In the bleak midwinter


March 4, 2014 by Amy B

It’s March 4, 2014, and the snowbanks are so high in our front yard that my daughter can touch the roof of our house.

Here’s what the current weather is, which almost seems warm, or at least not mindnumbingly cold.


Here’s a local weather cam.


There was really no need to embed a live refreshing version, since this isn’t really going to change much anytime soon.

I feel like I did a pretty decent job of staying positive through the first part of winter. The Runstreak helped. And there were the holiday festivities. And 2013 had been a pretty decent running year for me.

But here I am on March 4, and all I can see is snow and I can’t get warm. And I’m sick of being cold. And I’ve run once this month and it almost killed me. And I’m done, people. I’m just DONE.

This is Week Two of the Training Plan of Doom, emphasis on the Doom, and I’m seriously considering rethinking my goals for this spring. Not only am I really struggling with getting the time in, but my carpal tunnel problems are starting to flare, which is something I’ve expected but thought I was doing pretty well avoiding. The time on the bike isn’t helping, I know.

The training plan I agreed to attempt is starting to feel too ambitious for my current situation. And when I talk about that situation, I mostly mean time, not ability. That time (or lack thereof) includes two young children who depend on me most days for more time and energy than I’m always thrilled to give. Yet, it’s my reality.

I think back to this summer’s marathon training, when I was waking up at 4:30 in the morning to get in weekday runs before the morning routine. And I totally believe that in warmer months this is a doable thing. I do not, however, feel this is a terribly smart choice in the middle of winter in subzero pitch blackness while road crews are trying to clear roads and aren’t on the lookout for the fucking lunatic running on the side of the street, no matter how many reflective straps and bobbles she’s wearing.

It may be a little premature for me to give up on the bike race or on my sub-2:00 goal, but mentally and physically I’m completely burnt. And if you asked me this morning how I felt about all this, I’d answer quite emphatically that I don’t give a fuck about any of it.

Maybe this seasonal depression is normal and something I haven’t really noticed before. Maybe I need to get out in the sun more during the day, and the fact that I work in the basement of a building and don’t have a window is slowly sucking the life from me.

This weekend I’ll be heading to MN to play in that hockey tourney, and for the first time in a long time, I’m going to just leave all my running gear at home. No long run, no long ride, no agonizing over missing the long run or ride, and just playing my three guaranteed games and trying to have fun and not get hurt, because let’s be honest, I’m a 38 year old once-a-year goaltender.

See you on the other side of Sunday. I hope it’s warmer over there.

2 thoughts on “In the bleak midwinter

  1. Jen says:

    I am so with you on feeling burnt out on this winter. I live in MN; in fact, I’ve lived in the upper midwest my entire life, so winter is nothing new. However, the never-ending subzero days this year have beat me down. Spring races feel completely out of reach these days and I’ve never felt that way before. Yet this morning I heard birds chirping before sunrise. Surely, it’s a sign that warm weather will come someday! (The chirps were not enough to coax me out of the house at zero-dark-thirty, though.)

    • Amy B says:

      We’re getting more snow. It’s April. I’m totally done with this.

      I’ll be curious to see if Cellcom Half/Marathon in May (in Green Bay) is completely sweltering or not. You’re not much further south than us, but enough!

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Runner, Eater, Mother, Tweeter

Amy, July 2013

I'm a thirty-something suburbanite turned ruralite living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Wife, mom of two, eater of all things delicious, and a runner. This is where I blather on about running and health. Baby Number Three will be here in November (so yes, I'm a little crazy), and I'm running through my pregnancy for as long as my body's willing and able. There's also more of me at Read more here.


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