You're still wearing your winter down when the first false spring appears one lunchtime in late February or early March. The sun choosing for one day only to burn with a ferocity you forgot it had. Thoughts turn right on Hereford, left on Boylston and keep racing and racing toward borrowed houses made of wood, surrounded by woods crickets singing hosanna to the riotous warmth of summer and the possibilities within. But first the thaw and then the spring.
When I came across Andy’s poem on Tracksmith, it spoke to every feeling I had during my first winter marathon training block. I’ll be honest, I hated running in the snow. The way the cold wind would whip across my face and shake every bone in my body made me reconsider running more than once. With the pandemic, I didn’t feel safe going to the gym to use the treadmill. My only option remained running outside during a New England winter I’ve known my whole life. As cold as it was, and as much as I hated the freezing rain, patches of ice, and sidewalk snowbanks, it made me a resilient runner. That title was something I felt like I had to earn. Not for anyone else, not for kudos on Strava, but for me. And it would be something I had to earn with every 5am wake up and for all the weekly miles carrying me closer to my goal. Because ultimately, there was only ever one option if I wanted to be resilient. I was going to run and I wasn’t going to stop until I earned it.
So when I felt the sun on my face and my skin warmed during one lunchtime in late February or early March like Andy Waterman writes, I was reminded winter couldn’t last forever. My first ever marathon is 57 days away as of writing this. All 26.2 miles of joy and pain etched into a course still to be determined. This day will certainly prompt its own reflection and future post but until then,