20 Degree Runs

Someday soon--next week, I think--I'm going to carry a camera on my early morning trail run. I want to share the beauty of what I see weekly with all of you. (The pictures here are of the trails I run, just not winter pics and not taken by me.) People call me crazy to head out in 19/20 degree weather for a run and when I first step out my front door, I agree with them. But the cold is all but forgotten after the first half mile. The blood starts pumping, the sun peeks over the horizon, and I can't imagine a better start to the day. 

Today I ran with Neal and Dave, long-time trail-running buddies. Although bundled up in our thick black tights, gloves, and stockinged caps pulled low on our heads, we more likely resembled bank-robbers. The morning was stunning in its simplicity. The trail was frost-frozen and leaves and dirt crunched under our feet. Bikes had been through earlier in the week and the trial ruts made by them had frozen into mini-hills on the path. The denser woods had snow clinging to the ground on either side of the path. A low vapor hung over the lake, muting the calls of the ducks and geese who rested there. The path we ran today had a number of wooden bridges which we had to walk due to their being coated in ice. Once the sun came up, the whole woods sparkled with melting frost. It made spotting roots and limbs in the path tricky, but was well worth it for the effect.

I come home happy from these runs. Life just seems to make more sense. Out on the path, all I need is light focus, deep breaths, and an appreciation for the moment. Everything else

falls away. It has to. Out on the trail, with my nose running and my breath creating a fog around my head, it doesn't matter what's in my in-box or that the laundry is piling up. I can't do anything about any of that out there, so I let it all go. 

That's a small price to pay for being a little chilly.

Happy Wednesday!