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A Wintry Run or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Cold

I took a semester of German in high school. I loved how many of the words were similar to English, like schwimmen (swimming) and trinken (drinking). Kalt means cold, but you don't say "Ich bin kalt" when January weather hits - that translates as "I am frigid."

Well, it's damn kalt here, and has been for an unusually long stretch. Not only is it cold, but there are gusting winds of up to 50 mph. I wimped out on not one but three! runs this past weekend. I can't say I regret it.

But I've been forced to get out to walk dogs three nights this cold and blustery week, and bike or run two miles to get there. And, no matter how much I dreaded it, when I got out there and dressed properly, I felt a certain sense of triumph that I wasn't huddled inside, but could enjoy the wintry weather in spite of its mean-spirited, biting cold.

Saturday, Tom had invited friends for a run in Rock Creek Park. The forecast was foreboding - windchill in the teens and blustery. I wasn't looking forward to it after walking six blocks the morning before when I was forced by the biting wind to duck into coffee shops every two blocks.

Was I glad I didn't wimp out. The expected handful of runners quickly became a gaggle of fifteen! Instantly it was a party atmosphere. Outside, the sun shone brightly. We chattered happily as we started up the street. The previous morning's dusting of snow, still glistening white, made for a beautiful scene. When we entered the woods the wind was hardly noticeable. The inch of powdery snow on the trails made them runnable except for a few sections where the ice beneath was exposed.

My only regret was that I didn't bring my camera and only had my Blackberry to record images of that glorious day.

So get out there, get past your dread of the chill of winter, and enjoy the magical scene it presents, if only to spite that bitter Old Man Winter.

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