The Woes of the Winter

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Thank you all so much for you sweet comments on yesterday’s post. It means so much to me. I know my goal is a long way off but I am really excited about my view change towards my training and I know I will get there! I also loved reading all of your goals – it is so inspiring!


Yesterday – oh yesterday. I guess I forgot to watch the weather and see that we were supposed to get the snow storm from hell.

I had to work in the morning so I was a bit rushed by not leaving enough time to get my car scraped off.

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Yep it isn’t beautiful anymore. I’m over it and will be perfectly happy when spring comes and I don’t have to look at it anymore.

After our workouts, which I will spare you the details of since they looked just like every other day, we decided that a day like this is only good for one thing.

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Frozen yogurt! I know most of you are probably thinking who eats frozen yogurt in the middle of a blizzard, well this girl does!

My yogurt combination of choice:

Vanilla Yogurt
Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Cookie Dough Bites
Cool Whip (on top!) 


I learned very quickly when you live in a city like this, during the winter you have to enjoy the things you can. I’m sure many of you have heard of the term of Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I am here to tell you it is 100% real.

I had never really thought much about it when I lived in North Carolina because even though we had winters they weren’t anything like this. We saw the sun, it was mildy cold, and when we saw snow everyone got so excited they didn’t know what to do with themselves. Things changed a little bit when I moved to Erie. We don’t see the sun for weeks, it is miserably cold, and we see the snow every single day for 4+ months. Sometimes it feels like the winter will never end.

Of course, there are days when it is beautiful. Days where I am thankful to be able to see the snow.  


I first realized I had problems with seasonal affective disordered the second winter we spent in Erie.  I was working full time and Wes was starting his second year of medical school and I had a hard time even making myself get out of the house. I would go to work and come home. I sat all night watching TV and had no motivation to go and do anything. I was moody and hard to get along with. Not to mention it took a toll on Wes and I’s relationship.  

The key to dealing with seasonal affective disorder is to sometimes force yourself to get out. You have to do things even when you don’t feel like doing it, and believe me some days it can be hard.


Some of my favorite things to do in the winter to get myself moving:

1. Go to the gym

2. Go walk around stores (even when I don’t buy anything)

3. Take my dog out in the snow

4. Watch movies with the husband

5. Treat ourselves at night (i.e. frozen yogurt!)

6. Plan nights out with friends


Every winter I really dread when it begins because I know that some days I will have to struggle to keep myself busy. This winter by far has been the hardest winter (weather wise) but I have done the best job managing the struggles that come with it.


Final thoughts today, remember this pretty little girl?

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In case you don’t know, this is my precious puppy Zoe.  I believe she is also dealing with seasonal affective disorder.

I was hoping to reach out to dog owners out there for some help.  We have been reverting back to pre-potting training days lately.  Her schedule really hasn’t changed at all but recently she has started using the bathroom in the house, not signaling that she needs to go out, and just seeming to not care at all.

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I love this sweet girl but boy is she driving us crazy!

I was wondering if any of you pet owners have had this problem. Is it a winter issue due to the crazy snow and temperatures we are having? I have read online and most people say it happens when you have a change in schedule, however, we really haven’t. I take her out at the same times morning, afternoon, and night. 

Any help would be awesome :)


What is your favorite combination of frozen yogurt?

Have you ever dealt with seasonal affective disorder?

Any tips or help for Zoe’s potty training issues?

About Sara

Welcome to my blog! My name is Sara and this blog documents my journey as a wife and a runner. I train hard and put my heart and soul into my running. My life is a crazy journey full of ups and downs, and I am here to share it all with you!


  1. My faaaavorite frozen yogurt combination is: Sugar Free Vanilla with almonds, M&Ms, and some peanut butter sauce. SOMETIMES I will splurge and put some Nutella in there too :) Ooh so delicious!

    I definitely believe in SADD, and try to combat it by going to the gym every morning to start my day with a blast of energy! I also go to bed roughly an hour after the sun goes down (nice and early) so it’s a great way to have my body naturally awake when the sun is up, and relax when it is dark!

  2. Hey Sara, for the first time in my whole life I am thinking I MIGHT have this, too! It does help that Colorado has a bunch of sunshine, but honestly, when I can’t get out and get fresh air (preferably while running or biking) it starts to take a toll. I am trying to add in nice things each day too and remind myself that this is temporary and a snowy/wet winter will make for a really beautiful spring and summer! Hang in there, girl. So, with frozen yogurt I generally get vanilla and then some kind of chocolate or cookie (think Snickers, Oreos, etc). I make a chocolate shake every night even in the winter so I can relate. I just eat it, get really cold then go cozy up in bed with my heating blanket. Bliss. Hang in there with your winter. Spring is coming! P.S. how is Wes doing? Has he gotten any answers? Is he still only able to spin? Thinking of you both :)

    • Susan I feel you! We will get through this!!

      Thank you for asking about Wes – He says he is doing about 30% better but has an MRI tomorrow morning and another appointment in the evening. Still no running, but continue to keep my fingers crossed!!

