Holiday Brain Freeze

As I’m reading so many other blogs about wrapping up the holidays and plans for 2018, I can’t help but feel a bit jealous.  While I had a very nice and relaxing holiday season, I feel as if it has put me into a mental slump.  Add onto that the below freezing temperatures affecting this area and I’m a downright winter zombie lately.

The week leading up to Christmas was busy with track practices, two group runs and creating a personal climate action plan for my Coursera class.  I’m normally busier on Fridays at work, but the 22nd I was pushing more than usual to get time cards checked in anticipation of payroll submission on the 26th.  The only downfall to having a 3 day weekend is that it results in making 5 days’ worth of work need to be completed in 4.

Needless to say I was looking very much forward to 3 days in a row of sleeping in followed by a week of no track practices, wrapping up my Coursera class and another 3 day weekend.  Christmas was nice and low key.  I received more gifts than I needed or asked for, but my parents seem to never want to reign in their holiday spending.  I used the holidays as an excuse to indulge in more sweets than usual figuring I had been keeping up with my running and workouts consistently enough to merit it.

I ran with my usual group on the 27th and put to use some of the new cold weather running clothes my parents bought me.  I was psyched for the next York Winter Series race scheduled for the 30th, the John Rudy 5 Miler.  After 3 challenging courses I was looking forward to racing on the much flatter rail trail despite the colder weather.  The forecast called for some light snow to begin early Saturday morning, but it hadn’t sounded like anything that would be an issue.  I set my alarm, laid out my running clothes and went to bed on Fri. looking forward to the race.

My alarm went off at 7:40am on Sat. and I looked out the living room window to see more snow on the road than I had expected.  I was starting to contemplate whether or not I should risk driving to the race when I received a text message from my friend and the race director, Todd, informing me that they were canceling the race.  To say I was bummed would be an understatement.  I’m not even sure if the park opened that day (they don’t have weekend maintenance staff available to plow parking lots), and I know it was the right call to keep people safe at home.  I just really wanted to run that race.

I think the race’s cancellation, coupled with the ridiculously cold temps and wind chills that arrived on Sun. kicked off my new year brain freeze.  I spent New Year’s Eve and Day at home with Jason which was very relaxing.  We watched the X Files (his favorite Christmas gift) and played Wii and watched the ball drop on Sun. and had more TV binging on Mon.  However,  I think the overindulgence in holiday foods (we went to Christmas at my aunt’s house Sat. evening with my dad’s side of the family), the continued unhealthy eating (pizza and leftover rum balls) and the multiple days of sleeping in took its toll on my well being.

I feel as if I’m mentally slogging through this week with the only hope of feeling normal again based on the anticipated return to “normal winter temperatures” next week.  I did succeed in running 5 miles this evening with my dad which I believe is now my coldest run to date.  It took close to 2 miles for my fingers and toes to stop feeling so cold.  We ran it in 49 minutes which wasn’t too bad all things considered.  With possible snow overnight and a weekend set to have negative wind chill temps though, I think it’s safe to say that was my biggest accomplishment of the week and all my workouts will remain indoors until next week.

I had been doing so well tolerating winter until last week.  I was beginning to even have some slight appreciation for the challenges it posed to me as a runner.  Then Mother Nature decided to push my limits and force me to say once more, I HATE WINTER.  Here’s hoping for some warmer temps to unfreeze my brain and a return to healthier eating to energize me for the new year!

About Tracy

Runner. Writer. Reader. Environmental and Indigenous Peoples advocate. Work from home Workforce Specialist. NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Assistant Varsity Track Coach. Fascinated by the ocean, waterfalls and Christmas lights.
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