Out for an early morning run, well not too early as I’ve become built for comfort. Early was around 9:30 a.m.. It was beautiful. I find it difficult think of winter as beautiful although I know it is. Snow, before it becomes filthy, covers all in pure white and rounds the sharp corners of everything. It muffles harsh sounds but has the ability to enhance the churchbells as they ring on the hour. Winter draws me inward, I become pondering and reflective. Insightful writing happens in winter. Unfortunately it lasts far too long and my pondering reflection has a tendency to turn dark and morose. My antedote to entering a cave of dispair is to force myself out, move, move quickly, be warm when it’s cold and defy the elements. It keeps at least one step ahead of immobilizing depression.
Today was really cold but sharp and sunny and beautiful. The wind was forgiving this morning, it stayed at my back for a good part of my run, most importantly: the early part when I’m cold and inflexible. Last night’s inch of snow didn’t hide too many icy spots on the sidewalk and there were barely any cars which made running on the road far less perilous.
Winter running has to be embraced if you’re going to fling yourself out in the cold with thin layers of lycra and polyester. Even for one who’s evolved from hard core to comfort, I need a considerable amount of bracing and inner dialogue before venturing out. I’m not training, I don’t have an inconceivable mileage number to accomplish every week and what an incredible relief there’s no marathon taunting me in the spring. Yes, I’ve become a very comfortable runner this year.
I ran a familiar route, so familiar in fact that it had become boring of late. What a pompous ass I am to make that statement! I find it boring to run along the ocean, past and through beautiful parks in a beautiful city on Boston’s North Shore? I realized that as I set out in a slow shuffle and I decided to run in a different mind set–not about running but about where I was and how running was getting me around there. I didn’t wear music which is a crutch (instead of focusing on the running, it gets me through the run while listening to songs I like). Music is definitely a help for training and long runs but I didn’t need it or want it today.
I ran for over an hour, taking a route that I never would have set out upon if I made the time or distance my goal. It was beautiful and I loved every step. No watch, no monitor, just enjoying winter outside.