running

It’s Been a Long Winter, and We’re Done Now

View of the McIntosh Gallery and its inviting red door, from my office window during the late winter snowstorm yesterday.
View of the McIntosh Gallery and its inviting red door, from my office window during the late winter snowstorm yesterday.

As we are plunged back into wind chill factors and fresh snow after one day of spring-like weather, I can hear the collective groan! It’s hard to believe that Sam went for her first spring ride just a couple of days ago! See her post about that here.

I met the challenge this winter by joining a 10 week 10K running clinic on January 2. We built our distance slowly over the next ten weeks, with short runs and later hill work on Wednesdays, medium distance on Thursdays, and our long, easy-paced runs on Sunday mornings.

We ran through it all — wind chill, snow storms, icy sidewalks and roads, slushy stuff on the occasional thaw.  The week I was in Mexico (enjoying the shorts and tank top running weather, and quickly tempted to complain about the heat!), the group encountered pelting rain one night, and at their furthest distance from home base, it began to thunder and lightening.

I have to say, committing to the group helped me enjoy the winter and feel a real sense of accomplishment.  And as I mentioned in an earlier post, it got me out the door for my runs through a winter when I can guarantee you I would have skipped most of them if I’d been running alone. The conditions just felt too fierce. Read my post about getting over the fear of winter running, here.

The best achievement came on one of the hardest days. A couple of Sundays ago, six of us set out for our first 13K run. The sidewalks were greasy and challenging, the roads not much better.  The thermometer clocked a temperature of -15C, not too bad in relative terms.  At about the half way point my left knee started giving me grief. Then my right calf seized up from the effort of running through thick snow.  But I kept at it, even when we ran right past my street, less than a block from my house. Oh, how tempted I was to cut out the last 2K of the run. But no!  I’d come this far.  And I finished.

Yes, I limped for the rest of the day and couldn’t easily climb or descend stairs.  But I did it!  And I recovered in a remarkable way, no longer limping by the next day when I felt sure I would have to take at least a week off of everything. Not so. I got back to my workouts the day after that run. And I went back out with the group later that week for a short (!) 5K. When I started the clinic, 5K was my longest!

Anyway, this is all to say that it’s been a long winter, and many of us toughed our way through it, and now we’re ready for spring.  Like, so ready!  When I posted that picture from my office window during yesterday’s blizzard, one friend said she was torn between wanting to say “what a charming view” and wanting to cry.

I’m right there with her.  Here’s hoping that this morning’s -32C with the windchill is the last of it!

6 thoughts on “It’s Been a Long Winter, and We’re Done Now

  1. I’m with you–it was 50 degrees the other day and now we are snowed in to the point of winter-wonderland! Still dreaming of muddy spring hikes in a few weeks…but in the meantime, I won’t be putting away the snowshoes. Thanks for the pep-talk!

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  2. Judging from all my blogging buddies` weather reports, it’s been a pretty chilly winter for so many people on your side of the pond. Seems you are definitely not alone in wishing for Spring.

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  3. Ah, it’s been um, 30 yrs. since I’ve seen the MacIntosh Gallery’s front. I’m a Western grad.

    Anyway, please comfort yourself that London’s temp. weren’t as dangerously cold as Calgary’s: -31 degrees C and to -40 degrees C 2 Saturdays ago. We only walked 20 min. to a café. But that was enough….

    But yea, I did see 1 cyclist. Yea, amazing. -25 degrees C is my limit on bike.

    Now we’re hoping there won’t be another flood like last early summer that made international headlines. The blue-green glacial mountain waters are rushing under the ice and breaking it slowly in the river.

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