So Long, Sunshine
So Long, Sunshine

You know you’re a runner when you plan your week around when you’ll be able to get your runs in.

And yet, come winter, this planning can get a bit tricky thanks to the decline in daylight. Tricky, yet still doable—thank God! Seriously I’d be a mess if I had to take winters off from running. These next few months are always hard enough—what, with the cold temperatures, the pressure of the holidays and the general lack of sunshine. For those of us who use running as a way to help cope with life, it truly is a blessing, especially this time of year. Helps us find balance. Helps us be our better (if not our best) selves.

I don’t take a single run for granted. I’m filled with gratitude for both the ability and the desire to be at it each time I’m out there. It’s a gift. One I plan on enjoying for as long as I can. And while I get that it’s not for everyone, for those of us who do love it, it’s a part of who we are—a go-to stress reliever, a non-negotiable part of our routine, a time-out in the best way possible, and a fail-proof way to steer us back to ‘us’ whenever we’re in need of it.

There are all kinds of hobbies and habits to be had. Personally, I traded smoking for running a little over eight years ago. Figured I couldn’t do both and I was tired of feeling like a slave to cigarettes, so I poured myself into running. Was it hard in the beginning? Absolutely! But stick with it long enough and you get stronger. Can go farther. You find your rhythm. And, if you’re anything like me, somewhere along the way you fall in love with it.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy it more when the weather’s more summer-y than winter-ish. But there is something to be said for that bad-ass feeling you get when you’re out there enduring the harsher elements. It builds character, by teaching you how to dig deep for the inspiration you need to persevere in circumstances that are less than desirable. And that carries over into way more than just your running.

So, yeah, you can bet I plan on hitting the trails this afternoon. During my two hour window of daylight between the time I get off work and the sun goes down. All layered up and with a big ‘ole smile.

*************
Reposted with permission from 1BeautifulJourney.com

 
 
Strangers who smile when you make

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ULTRARUNNING:

Just like running, but slower, longer,

and more sad and lonely
Remember you are someone's reason 

to smile. Because your marathon 

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