Monday, February 23, 2009


Desert Places by Robert Frost

Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast

In a field I looked into going past,
And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
But a few weeds and stubble showing last.

The woods around it have it--it is theirs.
All animals are smothered in their lairs.
I am too absent-spirited to count;
The loneliness includes me unawares.

And lonely as it is that loneliness
Will be more lonely ere it will be less--
A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
With no expression, nothing to express.

They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars--on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places.

It happens every year, but for some reason I feel completely blown-away by it this year. I should know better; I don't know why I thought this year would be different. But it’s official . . . I’m having a real mental meltdown! I am just plain sick and tired of the snow, cold, but mostly the wind! I think the biggest factor in this is the bipolar-ness of this time of year. One day I’m out running in shorts and short sleeves, the next it’s back to heavy winter tights, long sleeves, gloves, and hat. It really hit me on Friday this week when I finally had a day off and hoped to get in some good miles but when I looked outside it was dark and cloudy and the winds were just blowing like mad! Really, I love where I live, but anyone living anywhere but here would probably have a hard time understanding this. When we have snow and wind on our hill there is likely no snow and very little, if any, wind in the lower-lying areas. But when the weather is good up here, there's no place I would rather run. So I just have to accept it and try to work with it.

That said, I have to confess that this week’s mileage was pitiful, at best. I sequestered myself to the garage, put on the mp3 player, and just biked as hard as I could . . . I think hoping that I would just get to a warmer place. It's not running but at least I can work-up a sweat (without it turning to ice on me!) and get my heart-rate up, like speedwork would do for me (if I did speedwork).

On a positive note, Lance did well in the Tour of California, helping his teammate, Levi Leipheimer to the win. However, Six Nations rugby has been on a break this week but will resume this weekend with what should be an awesome match between Ireland and England. Joe and I were able to get in one of our favorite regular running routes this week – one that we have to avoid all winter (it’s a seasonal dirt road through the forest that gets so snow-covered that it could only be run with snowshoes). Granted, we had to dance around some icy spots, but it was just great to get out to an area surrounded by woods and no traffic. I’m itching for the trails and maybe that bodes well for a good run at HAT in March.

So there is no reason to post my weekly mileage since the number is rather embarrassing and disappointing to me. I hope that all of the cross-training that I am getting in will give me some extra strength. I have already started looking at the weather forecast for this week to plan my running around and it looks like I may be able to get my long runs in this week. Please, someone give me a freaking break!

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost (1874–1963)

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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