Beware the ice of March: Cold-weather running

None of us expected to be bulk-buying family thermals to wear underneath our clothes

QUESTION: You got that one wrong didn't you Grit Doctor?

Answer: Hell yeah! Turns out I spoke too soon, way too soon. That promise of Spring I mentioned in my last column vis-a-vis the odd daffodil poking out of the ground turned out to be a big fat lie.

Those very same daffs were more recently hiding under a blanket of icy snow, terrified of being further trampled on by the Beast from the East.

Somehow, I feel as though I’m to blame. That I invited this Siberian weather front into our lives with my cocky talk of saying goodbye to the cold. I’m convinced March so far has been colder than it was when I was in Iceland last month.


I went running this morning (back in gloves you understand, hat, snood, thermals, three pairs of socks), and afterwards it took two hours to regain the feeling in my little finger. Reynaud’s syndrome perhaps? Old age? Shock? I was certainly too stunned from the cold to write, and wasted all my creative energy heating myself back up to room temperature so I could feel my finger again and type. On the plus side, the muddy patches which were making running slow and slippery have now frozen over, so the ground was hard and I was bouncing off it. And I felt like an intrepid pioneer for having gone, when every fibre of my being was begging for a duvet day.

I think that there is an expectation about the seasons you see, a kind of agreement we make, with nature, with God, with Fate, with whatevs, that says, when we soldier on through a bleak December, January and February, and see a daffodil say hi, we expect that we are kissing the Godawful weather that accompanies those months goodbye for another year.

We only tolerated them with good humour because we believed come March, come those daffodils, that we'd be free of the freeze. We put away our snoods, our sheepskin-lined gloves, our duvet-cover coats and thermal socks in good faith; faith that another year will pass before we'd need to use them again. We can only cope with the awful winter months when we can see the light - and heat – peaking out the other side. None of us expected to be bulk-buying family thermals to wear underneath our clothes, or have the heating on full, full time. And still be cold. IN MARCH! I might just have to run back to Melbourne, Australia where the seasons can be relied upon to remain decent, and deliver on their promise.

This cold weather front is an affront. And it doesn’t mean – as someone cheerfully pointed out to me today – that we’ll have a great summer either. Like when has that ever happened?

In fact, I’m afraid it’s never going to be warm again, that it’s never going to get better, never going to be spring at all. I’m starting to worry we may actually be skipping spring altogether this year. Or maybe the seasons have decided to downgrade themselves. So spring is now summer, winter now spring, each one having moved down a seasonal notch. So come December 2018, winter will be, well, Iceland or Siberia. Not something to look forward to at all. What’s wrong with her, I hear you say? Where’s yer grit, Grit Doctor?

Let me sum it up for you. March 2018 is basically January 2018, but colder.

For me, this is monstrous because I’m suffering 40 days and 40 nights sober alongside 40 days and 40 nights running – for Lent.

Having sworn off ever going dry in January or February, I’ve now gone and done it at a time which makes those months seem positively balmy. On the plus side, at least I’ve still got my thermal tights from Iceland.

The Grit Doctor says:

The Beast from the East and the Fat Bitch from the North did not make easy bedfellows