Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Frigid Infliction

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?


  1. I start my day the same way! Good to know I am not the only one. :)

  2. I would love to run with you! Now we need to figure out how to get in touch.

    Here's the recipe. I bet you could make it gluten free with substitutes. My husband said they needed more sugar. They were kind of bland, but super moist!


    Quinoa Cranberry Muffins with Ginseng


    1 ginseng tea bag or 1 tbsp of ground root

    2 cups water

    1 cup quinoa

    1 ¾ cups flour

    ½ cup brown sugar

    2 tsp baking powder

    1 tsp cinnamon

    1 egg

    2 tbsp canola oil

    ¾ cup skim milk

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    1 cup whole cranberries


    1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

    2. Lightly grease and flour a 12-cup muffin pan.

    3. Steep ginseng in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove the ginseng and transfer the water to a pot. Add quinoa and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 13 minutes. Let cool.

    4. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and 2 cups of cooked quinoa.

    5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, milk and vanilla. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Mix in the cranberries and divide batter between 12 muffin cups.

    6. Bake for 25 minutes. Store in a covered container.

    Nutritional information (for one muffin)

    Calories: 190

    Carbohydrates: 35 g

    Fat: 4 g

    Protein: 5 g

    Sodium: 52 mg

  3. Very nice blog. I love your ideas - simple and back to basics . Great ideas