Family · Outdoors · Running · Sports · Women

Winterizing

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.

 

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12 thoughts on “Winterizing

  1. Right after daylight savings hits I have to change my after work runs. I commute an hour or so home, by the time I get there the sun is waving goodbye from the top of the hills. One of the pitfalls of living in a river valley. What I do is run at work. I am fortunate in that we have a physical fitness center on site, I zip across the parking lot, quick change in the nauseatingly over-sanitized locker room and BAM! Hit the streets with plenty of light for 3, 5, heck maybe even 6 miles.

    There are two benefits to this switch: 1. I get to run. I cannot envision myself trying to run in 25 degree weather with a little headlamp bobbing around. With the wind-a-blowin’. 2. I believe that a change is as good as a rest. For three months or so I get to run different routes with unfamiliar challenges. I am coming off a small foot injury after doing bookend half marathons (too hard on a 2 mile downhill) so I will be easing back into the quickly cooling waters (figuratively) of winter running.

    Cheers!

  2. I wish I could motivate myself to run during lunch at work, but it never seems to happen! I’m another “dash home at 4pm and get in what I can until the weekend” types. It certainly makes you appreciate the weekends though!

  3. Do you have room for a treadmill? My wife has one and I will use it as a fallback if I run out of time during the day to run. Also, I hate running in the cold and Chicago is freezing right now!

  4. My hubby and I run in the dark with headlights! I had to get used to it! Running with a group on a great trail helps too! You have motivated me to Fall clean and prepare for Thanksgiving!

  5. I’m with you in the daylight thing. I leave work at 6 and immediately go home and want to sleep.

    On another note, I admire you for your persistence in running. I used to run track in school, and though I was never the best endurance runner, I still used to run a few miles almost everyday, and now that I have a “big girl job” and real responsibilities, I cant seem to find the motivation to run after work. I would love to go in the mornings, but that just isnt happening yet.

    Thanks for listening. 🙂

  6. Know what you mean about in the dark running. I run in the morning so this time of the year during the week runs are in the dark and at the moment this has been in the fog too, not great, but I guess better than not getting out at all. Happy Thanksgiving

  7. I agree with the Daylight savings problem. I get off of work at 5:00pm and it has been getting dark by 5:30/45. I have started running at the outdoor track at a high school near my house and it has worked out pretty good.

  8. You could try running pre-dawn. There’s a fairly large contingent of runners that start their day before work with a nice run. And, pre-dawn has the advantage of little or no traffic, quiet streets and a starlit sky.

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