon due to a family event that took place the same day. The whole “I’m much slower than I used to be” is getting to me. I’m getting to myself. I’m trying to practice self-grace and patience, but my Type-A steps in sometimes.
So each and every day since Thanksgiving, I have laced up my shoes and hit the pavement. I believe I ran two treadmill runs, but I greatly prefer running outdoors. So I did.
Today’s run was not faster than yesterday’s run. Two inches of new snow and the anti-slippies on my feet meant picking them up and putting them down felt harder than normal. Still, I ran. I ran out the country road, knowing I’d have to come back up the hill. With conditions being what they were, I gave myself permission to walk up the hill—but I ran an extra tenth of a mile so I could have a fully run two-mile distance. A little bit of grace, a little bit of kicking my own ass.
Two days remain in this streak. I plan on running the minimum tomorrow as training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon starts on Monday, January 1 and I’ll have to put in three miles no matter the temperatures, weather, or likely present hangovers. I’ll finish the streak. I’ll rest on Tuesday, though rest is relative as the 2nd also starts a 30-day yoga program I decided to throw into the mix. I like challenges, what can I say?
After my run, I sat in the hot tub with a mimosa, the snow still falling. With everything going on, these quiet moments keep me grounded—both the running in the snow and the hot tubbing in the snow. I need these moments to breathe, to think, to meditate.
I have not yet started sharing the experience of caregiving for my husband’s grandmother, this slow process of losing her while maneuvering a system we struggle to understand with very little help. You know, while parenting two tweens, managing a marriage and household, and generally trying to function as a human being. I’ve been a horrible friend since all of this began as I’m torn in every which direction.
I’ll be ending 2017 engaging in self-care followed by some time with friends. I’ll begin 2018 by continuing the never-ending process of self-care surrounded by my family. I can’t control anything else in my life right now; it’s a series of unknowns that affect every aspect of our lives. I can, however, move my body, run and train, and sit in a hot tub with my head back, catching snowflakes on my tongue.