I've been struggling to find the motivation to get off my fanny and run for a lot of reasons. Mostly because I'm slow and not a good runner, but also because it's dark and cold every time I get an opportunity to run. But on Wednesday, I decided just to suck it up, get out there and do it. I'm so glad I did. Running hurts and I've been so discouraged lately. But that one night, I had a good run. Besides, I've had so much fun shopping for winter running gear, it was about time I took the tags off my long pants, fun toboggan with the ponytail hole and my awesome C9 shirt from Target and gave 'em a whirl.
Wednesday was cold. Seriously COLD. In northwest Arkansas, it's almost always windy, which I hate and which always makes the cold feel colder. But on Wednesday, it was cold and perfectly still. No wind AT ALL. This never happens, y'all. It was 32 degrees, but it was a peaceful 32. I knew I would regret it if I didn't take advantage of the calm.
Trea was busy and couldn't come with me, so I left my comfy couch and ventured out into the cold darkness alone (sorry mom). I was excited to try my new cold weather gear, and for the most part I didn't get cold (except for my delicate ears, as usual). I bundled up in a long-sleeved shirt, vest and long pants. Then I spent a good 15 minutes trying to take a picture of myself with my phone in the bathroom mirror. How does everyone else do that and not look like a goob? I obviously still haven't figured it out.
I have mentioned this about a thousand times, but I can't stress enough how sensitive my ears are to the cold. If it's below 70 degrees, those babies have to be covered or I'm in for a world of hurt. So I was super excited about my new toboggan. I loved that it had a place for my ponytail!
Unfortunately, this hat doesn't have a bill like my running cap, so there was nowhere to clip my hat light. Dilemma. How to run in the dark without a light - and dressed in black? I did not think this through. BUT, I was determined to get out there and brave the cold and not let the darkness keep me from my run. So I headed out to a park that has lots of safe sidewalks and lots of lighting. When I've run at night before at this park, there have been volleyball games and soccer games going on, so all the fields were lit up like daylight. But not on Wednesday. There was no one else there. The soccer fields were dark and my car was the only one in the lot. It was perfectly still and perfectly silent.
I headed out and was surprised that I wasn't freezing. Especially with my nifty fingerless gloves/mittens, I was perfectly fine. My nose and cheeks were pretty chilly, but since there wasn't any wind, it wasn't bad at all. I decided I would just run for 30 minutes and call it a night. About 10 minutes in, I started getting warm, so I pulled back the mitten part of my gloves and let my fingers breathe so I could cool off a little. I ended up switching back and forth with the mittens closed and open, and was able to stay warm enough and cool enough. Sadly, my hat did little to protect my ears, so I may have to add some behind-the-head earmuffs to this ensemble (nerd alert!)
I didn't run far, but I felt good. This rarely happens. My lungs didn't burn. I had plenty of energy. I could've run farther, but I had told Trea I wouldn't be long and didn't want him to worry. It felt so good to get out by myself in the cold, still darkness and have FUN running. I had one good run, and that's what keeps me going back out there. Every now and then, everything works like it should - peaceful thoughts, strong legs, strong lungs and beautiful scenery. This makes the hard runs worth it.