The Cold Nights

Unlike the summer, and even into the recent fall warm days, this has been a year of much heat and drought. But autumn is here, for sure. Sugary snow has frosted nearby mountains due to recent heavy precipitation. Today, a short 2-mile run, was sunny, very cold, and just beautiful. Living and running in the Anthropocene isn’t all about what’s wrong with the world–it’s what is lovely with this life and running. I am constantly moved by beauty, not the person kind or the fashion kind or anything so superficial, but the natural wonders around us. I am as awed by a simple red maple on the ground as I am anything, not to mention the holy-like shrouds of mist and fog playing in the valley today until the sun broke through, warming my run just a tad bit so that my hands didn’t stay frozen. In the distant north, a watercolor sky fused by the rays of the sun silhouetted the misty blue mountains.

Over the weekend, I really had a doozy of a time with my back. Screw backs, anyway! I usually have so much pain that running or any exercise in itself is a feat–and though I’ve slowed down my running some, I have added 2-3 days of gym during the week in an effort to strengthen my core. So today I took it easy, wondering how in the world I’ll manage a 10K (about 7 miles) on Sunday at the Great Climate Race. I haven’t trained for it at all because of my back. But, rather than feel competitive with others, I will set my own pace and do what I can. It’s all about the run itself, how it makes me feel. I will say that the first 15 or so minutes are the toughest for me, and once I get past that I get lost in the groove. My pace has been slightly improving these past few weeks, despite the fact my back has gotten worse. Sometimes I really wonder just how well I’d do without stupid problems. Anyway, the race on Sunday is around the seawall, and is supposed to be flat, so yeah! It is supposed to be cool and rainy that day, very good running weather, in my opinion.

So while I am working on fitness, I’m really digging the chilly nights. We moved a twin bed into my office space at home, and sometimes at night I sit at my desk–my chair is closer to the window than it used to be–and I hear the wind howl outside. Sometimes the rain moans and pelts the house and the roof in a constant whooshing sound. The cold penetrates through the closed window. My window faces a very dark backyard–our deck now covered with leaves. Because my body is closer to the window than it used to be, I’m a lot colder than usual. We do not keep the heat up, so I wrap myself in my husband’s big flannel robe that his mom made years and years ago, I light a candle, I sit with a heating pad, and I can feel a cat or two at my feet. My hands are usually the coldest part of me.

But there is absolutely no complaining here. Having a good life means accepting the pain along with good. The good is that a lot of Morgan’s family is arriving on Friday night. We will drink wine and have laughs. I will get up early on Saturday morning and prepare an organic turkey for an in-between Canadian-American Thanksgiving. We’ll have a meal and leftovers that Saturday, which promises, as usual, to be warm and full of laughter inside and cold and rainy out. I have great in-laws! And a couple friends will be joining us. The next morning, all of us will head downtown for the race. I think a few thousands are guestimated to show up. I will be sure to take photos and blog on the race soon!