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Crazy man goes for run when it's 7 degrees

The good news was that the alarm clock pulled me out of a horrible nightmare.

The bad news was that once I had gathered my wits, I realized it was 5:26 on a Monday morning, the temperature was probably hovering around zero, and I had made the crazy decision that I was going to start off the week with a run.

I'd left my running clothes by the bed, so I slipped into them, and went to feed the cat. I tried to bribe Banky with an extra helping of his wet food if he'd take my place on the run, but he'd have no part of the deal, proving that cats are more intelligent than dogs.

I checked the weather and found it was 7 degrees. So, I made sure I had on plenty of layers over my running toga. I did a quick stretch and stepped out into the frigid Maine morning. An arctic blast of wind slapped me across the face, just enough to wake me up, but in a manner that wouldn't leave a mark. I turned on the music and off I went.

Luckily, my MP3 player decided to go with a heavy rotation of Foo Fighters. The first song, ironically, was "Walk" and I allowed Dave Grohl and the boys to urge me into my running rhythm almost immediately.

It was my own fault that this was a struggle. I'd been running regularly in the morning until I'd come down with the flu. That knocked me out for almost three weeks, and the first time I tried to run after that, I discovered that my lungs and nose were still clogged worse than a Werewolf's shower drain. So, that discouraged me from getting back into my routine. Then, for the past week, we've suffered from temperatures that dropped to -35 degrees with the wind chill. No way I was running in that.

But now I was out of excuses. I lost 50 lbs last year, and now I was putting on my usual Winter weight. Enough was enough. Foo Fighters and I made our way down Eastern Avenue with some extra life in my stride. There is an added challenge, however, in trying to run when the air is so cold. It feels like it's burning every part of my respiratory system (it doesn't help to have a wild writer's imagination) and that is no party.

It was a struggle after the one mile mark, but I was determined to get in three miles. I was all alone on the road with only my thoughts to keep me company. Thoughts that ranged from "Why is it so cold?" and "How come I'm the only crazy person out here?" to "Why in the world did I ever leave sunny Southern California?" and "Are those footsteps I hear behind me? If so, are they human or non-human? And even then, are they friendly?"

I cranked up the music to drown out my thoughts. I kept making bargains with myself to keep my body in motion. I promised my body a short rest when I made it to the halfway point, but I'm a notorious liar and my body is ridiculously naive. I kept pushing back the short rest until finally, I'd miraculously made it home without having stopped.

I made it in the nick of time, too. The batteries in my MP3 player died during the first song of my cool down walk. At that point, however, my body was so overjoyed that I was allowing it to walk again, that my inner voices serenaded me for the remainder of my cool down.

Please don't think that I 100% hate running. There were definitely some positives to my morning adventure. No matter how much I complain about the activity, there is always an amazing sense of accomplishment once I'm done. I was also incredibly excited to get back to the house and send a good morning email to The Girl Who Runs Circles Around My Heart to let her know that I'd finally gotten my lazy ass back out on the road.

Credits - WorldwideRunning.com would like to thank the blog The Return of the Modern Philosopher (http://moviewriternyu.wordpress.com) for the authorization to reprint the article "Crazy Man Goes For Run When It's 7 Degrees; Somehow Survives To Blog About It" by Austin Hodgens.


Since September 7, 2007 - © Aerostato, Seattle - All Rights Reserved.

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