Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I got up to run yesterday morning excited to go for it in a Christmas present of cold-weather running gear (pullover and winter weight tights). The gift was an unexpected one from my sister-in-law, and I liked some of the features including a mock neck and a slit in the sleeve so I could easily see my watch. Zippered pockets were a nice touch, too.

It was 12 outside. Degrees. I went.

Two pairs of gloves, a balaclava, and a thick/warm headband completed the outfit. Gusting wind and overcast skies completed the weather. A soft blanket of Christmas Day snow completed the scene.

My steps were short at first due to the cold (and the long car ride the day before). Once I loosened up and got going, though, the weather was a non-factor. Yes, it was brisk. When the wind blew I could definitely feel it. But it was quiet and beautiful and the peace of the season surrounded me.

The stresses of the last few months--at least for an hour--subsided. It was just me and the road and the wind. I crossed the Jackson River twice and passed between snow-covered hills on either side. The sounds of the rail yard signaled a return to life after the holiday, but it was a gentle start--not a rush.

As my run wound down, my strides lengthened and got me up the last mile of steady incline. In the end it wasn't easy, but it wasn't too hard either. It was just right.

I got up to run today. It was 12 outside. Again. I went.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Alleghany St,Clifton Forge,United States

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

All I Want for Christmas

All I want for Christmas is a little more energy every morning. Just a little. I’m not asking for much, just enough to get me up out of bed when the alarm goes off the first time, which is just slightly more than the amount needed to hit the snooze button four times in thirty minutes.

Once I get up I’m perfectly ready to go. Okay, well, maybe not perfectly. Once I’ve done about eight minutes on the treadmill I’m perfectly ready to go. Okay, well, maybe not perfectly.

Most days in the winter go like this:

Hear alarm at 5:45. Hit the snooze button at 5:45:01. Repeat every ten minutes until 6:15. Get up. Finally. Get dressed to run. Finally. Walk down the steps sideways because your ankle hurts going front-ways. Avoid the lumpy carpet at the bottom of the steps because twisting it there is why your ankle hurts in the first place.

Walk down the basement steps to get to the treadmill. Your ankle already feels better. Turn off the back light so you can’t see your annoying shadow when you’re running. [This is no joke. The only thing more annoying/scary would be a mirror in front of you…] Turn on the front light to further diminish the shadow and to ensure that you don’t break your shin on the spinning bike or the weight bench (to be discussed in another post).

Turn on the TV, start the the DVD, and put on the wireless headphones. Turn the treadmill on at just more than a walking pace. Gradually speed up to a decent running pace--just more than a walk but too fast to actually walk.

Hang on to the bar tight until you’re sure that you’re not dreaming. Think the first tenth of a mile is way too long. Think how much longer four miles will be. Realize that making the treadmill go faster won’t get you there any sooner because your GPS watch only counts steps indoors. In other words, the faster you run on the treadmill the less distance your watch thinks you’re running. [This is also annoying but too hard to solve so early in the morning.]

Finish a mile and feel awake. Grab a hand towel to wipe the sweat away. Watch the hand towel go under your feet when it falls off the treadmill display. Think that looking down to follow/save that hand towel is never a good idea. Realize that you have a whole stack of hand towels and only one face.

Keep running because now you’re in a rhythm. Two miles. Increase pace. Three miles. increase pace. Four miles. Add a quarter mile--and go faster than you really should--so that your watch will tell you that you’ve run four miles and not 3.98.


Slow it down. Cool it down. Turn your watch off. Turn the treadmill off. Turn the TV off. Turn the DVD off. Put the headphones in the charger. Find the hand towel. Turn the front light off . Turn the back light on.

Drink (water).

Treadmill Tip #1: When stepping off a treadmill to change the DVD remember to actually pause the treadmill so that when you step back on it you won’t end up flat on your face wondering how you got there. Trust me on this one.

Know that you just enjoyed what you did and be convinced, for sure, that tomorrow it will be easier to get out of bed.

Well, it will be if I get what I want for Christmas.