      • Please keep us posted on Wes! I know he has the marathon coming up and I am sure this isn’t easy. I know how I feel when I get injured and I NEVER race, so I can only imagine. So, yesterday I decided that instead of being such a complainer during winter (I get tired of myself saying how cold it is and how much I hate the snow) I am going to try to embrace it. We leave for vacation on Sunday, but when we get back I am getting yaktrax and perhaps a small pair of snow shoes. I know I won’t be able to “run” in snow shoes but maybe if I get out there and not worry about slipping, I get get some fresh air and feel awesome (?). Plus, I can go up to the park or running track at the school and bring my dog (at 5 am no one is there so she can safely run around off leash). You living in PA is temporary but me living in CO is pretty much permanent and until I can become a snow bird and leave for Jan/Feb to AZ, I want to find a way to make it enjoyable. Have a great day, Sara. Happy Friday!

  3. It is actually a fact that people in cold areas eat more ice cream products than those elsewhere … growing up as a Boston kid I never thought it was odd getting ice cream year round, they just closed the outdoor windows in the winter. :)

    I love chocolate peanut butter ice cream (such as Turkey Hill), but since Lisa is allergic to peanut butter now we don’t get it anymore.

    I have known many people with SAD through the years since it was discovered to be ‘a thing’ … and like any depression it can be mild, moderate or completely debilitating. And like any form of depression the most important first step is recognizing it – so it is good that you know it is something you have to deal with.

    I don’t personally suffer from it, but what I can say is that when I got up this morning and it was -2F … UGH, I am SO done with this crap! I still headed out for my run, but I would just be happy for a nice sustained set of 15-20F mornings … y’know, like it is SUPPOSED to be this time of year!

    One of my best friends used to gain 10lbs or so every winter (he is about 5’2″ and small so it definitely showed), but it didn’t impact his moor or anything else … or at least didn’t seem to, interesting to look now and know it was actually a form of SAD. I think perhaps his mother was severe SAD, and that was how he dealt with it.

    A thought on the dog – dogs are VERY sensitive, and it is possible that your SAD symptoms, stress and other things are causing Zoe to be stressed out, and when dogs get distressed they can revert – and this can happen at any age. When my brother comes with his dogs we end up with an accident or two the following week before things normalize. Sadly the best option is to force the issue with her like clockwork – don’t wait for her to tell you, take her out regularly. (which, in this weather, sucks.)

    • Hey, when you run in that snow/cold do you use yaktrax or something? I am so afraid of falling on the ice and also running with a messed up gait to avoid falling. I think if I was able to get SOME outdoor running in, I would be so much better. Fresh air = good for the soul. Right now I am doing an indoor track which is OK (better, at least to me, than a treadmill) but man, I miss the shot of fresh air to my brain. I would love to hear what you do and maybe when I get back from Panama (YAY for 90 degree weather) later this month, I will venture out. Thanks!

      • No – I still haven’t gotten Yaktrax, and haven’t gone through and gotten myself trail shoes to use in more challenging conditions. Yesterday in heavy snow it was just wonderful – because it was just snow on pavement. Today was a bit worse, but I live in a suburban area that is mostly fairly well plowed, so I don’t have as much ice to contend with. And when there IS heavy ice … I stay inside. Happened once so far this year.

        • Fresh snow is the best. The ice, not so much. Thanks for the reply. When you stay inside do you cross train or use a treadmill?

          • Considering I have only been forced inside 4 times in the last 2 years (3 for ice, 1 for -30 temps) … it isn’t anything I deal with systematically. We have an elliptical, but the ceiling in our finished basement isn’t terribly tall so I have to hunch a bit.

            So mostly I do body-weight exercise for cross training. And really not enough. I’m not terribly balanced … I just run a lot :)

    • That is a good point! I know it is probably just a temporary thing until the stress dies down a bit and the weather warms back up, but boy is it frustrating!

      I guess my ice cream/frozen yogurt addiction DID begin since we moved up here. Looks like I know why now :)

  4. YES…I totally know what it is and suffer with it. Yes I said I “suffer” with it becomes I do not consider myself “living” with it. To me living is having fun, enjoying things, and doing. During the winter months I absolutely have to force myself to go anywhere!!

    I even give myself a pep talk before my part time job. I don’t enjoy going out. I don’t enjoy any thing cold, that is done in the dark (and it gets dark by 5PM so that pretty much means every night is trouble) or healthy. I try…really I do….but, I sabotage myself horribly during the winter months and I am so much happier during the spring,summer and fall.

    It’s rather depressing actually…ha!

    I have a sun light I sit by. I take my vitamin D. I keep the positive thoughts going but some days when I am overwhelmed I just cry. What do you know sometimes a little cry goes a long way.

    (and Yes, our dachshund is not enjoying the cold either and the potty issues have been happening around here too)

    • Glad to know I am not the only one!!

      I figured the puppy thing was weather related but it has been frustrating me and my husband to no end! Spring needs to come NOW!

  5. Your frozen yogurt looks delicious! I love ice cream/froyo so it doesn’t matter the outside temperatures :) I am so over winter though!

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