I know this winter is far worse for people in northern climates. But really, I live in the south for a reason, and this “winter” thing is not it.
Since December, schools in Austin have been canceled three times and we’ve had three two-hour late starts. Let me tell you how rare this is: districts build in two bad-weather makeup days (notice they’re not called “snow” days) and often they’re on traditional holidays like Presidents’ Day, Good Friday, and even Memorial Day.
But we found out last week, after the third canceled day, that state law only requires that we make up two days. Districts can apply for waivers for anything beyond that. Do you see what I mean? Not only do we expect fewer than three days of bad weather, there’s actually a legislative provision that we don’t have to make up more than two. And it’s so rare, hardly anyone knew that rule existed until Friday.
What’s even more fun is that each time we’ve been closed, the next day or two the temps rose back up into the 60s and 70s. We were canceled Friday–it was in the 20s and patches on ice scattered the metro area–then Sunday it was 75. Monday it only got to 40. Tuesday we had ice and a late start, and it never got above about 35. Today it’s warming, and by Friday it’s supposed to be 75 again. The low Saturday night, leading into the Austin marathon Sunday morning, will likely only drop into the mid-50s. So I froze at training last night, and have to figure out a warm-weather hydration plan for Sunday’s race.
Which brings me to last night.
I’ve been training with this group since early September. We ran when it was 103 and when it was 23. We ran in sun and rain and the dark of
night evening. I saw dozens of sunrises and sunsets in the company of these runners. And Tuesday was our last night of training before the Austin half marathon. Well, not everyone attended–it was 32 and drizzling on my way home from work, so I guess some folks played it safe. But somehow roads weren’t icy, so I figured I’d make the attempt and bail if things got dangerous.
I’d convinced B to come with me, since the group was planning to get together at a nearby restaurant afterwards, and so the two of us bundled up. He doesn’t have much in the way of cold-weather gear, but he found some tall soccer socks and shorts, which he wore under a pair of long athletic pants, plus a t-shirt and a sweatshirt, gloves and a hat. Not surprisingly, I overdressed–two shirts and a windbreaker proved too many layers, although my fleece-lined tights and compression socks were a good call.
We ran the mile out to the meeting point in the neighborhood, then ran three half-mile laps at 10k pace. The whole time, B chattered about his Minecraft
obsession world(s). Something about creative mode vs survival mode, spawning chickens, building secret entrances, letting villagers live in his castle, escaping attacks by the Enderman. At one point he promised to spawn a unicorn for me, but I’m not sure if that’s possible or he was just testing me to see if I was paying attention.
We finished our three loops and headed back. The drizzle had stopped and roads seemed to have dried out a little. Back at Rogue, I abandoned one of my shirts and the windbreaker before driving over the the restaurant. I should have brought a completely different shirt to change into, though. The restaurant was cold and I just could not warm up. The food took forever to arrive, and B was getting grumpy from the wait and the cold. Eventually we ate–it was really good, but we kind of rushed because it was past his bedtime and I was still kind of worried about driving on iffy roads. But it was fun to socialize and chat about the upcoming race, and I’m glad we went.
This morning? School started at its usual time. It felt kind of weird. Can we please be done with winter?