I had been looking forward to today’s run for the past several days, after looking at the forecast and seeing 28 degrees and sunny. It is pretty pathetic that this forecast excited me so, but I am so damn sick of the treadmill and couldn’t wait to get outside. I even switched my bike and run days so I could take advantage of this rare opportunity to run in the sun.
I got dressed and stepped outside. I walked to the corner to wait for my Garmin to link up with the satellites. I waited for approximately way too long before I had to stop myself from ripping the thing off my wrist and throwing it in the river. I mean, it’s sunny for crying out loud. There is not a cloud in the sky, what can possibly be taking so long? This should have been my first indication that this was not going to go well, but finally I just started running, and the Garmin found its little satellite buddies.
Now let me get to the thing that I hate most about winter (besides the freezing cold weather, the snow, the ice, people who can’t drive, and the endless cloudy days). PEOPLE WHO DON’T SHOVEL THEIR SIDEWALKS!! Come on people, it is the law!! Yet I have found that less than 40% (maybe less than 30%) of the people who own homes/businesses in the city of Milwaukee actually keep their sidewalks clear. People then end up walking over the snow because there is nowhere else to walk, resulting in a 3-4 inch thick layer of packed down snow/ice mixture. Now throw the sun into the mix and you have slick uneven ice interspersed with deep puddles of freezing water. Before I hit mile one, my left foot was soaked through.
I pressed on thinking that once I got close to the lake, I would hop on the running path. Surely the city must have cleared the running path. Wrong. The running path was even worse than the sidewalks. I found that the safest place to run was in the middle of the street against oncoming traffic. And thus, 2.2 miles into my highly anticipated run in the sun, I turned around and headed for home. I used a mix of the middle of the street and the nearly impassable sidewalks, and I finally made it back.
On the way back, I thought of my original excitement to be able to get outside and exercise in the fresh air for the first time in weeks. I felt completely deflated, as I realized that until the temps get high enough for a major thaw, it is back to the mind-numbing indoor safety of the treadmill. And again, I question why I live here.
On the bright side though, at least I got some vitamin D.