i’m having a terrible time getting up for my morning runs recently. first of all, it’s very COLD. The last four days have been hitting 33ºF at least. And it’s DARK. And by dark I mean as dark as the inside of my eyelid dark which i would prefer to experience under my pillowy comforter rather than stepping out into the freezing pre-dawn skylids of 6:15am. And you know what? running in the cold dark is LONELY. Sure, there are runners out on the river. but during this time of year, much less this time of day, we’re all doing the shoulders-up-shuffle, mouths and hands covered up by dark poly/cotton blends. we don’t talk. we squint. we blow wet into our jackets and get our breath beat up by frosty New England winds. we watch our lung mist pulse out behind us in helpless trails. Our cheeks get stung by gusts. our exposed ankles get bitten by Jack Frost’s nasty Uncle. You want to know what makes New Englanders tough? Ask a runner in winter.
I do everything I can to make the transition from R.E.M to RUN that much easier for my morning war. I set my clothes out: sports bra, shirt, longsleeve, vest, 3/4 pants (i’m a warrior), socks, shoes, gloves, glasses, headband, done. I set my alarm 15 minutes before I’ll actually get up since I’m very aware that I hit the snooze button at least three times before I swing my legs over the side and plod to the teeth-brushing station. During these three snooze button hits, my brain tries to wrap my head around why. And then does some serious recon work. Why are you going out there now, Kay? you could just wait until after work. It will be warmer, and maybe you can leave early or just go do some yoga. Go take that class. Don’t work out. Why run?
At that point, it’s do or die. For the sake of this blog, let’s say it’s a day I get up:) And then it becomes Too Quickly and after about a mile of chugging along my blood starts to warm up and course and thin and pulse and move and my ankles aren’t cold and my skin stings but it’s the good kind and tears bead up in the outer corners of my eyes and I feel my chin getting numb even with the jacket over it. But I’m good. I’m fine. I’m 3 miles out and I can turn around now. By this time, the sun is cresting the cityscape and I am in full throttle. keys toggling in my right hand, shoulders down, breath come easy. I pass a runner. we smile the same acknowledgement and i realize his morning probably felt a lot like mine did...does...do.
I come home, throw the coffee on, thank my psoas for healing, thank my heart for beating thank my shoes for holding, thank my heater for working, thank my God for making cold days and warm days and hard days and joy days. Everything shakes out. Even under an eyelid sky.
|my mizzys in lighter skies.|