Ever been a race no-show because of weather? Just did.

Wild winter weather is sort of getting on everyone’s nerves around here, right about now. We’ve had a crazy season, with temperatures soaring into the 50s before plunging to way below zero. We’ve had more school closures than we can count (especially with the new math techniques they’re teaching kids these days). We’ve had winter weather warnings, travel advisories, and polar vortex scare stories.

I’m not a quitter, and I wouldn’t even call myself a winter wimp. 

I’ve been out there running a fair amount, despite the crazy meteorological stuff we’ve had. Hey, I don’t have a choice. I have a Border Collie and a Lab Mix, who bounce like dodge-balls, if we don’t hit the trails at least a few times a week.

But today I pulled a u-turn, about halfway to a winter race.

Here’s the back story. I’ve been battling the flu for weeks. Yesterday, a blistering migraine joined the mix, flattening me for the day. I was down for the count.

But I set my alarm for pre-dawn. I crawled out of bed in the dark and put on my winter running clothes. I climbed into my car and slogged my way through snowy streets to the interstate for the 63-mile trip to the race site.

This event is part of a six-race winter series that I truly enjoy. I’ve run the thing for several years. And I’ve been within spitting distance of placing in my age division for the series. I was looking forward to doing this one.

After an hour, I considered the clock and realized I would never make the race start at the rate traffic and weather were permitting me to travel. Add to that concept the fact that this particular race had off-site parking and shuttle service, which would delay arrival even more.

There was just no way.

The interstate was down to one lane each way, with cars and trucks creeping along in the tracks of those up ahead. And we were all at the mercy of the slowest vehicle in front of the pack. None of the exit ramps were plowed, either.

I didn’t see a single snowplow the entire trip – until I returned to five miles from my home. At that point, I’d been in the car for 90+ minutes.

And I fishtailed in the final turn, about two dozen feet from my own driveway. Oops! But at least I made it home safely.

Now I am seeing social networking posts and photos of today’s event, with lots of (probably more local) runners sprinting and slipping through the race in the pretty snow. I’m trying not to kick myself for not showing up.

But this time, it wasn’t in the cards.

There is a light at the end of this snowy tunnel.

Even though I missed the race itself, the event director already messaged me. They’re saving me the race packet and swag. I can run the thing as a virtual entry (sans points). That’s one of the things I really like about this series. Management is tremendous and very responsive to participant questions. (I’ll be back.)

And lo and behold, a snowplow is finally making its way down our own street!

Adapted from public domain photo

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40+ miles behind schedule … but that’s OK

Sometimes it’s alright to be a little behind. Here we are, entering the second month of the year, and I am already at least 40 miles behind schedule. To meet my year-end goal of 2,019 miles in 2019, I ought to have logged more than 165 miles by now. 

But I haven’t.

Blame it on the polar vortex, which clobbered the American Midwest with remarkably low (as in way below zero) temperatures and crazy-cold wind chills. Schools closed. Banks closed. Store and businesses closed. Doctors’ offices rescheduled appointments. Hairdressers canceled. Sports teams and music instructors called things off. Mail delivery ceased.

Worst of all, the GYM CLOSED for two whole days.

And they canceled classes (including my running/speed class) almost all week.

Ugh. All but a few runners opted to stay indoors and wait the polar blast out. Some racked up miles or practiced cardio, strength, or other fitness work on their own workout equipment at home. Others cranked up YouTube workout videos to get themselves pumping.

OK, I did a little of that during the polar vortex days (and nights). But I also caught up on a lot of desk-work. I cleaned out a few closets and cupboards. And I made an entire quilt. It’s really cozy and turned out pretty nice.

But quilting and de-cluttering didn’t exactly bump up my year-to-date mileage.

So now I have some catching up to do. I’m pretty sure the miles will add up a lot faster in the warmer months, especially once half-marathon season begins. And when my full marathon training starts (later in the spring), I’ll definitely make up for lost time.

Sometimes we runners need to cut ourselves a break.

I’ll be back – even if I did eat some comfy carbs during the polar blast shut-in days.

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Feel free to follow on GooglePlus and Twitter. Please visit my Amazon author page as well. And I am happy to share my RUNDERDOG ambassador code for 10% off on Bondi Band Athletic Headbands, Accessories, and Fashions. (Simply enter the code at online checkout.).
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