Tag Archives: weather

What Am I Doing?

I stood entranced, listening to the hum of the thermostat light, asking myself, “what am I doing?”
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I pushed the light light button again to see the thermostat read 63 degrees F.

It’s not like 63 degrees F is an unusual temperature in our house these days. It’s just that for one moment I questioned my own sanity.

63 degrees F. Voluntarily, we are living home with an average daytime temperature of 63 degrees F. A layer of dull ash sits in the bottom of the wood stove. The dust continues to settle without threat of combustion on the heater coils of the furnace.

It isn’t so much the 63 deg F temperature stuns me as the fact that I now consider it a comfortable temperature. I recall a time in my young twenties when I constantly complained to my then-boyfriend that his roommate, the home owner, was extremely rude to keep his house at a frigid 65 degrees F when guests (girlfriends) where there! I made a point of walking around his house wrapped inside of a blanket. Now, when my husband offers to build a fire, I rush in front of the stove wielding a roll of newspapers screeching for him to “Get Back! Wait just five minutes longer!”

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Surface Energy

The first time I truly felt like a runner was the day that I went running in the rain. On that day, going running was more important than what was happening with the weather. Since then, most of the time, I go running despite weather conditions.

The weather the other day was peculiar. Describing it as partly cloudy hardly begins to do it justice. At dinner, a down-pour rain drenched the trees standing in direct sunlight in the front yard. The windows of the house showcased a brilliant blue sky in the short distance while over head was a multitude of cloud layers from shades of dingy grey to snow white. That morning, I had pitched that I would run depending on the weather. It was sort of hard to decide on yes or no when every type of weather was happening at the same time.

The rain was long past by the time I put away my dinner dishes. Yet, the sky had turned permanently grey and rain water laid in pools all over the roads. Bad weather or good weather, it was time to become a barefoot runner that runs on wet roads.

It was truly a unique experience. I can’t be sure if the cold rainwater on the pavement numbed my feet or if the surface energy of the water filling the crevasses pushed back on my feet but those roads felt smoother than a freshly paved baby’s bottom. I ran for miles but never felt the abrasive affects of the pavement.

At first, I was nervous about running through puddles. After all, there must have been tons of hypodermic needles and shards of glass washed into the gutter during the five minute down-pour. The unexpected pleasant feeling of running over water covered roads gave me courage to splash in the puddles. I was fortunate as those puddles were fantastic. With each step, the water reached up and tickled my legs. Even the sound of my foot hitting the water and the water landing back on the ground was relishable. Better yet, two steps after the puddle my feet were as dry as just before going in. From that point on, I hit every puddle along School avenue and marveled that I didn’t come across a single shard of glass while I ran.

As a barefooter, I spend a lot of time considering the surface I run on except I hadn’t considered what it would feel like to run on watery roads. This surface made my legs feel light and energized as though they bounced back with every step. My skin felt protected on the bottom and tickled on the top. I was neither hot nor cold in the fall weather. Therefore, I give the wet road/sidewalk surface a two big toes up endorsement!

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Filed under Barefoot, Lessons learned, running

Last Run

I admit it, I hadn’t wanted to run. It looked chilly and damp outside the window and laziness and a warm cozy blanket were lounging around on the couch beckoning me to join them. However, it was important to put in this effort on the last day of the year. A real runner, never die, just keep swimming… all that stuff.

 I negotiate my mileage goal with the kid. He commands I run 4 miles after I refuse to run 150 miles.

Pft, I think as I leave the house. In the rain and chill, it’ll be a lot shorter than 4 miles.

The hundreds of trees that line my in-law’s quarter mile driveway protect me from the rain but dispense water bombs ten times the size at regular intervals.

I reach the end of the driveway and it’s no longer raining. It’s a sign. I think, maybe I’ll go all the way around the lake. (6 miles)

I am delighted at running on the soft, soggy shoulder until I realize my VFFs are soaking up freezing water from the ground. I wouldn’t even run in ice water in the height of July let alone December. I retreat to running on the asphalt which is what I normally do anyway.

A mile later I marvel at how difficult it had been the previous week to do this route but today is easy peasy. I might even stretch the run to 9 miles after going around the lake.

Road sign says go left but I go right to the lake

Two miles into the run, Mother Nature calls me on the gut phone. She says it’s not urgent but I might want to plan on being in a strategic location (outhouse) in a reasonable time. Going around the lake will not be possible.

Five minutes after turning around so that I can loop the outhouse until my mileage is complete or Mother Nature calls (whichever is first), I notice that the sky is extremely dark for ten in the morning.  Even the streetlights are on.

I was one mile from the house and running in a torrential downpour. It’s a sign. The raindrops are as big as the water bombs from the drive way. I abandon all thoughts of running around the lake or trying to get those year-long goal miles completed. My clothes are hanging from an extra twenty pounds of water. I have to zig-zag across the street to avoid running through the water streams.

It's a street light and a sign

I heard thunder when I was walking up the driveway to the house. I decided that I should run the rest of the way and cool down in the house.

December 31st = 4.6 miles, Visits to the outhouse = 0, Hits by water bombs = 3,000,000

Month total = 57 miles, Year total = 495 + whatever from September

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Filed under Michigan, running, Vibram Five Fingers

Snow! Enough Said (not really)

The forecast said 90% chance, but I didn’t believe them.

Even when it started to snow, right at the time they forecasted, I didn’t believe them.

I sat on the front porch swing in my pjs, my winter coat, wrapped in a blanket, sipping on whiskey, sitting next to my husband, watching the tiny flakes float and settle in my yard and I STILL didn’t believe them.

Hey, I’ve had seven years of disappointing forecasts to live with.

By, 7 am the boys were already outside playing in the snow. It was only four inches but oh, so delightful! Especially, when served with pancakes!

Pancake Picnic

After breakfast, I assembled my favorite clothes. My Fatcyclist tech shirt, Big Buck brewery thermal, bright pink zip up jacket (if you can’t see this bright pink jacket in a landscape of white, you shouldn’t be driving), cyclist pants (crop length which is important for the visual), black and red Santa socks, a pair of the boy’s camo gloves, and a German style knitted cap. The look was more about function that fashion, except the Santa socks, those were ALL about fashion.

I put shoes on my feet. It’s been a long time, but I’m confident that I have learned enough about proper stride to run in shoes when absolutely necessary. I call 5 inches of snow necessary.

The starting point

I plugged in my Christmas music and headed out to enjoy this good fortune of snow so early in the season. How can you not smile when you feel like a horse plowing through the snow then have Sleigh Ride come on?

stopping to take a picture and catch my breath

It was great. Although, I confess that I stopped at Jaszy’s, the coffee shop in town, to say hi to a friend and ended up drinking hot tea before I left. It was all about taking time to smell the poinsettias for the holiday season.

I usually hate these trees but they catch the snow so well.

As soon as I got home, we all bundled up to try out the new town sledding hill. (then back to the coffee shop for Hot Chocolate)

I LOVE WINTER!!

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