I roll to the side of my bed and reach for my cell phone. I glance at the time which reads 4:53 AM. It's time. I throw the down comforter off and my feet hit the cold hardwood floor. Already knowing it is cold outside I walk downstairs to confirm just how bad it is. I pull the shades back and feel the below freezing air that is seeping in through the windows. It is pitch dark out, and still will be even when I finish my run. To determine exactly what to wear I check the weather on my phone. My suspicions are confirmed as I learn it is currently thirteen below, but it feels like negative twenty four (I always wonder how they determine the "feels like" temperature).
I want nothing more than to climb back into my warm bed, throw the comforter back over my head and drift back into sleep. I will myself into dawning my running clothes knowing that once I am out and running I will be grateful. Dressing myself for outdoor activities at times can require some thought. It is a fine balance to ensure that I am dressed warm enough, but not to the point of excessive sweating.
OK it is COLD, I've determined that. I have been very blessed to have Salomon outfit me this winter. All their products have been amazing and they have added much color and depth to my running wardrobe. For the warmer days that we had late in the fall I was loving the EXO II 3/4 tights as they gripped me in all the right places. Now in the thick of winter I have been turning to my Salomon WS II tights that have windstopper softshell on the front and a breathable material in the back. On a day like today I will wear my Salomon Momentum II Softshell jacket to keep me warm with just one light long sleeve underneath. If I need a super warm layer underneath I add in the Swift Midlayer Hoody that possesses ever feature a girl could every want from a slit in the hood for my ponytail to built in hand covers. Enough of being girly and thinking about clothes, time to motivate.
Timber hasn't stirred since my feet set down on the cold floor, he is still curled up tightly in his bed holding out for warmer temps. Gloves, headlamp, reflector vest and I'm finally out the door. I stand in the driveway waiting for my garmin to connect to the satellites and feel like the progress bar is moving slower than I am. The darkness, stale silence, puffs of breath and then the sound of the crackle of cold snow as my foot strikes and pushes off makes the effort worthwhile. As much as I may complain about it, there is something special about running this time of year. It forces me out of my comfort zone in a different way than heat, difficult terrain or a fast pace. Yes I am cold, but loops that I have run time after time seem altered and new, thus my senses are awakened by the differences that surround me.
It's five in the morning and I am out running. During the colder months this is my time and the way I choose to start my day. It's now 6:20 AM and many houses have gone from dark to dimly lit. I stare down the dark road and appreciate my simple time. I arrive home and am greeted by two dogs and a warm house and as I take off my running shoes and my feet hit the cold wood floor I no longer want to climb back into bed. How do you start your day?