The arrival of March 1st in Central New York (Syracuse to be exact) usually means one thing and one thing only. Spring is around the corner. For many reasons, this year is a little different, and as I headed out for my Sunday morning run, my 584th day in a row, I’m surrounded by birds chirping, the little bit of snow melting, patches of grass everywhere, and clear, dry roadways. I’m also greeted with the thought that this winter of running (and keeping the streak alive) was not nearly as cold and wet as last winter. Does this make the anticipation of spring of any less exciting? No way. This is Syracuse, New York, a place where winter usually lasts for almost seven months (sometimes more).
When last March arrived, I had polished off four boxes of hand warmers – 32 pairs, needed to buy new sneakers because mine were caked with salt, and my winter tights and long-sleeved undershirts had more holes than Charlie Brown’s failed ghost costume because of the amount of wears and washes they had endured over the long winter. My skin was as dry as the Sonoran Desert and I needed a haircut (I actually let it grow so that it would keep me warm under my winter hat – needless to say that my wife was thrilled for spring because she did not like my new long hair, which resembled Doc Brown’s from Back to the Future). I remember wondering if spring and summer would ever come.
I’m not sure if it was just a mild winter, climate change (this is for another postJ), or just plain luck, but this past winter was a breeze (maybe I should use the word “easy” instead because it truly wasn’t as breezy as last winter) compared to last winter. I have four full packs of hand warmers, running sneakers that will last two more months, and hardly any holes in my running clothes. Some CNY friends will not be happy with this post because here in Syracuse when we brag about an easy winter it can lead to the March and April winter curse (two more snowy and cold months to make up for the easy January and February). I’ll take my chance with this post because I’m feeling optimistic that spring is coming.
As I arrived back at my driveway after a good long run, the sun was still shining, there seemed to be more patches of grass showing, a flock of birds is flying back to the north, and the trace of snow on my roof had melted. These 121 days of winter running was a walk in the park (a park with little snow and not the bitter cold) compared to last year. It not only gives me hope that even warmer and drier days lie ahead, but it also gives me hope that when next winter approaches, I can have the confidence to keep my running streak going (if it still is going come next November 1st). Happy “almost” spring everyone!