January 11th, 2015

The January blues! I always referred to it as the January Blahs. As the dictionary defines blah, as a noun, it can mean nonsense, drivel or rubbish, as in 'What he says is blah." or "I woke up this morning with the blahs," which in the month of January can very well happen ... and often does. So, what follows, just might be, right off the bat, be just that ... nonsense drivel or rubbish ... what I call gibberish or gobbledygook and which the dictionary thus defines as unintelligible, pretentious or a vague use of language whether in talk or in writing ....blah, blah, blah!

Yes, January is that month of predictable weather .... snow and cold, unpredictable storms causing very treacherous conditions, especially when icy, and that most unpredictable of all ... freezing rain, which causes not only for motorists and pedestrians, but for the runner, all kinds of challenges and danger. 

Of course black ice is right up there.  Just the other day, via that wonderful medium of social media, someone sent me a short video of two runners, out for their run in the middle of a snow storm. The two runners are being interviewed in regards to the conditions and the female runner replys "Its the perfect texture for running, low impact and dry snow, so we don't get wet." 

With that the interviewer wishes them a 'Stay warm" and the two runners set off .... as the cameras follows them, the female runner slips and falls hard, and is then seen limping off, holding her back, being helped by her male companion. Of course you can imagine the sly comments from people who have never run. But that's January and people looking for something to complain about.  Only runners would understand, and all the non-runner comments are just blah, blah, blah!

What always challenged me in my 40 Januarys of running, 35 of them fighting the elements of freezing rain, ice, wind and snow, was that while everyone else was hunkering down, waiting out the snow, in the warmth of their homes, or man-caves, as a runner, the weather did not hold me prisoner. A good snowstorm might well keep the motorists and everyone else home, except for the few idiots who used the conditions to pull wheelies in the snow! For the most part the roads and streets were a deserted playground.  I always loved being the only runner on the Thorpe Walking Bridge during a snowstorm.    Big difference that on a summer's day.

For nearly eleven of those years I had a running companion, Ben, a 125 pound yellow labrador, who at a 6 minute mile pace was just going at a quick walk ( PS I'm old school, its easier to run 5 miles than do 8k and now in trying to hold onto a 6 minute km which is better than a 10 minute mile I have recently joined a Community Center which offers a senior's discount ... 12 dollars a month and they have a treadmill this old timer might just wear out before January is over if the temperature doesn't warm up soon .... its -1C as I write, so things are looking up). 

However, while employed as a barber, customers would often remark at seeing me 'out' running with my faithful running partner, who never complained like the Flying Dutchman, was wont to do, and often motorists would blare their horn at this man and his dog out running, but you could walk your dog all day, and no-one would ever notice .... blah, blah, blah.

So, how does one combat the January blues or winter blahs? For me it was simply the challenge of getting out there, no matter what the weather. If fact, that was the motto of one of our CCRR winter clinics "never too early, never too cold, never too far".  

Joining a running club or clinic is a great way to get motivation.

How do you combat the January blues ot winter blahs? 

And I do hope Chelsey is ok. She is the runner who slipped and fell on the ice.   I'd be willing to bet dollars to donuts, that contrary to some of the negative comments, that as an all weather runner, she would have walked off the hard fall, and then run the rest of the way home. Thumbs up to Chelsey and all you runners who don't let winter beat them!    Happy New Year!

~ the running rev!