Wednesday, November 19, 2008

10 Miles in the Cold and Dark

Last night's run was a metaphor for 2008 for me. It was cold, windy, dark and scary. I finished tired, sore and hungry. As we move into 2009, I feel like stepping out into the light of a new year with a new body and attitude on my fitness.

I got over the cold and wind. 23 F and a 25 mph wind is never "fun" but I tried to focus on the trees and the light shining off the river. (The Shining...yep...there is the movie not to think about right now.) There is no bad weather only bad attitude and bad clothing choices. I was fine after a few minutes.

I got over the dark. My Petzel headlamp (good for fishing as well as running) lit the way perfectly. I've done the 200 mile race from Madison to Chicago with this lamp and love it. I still say you can be the toughest most macho dude and freak out when you are running in the dark when you hear coyotes howling, large male deer jumping out in front of you on the trail and raccoons, opossum, skunk and even beavers will spike that heart rate graph momentarily. Luckily, the beavers were too fat to care I was there. The skunk stayed low in the grass and didn't turn and spray me. The opossum jumped behind a log and the raccoon ran behind the opossum. The coyotes were the freaky ones. They'd jog behind me on the trail and then stop when I turned around and then restart running toward me when I turned the lap forward on the trail. Animal stalker training. How do you run a fast 10 miles? Try having three coyotes following you about 3.5 miles from the nearest house. My favorite thing running in the dark - animals in the bushes moving the entire bush when you get close. Freaky! I think I'll need to run by my office in the dark from now on. They have street lights. I wouldn't want a pack of coyotes following me in February.

The scary part...can I make 10 miles in my current fitness? Yep! None the worse for wear.

To finish the run there was a HUGE beautiful owl sitting on the roof of the shelter at the park. She was magnificent. When she flew she was absolutely silent and totally worth the trip.

Maybe one more cold, dark, scary run.

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