I was out on a four miler the other day, and I chose to leave the iPod at home. Usually, I run with music or podcasts or something, but its been a rough week so I figured I'd let my mind wander a little. I've been asked this question a million times- "what's your favorite season"- but never really thought about it. Instinctively, I'd say it was Summer, and give some pansy- assed reason like "because there's no school." As I'm chugging along at an 8:45 pace, I figured I'm way off base with my answer. School isn't that bad, I actually miss it; but the biggest reason I hate summer is because its freakin' hot! Everyone's been complaining about how cold of a July its been in Minnesota- its been in the mid 70's all month- but that is real warm for a runner, I couldn't stand 90 degree heat.
So, I was thinking about it, and my favorite season is definitely winter- and I'm talking like real cold sub- zero winter when the snow's two feet deep and blowing all over the place. This has all to do with running too. I've expressed before my pure- bred hatred for people who go for a jog in gym shorts and sketchers, as well as my hatred for bad ass roller bladers who, while their dog is pulling them down a hill, try as hard as they can to clothesline as many runners as possible. Well, none of that in winter- its too cold and they don't want to scuff their high tops or damage their newly gelled hair. Its cold, and this is when you tell who's in and who's out. I love it, man. When its really cold there's not even any cars out you can just drop the hammer and go crazy. Its awesome.
The best part about winter is doing speedwork. They don't plow our track in the winter; nobody uses it, save three guys. So, you get up at 6 on a Wednesday when you don't have class until noon. Get dressed, and you grab your snow shovel and your spikes and head out. There's a saying- "I hope you brought your shovel"- (or something like that) whinch means I hope you're ready to work hard, but on some days we make it happen, captain. There are three guys in their mid 50's who join me. That's all I know about them, no names, nothing. But we're shoveling out three lanes all the way around, a feat that usually takes an hour or so. Then, we spike up, put our work in, and go our seporate ways.
We sometimes talk when we're shoveling, but never during speedwork. I've found out over the year that both guys have done Boston- one three times and the other one twice- so I'm in good company. I guess its kinda like how Dick Beardsley punched his calves before the Duel in the Sun- it might not make me a better runner (maybe quite the opposite,) but I sure as hell know there's nobody out there doing what I am.