Friday, December 08, 2006

As the mercury drops...

Winter is settling in here in Virginia.

The colder temperatures really hit home on Wednesday. Coach Debi had me scheduled for a 45 minute run, so at 6 AM I was out the door and on the road.

The key to winter running is not to overdress. As the old rule of thumb has it: "If you're warm when you start running, you're overdressed." No problem with that this morning. It's dark and it's cold, and I'm cold -- really cold.

But the stars are shining with that peculiar intensity that the dry winter air gives them. You almost feel you can reach out and touch them, while the navigation lights of the passenger jets overhead shine brightly as they track across the sky, one after another.

I start slowly, almost shuffling, gradually warming up my body as the cobwebs of sleep fall away. Keep the breathing slow and regular -- cold air can agravate my asthma if I don't warm up slowly. Gradually I start warming up, leaving the bitter cold behind and reaching a relatively comfortable equilibrium underneath my lycra, capilene, and polypro.

There's little to disturb me as I move through the suburban subdivisions. The small circle of light from my headlamp illuminates the road in front of my feet and a dull red glow from my blinking LED light guards me from traffic. There's little traffic at this hour though. The occassional early commuter and the paper delivery car are all that I see as I reach my turn around point.

As I come back a dull glow starts to light the horizon. More lights have come on in the houses, and cars billowing clouds of vapor warm up in the driveways. As I hit the last stretch I'm moving easily, comfortable in my environment and ready to keep going.

It's a great way to start the day, but my 45 minutes are up, and there's a hot pot of coffee waiting -- thank goodness for automatic timers.


Check out my training log.


momo said...

i love running in the dark early mornings, it is such a peaceful time. as the spring approaches, there's nothing like being out there when the sun comes up and you feel like you're the only one witnessing its beauty. enjoy!

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