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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.


  1. Loved your observations. So often it's true once you get past the initial dread it turns out to be an enjoyable experience. Mom

  2. Great translation of what many, including me, feel about running in biting winter :) After 15 years on the South Carolina coast wind chills in the teens (as it has been too much lately) is REALLY daunting! Finding anyone, here, ready to brave it with me is a seriously funny sight ;) With an air temp of 60 there is often no one else at the indoor pool I use! :) YaY!

  3. That is the trick. Being prepared, dressing right and getting out there. I have been struggling as well because the trail I usually run is actually too treacherous to run on. I was having a pity party about my upcoming long run this weekend when it finally occurred to me that there is more than one way to skin a cat. I will be out there this week, putting in my 20 miler, on whatever road or trail I can find. Thanks for bringing this home for me.

  4. Don't you love how it only takes one good, wintry run to remind you that really, once you get out there, it's not so bad? And how you can pat yourself on the back for hours after what would otherwise be a perfectly normal run, but is transformed into a superhuman feat by low temperatures? Nice job getting out there — and gorgeous RCP pics!

  5. i hear you on the frigid weather! im impressed at your trail runs though! i need to start attempting those for some future goals but i have limited trails where i am - more asphalt! i was just in florida for a race and it was 28 degrees. takes the fun right out of florida!

  6. Wow! You have an awesome Blog! I have been trying to develop mine for a couple of years but have yet to hit on the right magic. Thanks for the inspiration writings. When I have the time I am going to read down through more of your posts.

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  8. Blue skies and snow can't be all bad!


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