It’s my second least favorite time of year–winter before Christmas. The promise of Christmas makes this time of year palatable…barely. Winter after Christmas is the worst because you have the Christmas hangover, nothing to look forward to, and it’s cold and dark. Ugh. Cold AND dark. As such, this makes running and keeping in shape a challenge for someone who can’t stand the dreaded treadmill. Here are some most recent perils:
- Nearly getting hit by a deer. There are many, many deer who live by me. Last week, as I took my 5:00 a.m. trip around the neighborhood, a small troop (herd?) of deer dashed out in front of me. Had I been taller, I would have been able to touch them. While I enjoy communing with nature, that’s not exactly what I had in mind.
- My creepy/nice/friendly old man runner “friend”. After I turn out of my neighborhood on the morning runs, I hit a main thoroughfare. You know it’s early when the stoplights are still on their flashing caution lights. Anyway, I have this semi-creepy, but friendly old man that I often come across in the morning on this main road. Runners, pretty much as a rule, are a friendly bunch, so Old Man often waves to me and I to him when we come across one another. One day, I was out being a bad, bad runner with my iPod in. Old Man waved at me. I wasn’t paying attention because I was in my own little world when I hear, “Good morning.” Instead of a nice wave or head nod, I yelped and screamed, “WHAT THE $%*@!!!!! Oh, hi.” Yep. I’m a class act.
- Blinded by the headlights. Come on people. Do you really need your brights?
- I’m suddenly a ninja. I recently read a book (The Twelve by Jason Cronin) that features vampires. As a result, I am hypersensitive to any sort of movement in the dark. Trash cans make me especially weary. I will run a good ten feet away from those suckers. You never know what could be lurking inside.
- Running just to stay warm. I recently had a birthday and got some awesome running stuff to keep me warm. I hate, hate, hate being cold, so I layer up like no one’s business. Regardless, the first half of my out-and-back is usually spent trying to runaway from the cold. On the plus side, the other day I PR-ed a 10K because I wanted to get back and get warm. I do make it a personal goal to work up a sweat on the second half of my runs. You know it’s a cold day when you don’t sweat!
Wow. Re-reading this post makes it sound like, “That sounds terrible. Why would you do that?” I do it because I love the morning stillness. The shear quiet of the morning is intoxicating. I am lucky enough to live in the country-ish area of town so I can see stars on top of stars. It’s a time I have to myself and the quiet. Regardless of the darkness and the cold, there is something to be said of being out when no one (besides Old Man) is enjoying the day.