Tomorrow morning I'll be heading out for my first run since before Thanksgiving. I have been recovering from a sprained back (me: "you can sprain a back?" mr. MOM: "apparently."), and the combination of ibuprofen, a heating pad, and a little dramatic license have all helped get me back to some semblance of normal activity. After two weeks of yoga and walking, I feel ready to head back out on the trail for a run.
Last time I was out for a morning run, it wasn't too cold. But in the intervening weeks, the temperature has dropped significantly so that most mornings are well below freezing. Now, I grew up in a warm climate, and I've never quite developed the thick skin necessary to survive a winter where the temperatures dip lower than 40 degrees. I have tried to compensate with fleece running gear and a can-do attitude, but that only works for so long as ice crystals form on your eyebrows, nose, and lungs.
But I have to do it to get ready to coach a running group beginning January 7 and to set a good example for the beginning runners in my office who are looking to me for advice. And the power of other peoples' expectations is the most motivating force of all.