My luck has ‘run’ out

When I first arrived here in mid-December, I took to the trails in Ayer, near my apartment. Every day, I found more and more wooded pathways in which to run: in Groton, in Harvard. And every time I was able to enter the woods, I said to myself, “I won’t be able to run trails for much longer, so enjoy it.”

I kept repeating this, knowing how fortunate I was to be away from the roads around Christmas, then by Martin Luther King Day, then Valentine’s Day, and finally President’s Week. Well it took until March 1, but my luck has finally run out. The trails are all under snow. And the shoulders of many roads – usually a safe haven for runners – are non-existent now that winter has finally arrived.

What a great winter it has been. Not for skiing, certainly, but for runners.

For those training for the Boston Marathon, what a gift this must be. (By the way, I’m jealous since I’m not running this year). Last year’s training must have been a bitch.

The snow and slush should only be with us for a few days. Then comes rain and warm weather, which means mud on the trails. But there are signs that more trail running is on the offing. We’ll be changing clocks in 10 days and spring begins – on the calendar anyway – in three weeks. A month later comes Easter and Boston, and running should be primo by then.

I feel blessed that I’ve been able to run on trails so much this winter. But I’ll miss the dry leaves, I’ll miss dodging roots and I’ll even miss turning my ankle countless times on the uneven terrain.

Getting back on the roads is probably a good thing for me anyway. I’m planning on running a marathon (to qualify for Boston!) in May, and I’ll need to get back on the pavement. I hardly run a 9-minute pace on the trails.

Then again, I could be passing under a canopy of trees next week. Let’s hope.


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March 2012
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