Not that I should be surprised about that ugly little rodent predicting six more weeks of winter. We don't really have much of a choice, considering it is literally six more weeks until the spring equinox.
No, it wasn't a surprise, but the beginning of February is always a harsh reminder of how much longer we have to wait until going outside isn't such a chore. To top it off, this month typically hits us with at least one final wicked wintry blow. February is the most dreadful of months. And the first half of March isn't so great either.
This is why I started running back in 2006. Cabin fever had left me ravaged, and there was no end in sight. My apartment felt cramped. I felt sluggish. It seemed like I hadn't been outside in eons.
And fuck! Why was it so cold?
My plan was combat the S.A.D. with outside activity -- namely, running. I breathed out a cloud that was thicker than those smoke-filled exhalations I had given up for good a couple months prior. The dense cloud of breath hung in the air and joined the morning fog. (Yes, I even went out in the morning for my first run.)
I wore a pair of charcoal gray sweatpants, a T-shirt under a heavy sweatshirt, a skull cap, scarf, gloves and a pair of Etonic tennis shoes (as in, court shoes) that were too small. I ran for what I thought was two miles, but I think I was way off when I measured it later.
I returned home, having created a trail of fog as I panted from the effort. Little spots flashed before my eyes like I had just murdered a small colony of brain cells. I was lightheaded like whoa. My friend Martini talked about running like it was an addiction, and I suddenly knew why.
A couple weeks later, I started training for my first 10-K. A year later I was in the middle of training for my first half marathon. Four months after that, I would run my first marathon. Now, almost four years after that first run, I look back in search of motivation.