This whole business of having less daylight makes me a little grumpy.
It means if I don’t leave work exactly on time at 4 o’clock, and zip home with no stops or unexpected traffic delays, then do a wardrobe change that would make a fireman envious, I likely won’t have enough daylight for a decent run. I know, a short run is better than no run at all. But isn’t that end-of-the-workday running routine supposed to relieve stress and renew energy, not make me feel like a manic, twitchy gerbil?
It’s as though the outside world is exclaiming “Go inside! Quickly, where there’s warmth and light! Get back in your home, and stay there for the next few months!”
I’ve tried running in the dark with a little headlamp, and hated it. And so, grudgingly, I listen to the outside world and lope back home after getting in a token few miles.
But maybe it’s not such a bad thing, this being forced to focus on the hearth.
Spring cleaning gets a lot of fame and glory, but what about fall/winter cleaning? I’m in the midst of preparing to host my first-ever Thanksgiving (!!!) for a couple of family members. The idea of playing holiday hostess makes me happier than a pig in slop – seriously, I love when my apartment has more than just me in it – but looking around my home, I’ve seen things that require some attention. Meaning change.
Changing, replacing, adding, re-arranging, lugging to the dumpster: ‘tis the season for re-lining the nest. I admit that I’ve bribed friends to help with bottles of wine (they get the wine after the job is done, believe me!). I can’t go into too much detail because I have a couple surprises in store for my guests and they could very well read this, but I’m already prouder of my little space than I was a week ago, and I have more in mind.
I guess when Mother Nature keeps you indoors more often, you want to make your home as warm, comfortable and accommodating as possible, whether just for you or for guests. Cold weather presents a great opportunity to kind of shore up: to throw a new, cozy blanket on the couch; to cook (and eat) lots of good holiday comfort food; and to turn on that “come on in, we’ve got room and food to share” porchlight a little earlier in the evening.
The shoring-up applies to running, too. For me, and maybe for you other late-afternoon runners, I don’t run as far on the weekdays this time of year, so I think of this as a base-maintaining period for fitness levels. True, there are scattered holiday races to stay in shape for, and at the end of January, I’m running Austin’s 3M Half-Marathon – and in training for a half-marathon at sea level, attention must be paid. For now, though, I’m content to just run as long as the setting sun allows on weekdays, and savor the leisurely heck out of weekend runs.
Frankly, it feels quite nice. My co-workers and I are wrapping up a crazy-busy past few weeks. Between that and flitting around my apartment and various homeware aisles, I’m happy to avoid running pressure. Now if only deciding on decorations and side dishes were half as easy as deciding on a running route.